Auto-archiving notes (and auto-collapsing)

archiving
collapse
automation

#1

There’s been a lot of talk here about archiving notes and various suggestions of how it might be done, along with workarounds. Here’s what I think is a new suggestion that came to me, partly inspired by the option in Trello to set Cards to visually age, IIRC by becoming greyed out as the get older.

How about automatically archiving notes that haven’t been edited or viewed for a certain length of time? (The length of time set in preferences).

Once that time is reached the note would be collapsed and greyed out, and perhaps even shrunk with a small title font to take up less vertical space in the project view. People for whom the time sequence is not important could also have these archived notes drop right to the bottom of the project, with a horizontal rule with the text ’show archived notes’ above the first few archived notes each progressive fainter, indicating there are more below.

Something like this would keep the archived notes in the relevant project while keeping them out of sight unless you actually want to use them. It would also remove the mental overload:

  1. Having to decide which notes to archive
  2. of the visual clutter of irrelevant (for now) notes

Some additional options for users to choose would include which visual indicators of archiving they would like to apply (ie greying, shrinking etc), and to set some notes to ‘never archive’.

A related thing I’d like to see is auto-collapsing. Not quite the same as archiving, but very similar. My projects end up with some notes open, some collapsed, generally pretty much as random. Which is fine when I’m actively working in a project, but when I go back a week or so later, I have to ‘collapse all’ to get an overview and to make it easy to scroll through the project to pick out the note(s) I’m looking for.

So, the ability to set all notes to autocollapse after a set time would be great. This time would be different to the time for archiving. With an option for pinned notes to be excluded. For me, I’d probably set:

  • all notes to collapse after 1 week (since last edit)
  • all notes to archive after 2 months.

Does this make any sense?


#2

I have „old“ notes in project with important informations, created maybe 3 months ago. But I do not want to have these in the archive as long as the project is not finished. i prefer to decide by myself which note needs to get moved to the archive.

I do not like the computer/app makes decissions or telling me too much/often what might be better for me or my working progress.

Good example is the search function in Apple’s Mail: Once there was a serach function which listet what I searched for. Now it is a mix of mails, mailboxes, senders - because Apple/Mail thinks it is better.


#3

I quite see different people have different needs! That’s why anything like this would need to have options so each user can have things work how they want.

Perhaps “archive” isn’t quite the right word for what I’m looking for because it implies the notes are definitely finished with and being shut away somewhere different. What I want it for Agenda to help me by keeping stuff I haven’t used for a while out of sight, but easily accessible if I decide to look for it. I’m particular thinking of notes of a conversation or a particular idea I had, that I never actually needed to use, but I don’t want to delete. Also, notes of simple tasks that are marked ‘done’. At the moment, if I’m scrolling through a project those sort of notes are just clutter (to me!) making it more difficult to pick out the important, ‘live’, stuff.

One drawback with the ‘dated noted’ system is that older notes get pushed to the bottom, even if they are referred to regularly. This would get actively used, even if not recently edited, notes near the top.


#4

This is my attitude, too - I’ve made notes on some long-term goals which I don’t expect to be completed in a few months but which I want to keep available for regular review so that I can fit things to do with them into my schedule as & when appropriate (like the GTD Someday list). An Archive button to be clicked manually when a project’s finished would be a very useful thing, tho’ :blush: