New notes appear in unpredictable locations (same with notes moved between folders)

Operating system


Joplin version


Desktop version info

Joplin 2.13.14 (prod, darwin)

Client ID: 6a443486fb4247e8aba3b23a50ff505e
Sync Version: 3
Profile Version: 44
Keychain Supported: Yes

Revision: 174c5f4

Rich Markdown: 0.13.3

What issue do you have?

When I create a New Note in Joplin, while in Custom Order view, it appears impossible to predict where that new note will appear.

Sometimes it appears at the top of the folder, sometimes at the bottom, and sometimes in the middle.

This seems to be simply a bug but it must be a bug users run into constantly, so I'm not sure if I'm missing something.

Personally, I would very much prefer that in Custom view the new note appears below the current note (Maybe it would appear just above if the sort order for Custom were reversed, though I'm a bit vague on what sort order means within Custom view. For my purposes, "directly below current note" is ideal.)

I'd also like to be able to put a note at the bottom of the note list, but I can do that programmatically (just have a macro jump to the last note and only then insert a new note).

This issue also happens when I move a note between folders. When in Custom Sort, I would expect the note to be dropped at the bottom of the list. But, it is dropped at an unpredictable location. I'm including a screenshare of an example where the "test" note is inexplicably (from a user perspective) dropped second to last, not last.

These may be two separate issues but they both fall under "inserted notes in note lists have unpredictable locations." I think they should be pretty easy fixes without breaking anyone's workflows, since a seemingly random location is hard to work into a consistent workflow.

FYI the exact same behavior happens when moving notes via the Move menu rather than dragging.

Thanks for the attention. I'm two weeks in and Joplin has been amazing so far.

Screen capture of the Move Note example:


I believe at least part of the problem here is handling of the order attribute. It seems to me that order only has meaning in the context of the current folder, so when moving to a new folder, retaining the "order" attribute just results in unpredictable behavior, since it is invisible to the end user.

When moving a note to a new folder (at least via app), I would suggest that Order should be reset so that the note is dropped to the bottom of the Folder instead of in a seemingly-random location. It may be that if it is moved through the API, it's preferable to not touch the order attribute since the developer can handle it manually.

I'm not sure though what the algorithm is for setting order on a new note, but it seems to not be something like "just increment the last Order inserted for a new note" which looks random in the UI. "Set Order so that New Note inserts just below the current note" which would definitely make the most sense to me.

Any ideas here? I've moved a huge amount of my notes and automation over to Joplin, but creating new pages is a pain.

And it's a much bigger pain moving pages to a new folder. If there are already notes in the destination folder, then instead of the moved pages dropping to the bottom as I'd expect, all the pages just get shuffled with each other like a deck of cards, in apparently random order. (Again, I'm guessing this is because the Order property is preserved on move, though it should certainly be modified since Order only has meaning between pages in the same folder.)

Loving Joplin otherwise. Would love any ideas of solutions here!

This Github pull request goes into what I believe is how custom sort order currently works.


New notes are assigned a sort value of 0. Notes with a more recent creation date appear above other less recently created notes.

Reordering notes in a notebook changes the sort value for all notes in the notebook. Reordering new unsorted notes maximizes their sort value with the current date/time. Reordering sorted notes divides their value by 2.

Over time, notebooks have sorted notes (ordered from largest to smallest sort value) atop unsorted notes (ordered from latest to earliest creation date).

This could explain why new notes (moved into another notebook) in custom sort order view appear unpredictably in the note list, instead of at the bottom. Sorted notes moved into a notebook would appear above or between existing sorted notes. Unsorted notes moved in would appear above or between existing unsorted notes.


Reordering the target notebook should ensure that a new note (and moving it into the target notebook) would be created at the bottom of the list.

Possible solutions

Reversing the creation date sort order for new notes would place newly created notes (moved to other notebooks) at the bottom of the list.

Assigning a new note moved to another notebook a sort value of the current date/time would bump it to the top of the list.

Please correct me if I'm wrong about any of the above.

Problem is, what you report may not just be an unwanted side effect. It sort of makes sense to me. "custom" means, the location is defined by the user. When can the user define the location ? After it is created. What you actually want is a mix of "custom" with something else ... predefined. It may be handy, in particular if you have many notes in a notebook. But as long as the notes fit into the notes list (depending on window-size, few users will notice.

When using custom sort, I expect created or moved notes to consistently appear in predictable locations, like other sort types.

For creating notes with custom sort, placing notes above or below the current note empowers creating notes where desired, minimizing reordering. This also keeps the user's place in the notebook, which informs reordering. If my mental model is correct, incrementing or decrementing the selected note's order value and assigning it to a created note should achieve this effect.

For moving notes with custom sort, placing notes atop the list aligns with how switching notebooks selects the first note in the list.

Like many notes per notebook, limited screen real estate is another use case. Examples include using the mobile app in landscape mode, the Note List Preview plugin, a stacked sidebar and note list, etc.

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