Feature. Tag granular sorting

I would love to be able to set a different sorting policy for different tags

Basically, I always want to use “Sort by Last Modified” except in the one case of my #2021/04 notes (notes I use for my daily journal) which I would like to be sorted by name as to preserve the order of days in the month.

This is a small feature request, but I think would make a nice addition to the app!

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Hi! We received some propositions for different sorting or pin behavior for different tags but the huge problem we have is how to communicate a specific sorting is tag-based and what will cost in terms of “screen estate”. Of course, It’s also a matter of how many people will benefit from the specific feature, but so far the vast majority seems to be ok with the current sorting system.

I’ve resorted to adding “~” at the beginning of tags I want sorted at the top, and keeping it alphabetical. But I end up searching for tags more than clicking on them to get to the notes with any particular tag.

I would like to add a +1 request for custom sort orders within the note list associated with specific tags. There could easily be an additional check box under “A to Z” with “Custom for this Tag” or some other verbiage indicating the sort selection is meant for this specific tag. Or the default could be for each tag to have its own sort order and global sort orders could be changed in a Preferences pane. This would be useful to me because I’d like to have a “Daily Notes” tag sorted reverse-alphabetically (using yyyy-MM-dd as the title format) and my other tags sorted by Modification Date.

Do you mean how can a user - after selecting a tag in left sidebar - easily recognise by which criterion the notes list in second pane is sorted?

While tag based pinning (as a global option) shouldn‘t cause any confusion the sorting of notes list however seems not possible without any kind of visual indicator. Elsewhere I suggested to use different colors (matching the theme) for title and modification date in notes list: title coloured = sorted by title, mod date coloured = sorted by mod date, nothing of both coloured = sorted by creation date. Still not sure if a good idea at all.

Yes. I’m not convinced changing the colors inside the list is enough to communicate the sorting change tbh.

Me neither because it is not obvious enough in my eyes. Actually there is nothing else left than placing in small letter under the name of notes list the sort order ((f.e. “sorted by title”) if you don’t want to ruin the current ui which is quite good. Not having a indicator - at least for me due to experiences in ulysses - is really a struggle sometimes. Often enough in ulysses i had to open the sorting menu just to check the sort order or had to view concentrated the sequence of note titles to see if they are in alphabetical order.

In regard to tag based pinning i do not see a problem at all. If at all it would be an option to choose if global or tag based so that everyone knows what mode is enabled. But to be honest, i really do not see any benefit in global mode so that tag based pinning could be offered just tag based as only behaviour. For sure it may be just me who cannot see why global pinning can be useful. However, that tag based pinning is for me much more desired than tag based sorting of notes list

I guess I am not seeing the problem. Currently, there is already some definite sort order, but no visual indication regarding which order has been chosen. You either have to just remember what you’ve picked, or you have to click the down caret symbol next to the tag name to figure out what is chosen. But once you’ve selected that caret there’s tons of new screen real estate to add something like “Custom Sort for Tag” or something like that.

Alternately, there is the Edit Tag modal that you can pull up to rename the tag and add an icon. Once the modal is open, there is more opportunity to add something like a Custom Sort for that tag. So as far as I can see it would be possible to add custom sort and keep a very clean-looking UI. The only question is whether or not custom sort is default behavior. But I may be missing something obvious.

That may seem to be an acceptable price for custom sorting. Nevertheless some kind of visual indication is really helpful for whose who cannot remember everything and consider it as tedious to click the caret symbol again and again

I agree it would be useful. But I guess my point is that currently there’s no visual indication, independent of the question of custom sorting. Currently, you might be in a list that’s sorted Alphabetically or by Modification Date. AFAIK, there are no natural or self-evident colors or icons associated with granular sort-order concepts, so most other apps (Airtable, Notion, Tana) just have a “Sort” button that pulls up a modal that lists the sort orders you’ve picked. It’s a hard design problem.

Sure, but you would just need to take once a look into sorting menu to remember the sort order. And you would know that it is the sort order for all other tags or nodes. In contrary a tag based sorting would require that kind of checking in each tag or node.

Just wanted to jump in here and +1 this. In general, for all my notes I like sorting by modification date because the most recent is usually most relevant to me. However, I also have some book projects that I’m authoring where each note = one chapter, and I put the number of the chapter in the title (e.g. “1. Introduction”). Sorting by modification date means the sidebar is a giant mess, so when I’m in this tag I change the sort order to be alphanumeric. Then when I jump back to all notes, it’s completely unexpected that the sort order I chose for one tag gets applied to everything. I definitely get that there are design challenges, but I just wanted to throw my vote in for the feature :slight_smile:

Yeah I’d call the per-tag sorting an essential to have a useful organization system and very beneficial if you ask me.

Currently, when using ‘modification date,’ I just want to use search if you want find anything that you haven’t modified in a while as the note lists of various tags become random after a while.

Using ‘title,’ now I never find the latest note in the main Notes view (⌥⌘1) but tag notes are now in a predictable order.

Changing between title and last modified sorting option when needed is too cumbersome to do, so I don’t feel like it’s a viable workaround. Maybe if it was a one-tap/click operation, but currently it’s hidden under so many submenus, and there isn’t even a keyboard shortcut assigned to it. (I know I can make my own on macOS but not iOS/iPad).

Even Apple Notes has this ability, and I don’t think it’s too advanced/niche of a feature for Bear. I know it’s not as simple as just “why not add an option” but I definitely think it would worth it; maybe add an icon next to the search icon on every platform that changes the icon based on sort, that communicates which one is active, and you could change the sorting option there too. You pick a default option in settings or where you do it in 2.0 currently, and then when inside a tag this new icon presents these options:

  • Default (Modification Date)
  • Modification Date
  • Title
  • Creation Date

If this is too fiddly, then I’d love to have a “smart folder” like Untagged and Today, but one that’s called like Latest, and it would be just like the Notes view but sorted by last modified, always. Maybe it would be visible only when sorting by title or creation date, so you could still access the latest edits when sorting by other than last modified.

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Or just simple text below the notes name. Many apps do that. See as example apple mail:

2 birds could be killed with one stone and the count/number of notes mentioned. Something like: "122 notes, sorted by title