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Do not delete tags without notes

Let's discuss here one feature from Evernote I miss in Joplin.

In Evernote, it is possible to delete all notes with a particular tag, and this tag will be showed nevertheless. Joplin has another approach; once you delete the last note with a particular tag, this tag will disappear.

It is not very convenient for people who use tags extensively.

  1. For example, if I have tags "todo," "done," "backlog," my goal for the week is to transform "todo 12" into "todo 0". In other words, my goal is to do all 12 tasks I have for this week. And I do not want a tag "todo" to disappear. I want to see "todo 0". That is how I can keep track of my progress.
  2. Another example, if I have tags "postgre-sql" and "sql" I want to see both options when I type "sql" in the tag adding window. Otherwise, I can forget that I thought in advance about good tags and added them.
  3. Sometimes tag with "0" indicates that you have a lack in your knowledge base, or you forget to mark notes with that tag. It is useful to see these tags.

Mostly it bothers me with the GTD technic, of course. When I need to restore tags "01-todo", "00-evaluation", "02-days", "03-weeks" and so on. I constantly forget the numbers of these tags, should check it in a special note. It is a huge inconvenience in everyday work.

Finally, I think it is not difficult to delete "tag 0" manually as we do that in Evernote if we do not need this tag anymore. I ask your help in discussing and implementing this feature into Joplin. Thank you!


Work-around: I have this issue also but I solved it by creating a note that defines that tag, and I tag that note with that tag. I never delete that note, as it describes in more detail (defines) the tag more fully.

By doing this, I am able to more easily define my work; for example, "ToDo" split into two separate tags, "ToDo Personal" and "ToDo Work".


Yes, I though about it, but do not like this solution. In that case I will see one irrelevant note in all queries. I love my workplace be neat and clean. And this solution is not very neat. Moreover, I do not know how many tags one note can have and how it affects app. To implement this workaround I have to add 500 tags to one note.

I just thought what it is useful feature, not simple but not too much difficult to implement and Evernote which sometimes has very useful features proved that it is a good approach. I wish it won't be rejected by laurent. It is a core feature of the app, I doubt someone else try to implement it without his consent.


In the beginning tags without associated notes were shown, but people complained that they had too many tags without notes.
Additionally there's no way to delete tags from the database. Thus even though the tags are removed from the UI, they are still available in the database.

Maybe we could show tags without notes in the dropdown when adding tags, but not in the sidebar. Let's see what Laurent thinks of this.

Update: I think that your use case is not very common. I certainly do not want to see tags with a zero note count in the sidebar.

However, it could make sense to list them when adding them.


This is scary. If you implement your suggestion, it would be a mess with "really unused" tags.

No, I think the best solution would be implementing mechanism as Anki has:

  1. Tags without notes are not deleted by default and showed in the left panel with "0".
  2. User has delete option by right-mouse-click on the left tag panel.
  3. User has "delete unused tags" option in the menu panel.
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I can't recall what it was, but there was a reason why deleting of tags was not implemented.

Laurent would know.

It is interesting to know.

But even if there is some reason, maybe it is possible to change UI for tags? As I described in a previous post?

It is working in two excellent applications, Evernote and Anki. It is a good experience.

See, that's the thing. It works for you. We had people with over 10,000 tags. For them it was not such a great experience. This is why tags without notes were removed from the UI.

As often you can wait for a feature that may or may not be implemented (and I expect it won't), or you can try to use the tool as it is now.

For example, you could have a "marker" note that's always there in each tag you intend to keep. That way, those tags will always be visible. A bit messier than a tag with no notes like you want, but at least it can be done now.

But "delete unused tags" solve it. And it might be done by default at first implementation.

And I doubt someone had more tags than I :slight_smile:

This is an excellent question. I use it "as it is," of course. But you mentioned that it wouldn't be implemented. Why? It is better usability; it doesn't break anything for current users.

I want to understand, is it worth to ask about good features other apps have? How can I distinguish "implementable" feature of "un-implementable" :slight_smile:

Best is to discuss the feature on the forum. Sometimes a consensus emerges and it becomes clearer what could be implemented or not.

This particular feature I'm not so keen on as it would need to be an option and the tag logic, sidebar and so on is complex enough as it is. There are bugs that already cannot easily be fixed because of this complexity so I prefer no to add to it before the whole thing is more stable and reliable.

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I would very much like to see implemented, especially on the Android app, as changing views in the middle of a long note requires you to do a lot of manual scrolling.

I believe it should be discussed in Save cursor position within the note

I agree with you, but it is another discussion for this question.

Thank you for your answer. Fair enough. I just thought if there any plans of doing "nestled tags," it would be a reasonable relation to this task.

And I assume I can continue to bring Evernote experience if I have some :slight_smile:

I am trying to ask only about simple and effective tricks I know from my experience.

Coming from Evernote too. Yes, both Joplin and Evernote do not delete the unused tag. I checked the sqlite database. It is just not shown in the side/left panel.

Evernote side panel tag view has a search option which makes searching for the tag easier instead of scroll down the long list. I do not have 10000 tags. But I have a few hundreds of them. The current tag view in Joplin is not so easy to use for people who have many tags.

In addition, Evernote also has a Tags View that display every tags, group by Alphabet. This helps me a lot when I need to tidy up my tags. Such as those unused tags, those similar tags that can be merged together. Yes, we can right clicked any tags to delete them.

So, there are quite a bit to change in the UI/UX for such tags view, tags function. Not sure if we could implement it as a plugin, for people who want such feature?

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I miss the Evernote Tags View, too

To be honest, I prefer the delete of tags if there are not used. My Major tags are listed in my legend note incl. tags. So when I finished a project and export to archive all note I am very glad that the not used tags are also gone.
So please do not go back to stay with the tags. In evernote it drove me nuts.

The solution requested was to add "Delete unused tags". Nevertheless, the answer was "no." Joplin does not have straightforward code for tags, so it is too difficult to implement.

There is perhaps something new for this app defect. Using @markrenier technique and converting the “marker” note as a to-do. There is a bug report on GitHub to not display done checkbox.