We either need workspaces or an expansion of archives. I recently archived a lot of files on my bear that i almost never use but still want to be there. Information and reviews of different things for myself. I will never use these files for 99% of my time but when i need to i like to know they are there and available to help me. But the tags are too much.
Especially if like me you enjoy categorizing and putting things in order. Too many tags and not enough space. So i put them all in the archives which works. Sort of. But it just throws things inside a big box out of order. 30 different tags thrown in there that you can only find by searching.
So i think we need workspaces which can also work great for ios users. You go on your phone and you have a specific workspace / folder designated for your phone where all your phone notes are so you don’t have to look around all your tags on a phone screen.
This also helps students who need to create multiple tags for different classes and different aspects of their classes. Different years or projects. You can end up with hundreds of tags that just feel too cluttered or categorize them inside workspaces.
I use nested tags for this. I have a top level #study tag (As well as #work, etc.) Then under #study are the different degrees I’ve done (I’ve even imported notes from before I was using Bear), and then the classes making up each degree.
I’m not really sure what a ‘workspace’ would entail?
Not sure about workspaces though. Seems like it would add a lot of complexity for little value? And also create note silos w/o being able to search the entire notes database, which I think would be bad news.
It seems to me the solution to this issue would be some way to have an Archive Mode where instead of Bear’s archive basically being a flat folder, you would go into “Archive Mode” and would see all your tags in the sidebar. This would solve the issue you mentioned about losing your tag structure for archived notes and I would personally LOVE to see some kinda archive mode vibe.
One thing you can do is use subtags like @benjamineskola said or use wikilinks that point to important archived notes (this is something I do).
An example of this would be to have a note called “Important archived notes” that lives in your main database, and in that note have a bunch of wikilinks pointing to the important archived notes. So the structure would be:
Obviously this really only works if you’ve got a kinda static set of important archived notes, but it’s certainly a nice system that I use and like. The other thing to be aware of is that wikilink autocomplete doesn’t work for archived items, so you need to make them yourself by wrapping archived note titles in double brackets [[ ]].
I would also like the concept of having separate workspaces. During my almost two years of using Craft (where workspaces exist), I realized how it might also complicate a note app where people are allowed to make wiki-links between notes.
First and foremost, should it be allowed for users to move notes from one workspace to another? (I mean a function provided by the app itself, and not just users copying the note contents themselves.) If not, things are much simpler. If yes, one must wonder…
Should links across workspaces be allowed?
If so, it kind of just defeats the purpose of having separate workspaces (maybe?). So let’s skip this scenario.
If not, what should happen after you move a note from one workspace to the other?
Should the wiki-links inside that note still work? Should they break?
If they become broken, when you click on the links, should they generate a new note with its title the same as the link title in that new space where the note is now?
What about other notes that include a wiki-link to this note that has now disappeared from its original space? Would they become broken links? (And then whenever the user clicks on that link, a new empty note with that title will be created.)
What should happen when the said note is moved back to its original workspace?
I don’t have any good answers. I don’t even know what behavior I really want. And then I started to worry if things will be breaking. Furthermore, I’m sure people will have different ideas on which way is more natural, more logical. Then should all these become configurable? And how easy will it be, for me to predict what each action I do will have what impact on my notes?
Don’t get me wrong - I do like the concept of having separate workspace. I just realized, that it will also bring something that I might not like (either how the app implements it and sets restrictions on certain functions, or just how messy the system can become if everything is configurable).
And for now, I lean on not having separate workspace in Bear.
I feel the pain here. I have a lot of notes, and there was/is a time and a place where I want to see those notes, and other times (most of the time?) where I don’t. When I’m working I want my work notes. When I’m thinking outside of work I want a different set of notes. etc.
The problem you’re describing here is the need to archive notes to keep your organization under control, and I would suspect the reason you want to do that is because you get too much clutter getting in the way when writing or, more importantly, linking notes. At least that is the case for me.
However, I would like to offer my two cents on what I would rather see instead of workspaces. Workspaces are an attempt to solve the problem of “context” — where you have some isolation/boundary that distinguishes notes. In my opinion, workspaces is a rather coarse/crude/in-ellegent attempt to solve it.
What I really want is the ability to activate different contexts, while still maintaining the ability to find (when searching) and to link across contexts when it makes sense. I want one knowledge base, that occasionally I make connections between #work and #life or between #my-thoughts and #webclips. This is the reason I don’t like folders/workspaces — I lose the ability to make connections between the two workspaces.
What is really killing me is amassing a large amount of notes (or web clips, book notes, podcast notes, etc.) that I really don’t want to get in the way of writing and linking ideas most of the time.
I don’t want to propose that I know the best way to solve this, but here would be my take on solving this:
Define a “active contexts” notion in bear. Contexts map 1:1 with tags. So I may have a #work context and a #life context (remember this are bear’s badass tags, so nesting is possible as well.)
I should be able to switch contexts quickly. Personally I think bear should build a command pallet type thing, so I type cmd + p and then type set context (with autocompletion) and I can type in the tags that I want to activate or deactivate.
What does it means to activate a context? It means by default when I’m typing notes, the auto completion that comes up when linking notes is limited to searching notes in active contexts. That is, I would imagine a flow like this:
activate context #work
Start typing a new work note
type [[How to start linking to another note, but since only my #work context is active, I only get suggested note links from notes under that tag. This why my note on “How to make the best pot of chili” doesn’t get in my way when I want to work with my #work thoughts.
Search would, by default, only search notes in the “active contexts.” There should be some escape hatch here, maybe something like @any or a @global to search cross context.
There should be some way to escape your current context when typing a note link. That is, sometimes when reflecting on my day and writing a note in the #life context I want to link to that new learning I had when my co-worker had to deal with my stubborness. I should be able to indicate that I want my link to “escape” the #life context, maybe like [[@How To Be a better co-worker - where typing the @ causes the suggested note links to be global/unscoped to my current context.
Am I splitting hairs here? Did a really just describe what folks are referring to as workspaces? Does this sound crazy?
Just my two cents. And my ask for bear devs to not implement folders/workspaces please! but to instead do what bear does best and come up with an elegant solution to the real problems people are facing!
I realized how it might also complicate a note app where people are allowed to make wiki-links between notes.
Excellent points @pol2ctd! I feel the same way about this and I don’t want to assume work-spaces really solve the problem here and lock-in to it as the right solution for bear without thinking deeper about these hard problems!