Feature: Global search for locked notes

I love using locked notes, but I would like to be able to use the global search to also search the contents of locked notes, not just the title.

Obviously you would still need to enter a password to read the note itself.

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The only real way to search a locked note globally would be to have its text stored unencrypted, which defeats the point of locking. There are some tricky but quite suboptimal techniques you can use to get around this, but you end up with greatly weakened security


I can confirm what @scaba wrote.

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I ran into this same issue – wanting to be able to find a locked note using something beyond its title – and discovered this thread.

Obviously, we can’t index locked (encrypted) content, but could we make a space for keywords for locked notes? For example, a property of locked notes (via context menu and/or info panel) providing a textarea to hold unencrypted keywords for searching… with a suitable warning for the user:

With this approach, your “Licenses & Identifiers” note could be locked and have keywords like “passport drivers license social security number ssn”, so it would show up when you searched for “passport”.


potentially you could also just include keywords as part of the title for now?

You’re right that it’s the only option for now. But would prefer not to have to make titles like:

Licenses & Identifiers including drivers social security number ssn dea npi upin acp passport known traveler number frequent flyer american delta southwest united


Tags would be your other option; these exist regardless of note state

No thanks. Having a bunch of tags for keywords diluting my existing tags wouldn’t be worth it.

If tags were matched by regular searches, then tags like #keyword/ drivers license# and #keyword/ ssn# would all show up under a single “keywords” entry and might be an optional workaround. But, alas, you can only search for tags by preceding your search term with a “#” and tags aren’t tokenized (i.e., searching for “#ssn” won’t match the tag #keyword/ ssn#.

Instead, I think the best workaround for now would be to make an unlocked “Locked Notes by Keyword” note in the form:

Locked Notes by Keyword

Note                                                     Keywords
[[Licenses & Identifiers]] drivers social security number ssn dea npi upin acp passport known traveler number frequent flyer american delta southwest united

This will show the “Locked Notes by Keyword” note in any search for any of the keywords and provide a quick link to the note with the matched keyword.

Yeah I guess it all comes down to how many you’d need indexed this way as to how much effort it’d take, and if you’d gain what you need.

For me, I make extensive use of topical tags anyway, so having tags that I can browse works well for me in encrypted notes, but I also make use of 1Password for my encrypted notes which does offer full text search and single nested tags search, so that could be something you could potentially use alongside bear? Either way I hope you find a system that works well for you :slight_smile: