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Practical Use of Tags

I have discovered the difference between tag searches and keyword searches. In both, you type 3 or 4 words but end up with very different results. I use Joplin as primary “note-taker” but still have my old notes in Evernote (legacy) for those time I cannot find it in Joplin. Joplin has everything in Evernote has and more. I have tried many things but, with 11,145 notes accumulated over more than 5 years, find things much easier to find in Evernote. The question that has been bugging me is why are tags so much better, for which I have never had a good reply. Over multiple searches comparing the two, I found the following.

Tag searches

With a tag, you are grouping similar things. One tag will not help much as there can be over a thousand notes with this tag. Use 3 or 4 tags together (with a logical AND function) and you can end up with a quite small number of notes and they are all very, very similar. I not only find the note I was looking for but also other notes that could be helpful too. You discover a gold mine of stuff you may have forgotten about. Tagging is about giving a text a “personal” context. Personal means “for me it means this.” Tags allow you to structure a search in the way you think. The tagging makes finding things for me it is intuitive. Brilliant (whoever thought of it).

Joplin text search

Joplin has a fast text search. With 3 or 4 words you end up with a statistical result and will return a long list of many many notes. What you have is a statistical distribution of the words in each not. Many notes will be excluded because words are misspelt one of the other reasons listed in my first post. The words don’t even need to be together. The whole text is taken as one random sample of words without any context. I am sure this is a statistical valid search but does not understand the words in the context the way I do. This means that with Joplin there are a lot of hits and misses. Things come to the top of the list that are 5 years old: a not very likely result.

ONE FINAL point:

It is highly probable the text I am thinking of is one of the texts that I have recently modified. After all, you are working you need to pull up the same stuff over and over again. So why would the results in Joplin not be ordered so the most recent statistical hits are at the top?

I congratulate the developer(s) on creating Joplin but finding things in it is still too hard.