How do you use search and tags to get around?

Two part question: What do you use these navigation tools for, and how does it work in practice for you?

So far I just don’t, but it’s obvious these are huge features of DynaList that I’m missing out on, so please share your wisdom. In my case I create a handful of documents, some organized by topic, some organized by date, as a log. If I want something, I click on the document, click on the topic. Very occasionally I use a simple text search to find what I can’t find by navigation. Tags? Never saw the use.

But it seems some people use these extensively and rely on powerful search operators or tags. I tried using tags and links, but I found when I click on these, I lose my spot. I can’t escape to go back, but have to navigate all around to where I’m at anyway. Search tends to work only on the zoomed part of the current document. And then there’s the mysterious Ctrl-O. I do not understand why there are two search functions. Or 3 with the flat search.

search example: ancestor:<somedate> <sometopic>
returns: any occurance of <sometopic> under <somedate>
GoBack: Use the arrow buttons in the upperleft corner for forward/back

search examples: ancestor:<somedate> <sometopic> OR ancestor:<someOtherdate> <sometopic>
returns: any occurance of <sometopic> under <somedate> AND  any occurance of <sometopic> under <someOtherdate>

Lookup on this forum “ancestor” and you will turn up more examples.

GoBack: Sometimes it does well to bookmark someplace for frequent going back

You can bookmark common searches (and use a good one’s format for constructing others)

Placing Tags in the notes section of an item makes them populate the searchbar instead of navigating to the result.

Sometimes I will create complex searches and instead of bookmarking them I will copy the link (using Dynalist in a browser) into strategic areas where I commonly may need those specific searches.

Sometimes after retrieving a search-result I want to apply it for all documents instead of the current one (or current list)

Sometimes I will open various sections of Dynalist in Tabs in a webbrowser so I may work in those various sections without losing my places ;^)

I hope some of those ideas land.


ancestor:somedate Is this something you actually do? I would imagine you don’t know the date of some topic so it seems this one is kind of artificial.

In order to do this search it seems you first must go to a document root, because search won’t find anything that’s not under the currently displayed relative root. Somehow I wasn’t aware of the back arrows. They don’t exist on iPhone, but i see it here in the desktop app.

What sort of searches do you find commonly useful that you would bookmark them? For what sort of note taking? (This question is for everybody.)

I did not know about that #tag trick. Thanks for the tip. For what would you use a tag?

Maybe I’m unusual in that I tend to work in linear fashion, and so the idea of searching for stuff just doesn’t come up much. Or maybe people are putting a lot of other kinds of info into DynaList that I just don’t. I’m trying to understand what I’m missing why search is such a big feature. Mind you I search things plenty when working on code, but that isn’t in DynaList. Maybe all of you are writing major documents or research notes in your Lists?

I used that example due to the part of your earlier statement: “…some organized by topic, some organized by date, as a log…” …figuring searching by ‘somedate’ would be relevant to your inquiry.

I use the desktop app mostly. I did not realize not back arrows on the phone-app!
It seems you are correct about doc-root search, unless you use one of the other search methods, which only gives you either

  • all docs, or
  • flat results (not editable)

I have some really long joined OR statements, e.c. See:

• Example1: #NOW @Person1 OR #LocaleX #Today (without any quotes) searches for anything tagged with NOW and Person1 tags, OR having tags LocaleX and Today
• Example2: Using the “ancestor” operator. Logic Note: only direct parent is targetted.
@Person2 #NOW OR @Person2 #Today OR #Today ancestor:@Person2 OR #NOW ancestor:@Person2 OR @Person2 ancestor:#NOW OR @Person2 ancestor:#Today
…will search all occurances of items tagged Person2 either containing Now or Today tags, OR with “children” list items relevant to Person2 Now and Today tags, i.e., all variations.
• Example3: parent:@Person2 ::any List where the Parent Item is tagged Person2
• Example4: parent:@Person2 #NOW OR parent:@Person2 #Today …Any List where the parent item is tagged Person2 and the children are tagged either NOW or Today

Searching isn’t just “searching”. I think of it as “filtering” In many cases… out of a huge mixed list of all sorts of things I can change the list presentation to only present a “viewport” of what I wish to focus on.

For instance: I have 10 properties with various contractors and employees, different projects going on all over, various resources for different things (water, power, communications, maintenance, building, planning, etc, etc), AND in different timeframes…

…SO, I can see a full list organized by, say, properties, then jobs, then interspersed with people, things, and time…
a filter with "ancestor:<this property> OR <thisproperty> (or even using <these properties>) now hides all the other properties not currently under consideration. Then add/mix-in the next logic operator, say to do with communications, then say to do with a couple different companies/contractors, then say some timeframes…
…NOW I’m looking at exactly what I need to focus on, and nothing that I don’t AND I can edit/update right there in the FILTERED RESULTS.

…kind of thing… I hope that makes sense.
I’m not saying this is a workflow/setup for you, or even that I am not still working on figuring out how to better handle it, but hopefully this provides some potential options to consider.


Interesting. Anybody else?

I use tags in almost all items I write down.

Here is a real world example:

I tag all my projects with @=Project. Clicking on this tags shows me a list of all my current projects. I use flat search mostly or else the result is too cluttered. to edit I click the item and can add any changes. Clicking alt left arrow goes back to here I was before clicking the tag.

See my post here about the topic on how I use tags:

Hm, if i had a project, i would put it in the Projects section, and so to see my projects I go to Projects and look. How do you then use the outline to organize things?

Good evening, Alan. Perhaps you may find checking out this topic thead helpful. I posted a ‘situational framework’ with illustrative example there.

My projects are split into private and professional. Clicking the tag would show me all projects. But also clicking on another tags could show me all actions based on calls to make, errands to complete or things to do around the house. All in neat lists despite them being spread around in hundreds of projects or projects.

Adding -has:children only shows actions I can do now without other tasks that must be done first.

Hmm well @Alan is saying why you would tag the project with @project, if you could just place it in a “Projects” document, then whatever you have to do in there just zoom in on it to focus on it? I understand tagging for different actions and specific pieces of info, then searching for those specific tags in order to hide whatever is not necessary at the moment.

PS: I’m still trying to implement Dynalist into my workflow and I’m kinda having trouble figuring out how to do things. If you’ve got any nice resources/articles here in the forum I’d much appreciate it.

For me projects are subsidiaries of Areas of responsibility or clients. Making one projects list less flexible than tagging and getting the best of both worlds

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I see. Do you also use a separate CRM for your clients? One could build a CRM in Dynalist but I’d find it very clunky. I’ve been looking at a bunch of options and right now I’m thinking between ClickUp or

We use a separate CRM. I just use Dynalist to track my own projects.

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