"Open File" vs "Find Item"

I love the new ability to open any item, not just bookmarks or documents. Something I’ve wanted for a while, thanks Dynalist!

Question though, looking for opinions here: is there any point in having “open document” and “open item” mapped to two separate keys, as two separate commands? For me I think of them as the same thing, essentially it’s a keyboard shortcut to take me from one part of my Dynalist to some other part. Would it make more sense to just have both these features combined into one, with one keyboard shortcut, or am I missing something here?

Looks like there was already some debate on the topic here: File finder for EVERY ITEM inside file

I’m wondering if people agree that it’s better as two separate shortcuts or not, hmm maybe a poll will help :slight_smile:

  • I want “open file” and “open item” to be mapped to different keys. This is useful for me.
  • I don’t see the point of having them mapped to separate keys. Might as well have them combined.

0 voters

The main issue of combining them is how to order them and how to display them, when mix-matching.

Right now the plan is to have a search that combines everything at some point, instead of combining them right now. So you have the choice to search for documents and bookmarks only, or search literally anything. This does add a bit of cognitive load though. I admit we are inspired by IDEs/code edtiors about this, namely IntelliJ and Sublime Text. There’s usually a search command that does everything, and a few others that let you search files, symbols, or go to a line number.

Also, each document is also a root item, so technically if you’re not searching for bookmarks, Item Finder can do both document and item.

Ah… good to know!

Regarding the original request though, in the end it might be better to make an all-in-one search. For example, you should able to go to folders too. The result would be that the folder is expanded and highlighted in the left pane.

I like having them separated, for now at least. I personally split all my information into many different documents, so Ctrl+Oing between documents and Ctrl+Shift+Oing between items is a clear distinction in my mind!

Maybe if you were to combine them, which would be awesome, it could be Ctrl+O for everything, Ctrl+Shift+O for just items, and Ctrl+Alt+O for just documents? (although it does use up 3 shortcuts)

I’m grateful that the search for item excludes notes, which had been a drawback on the find function. That’s resolved now. Thank you.

1 Like

“File finder” for searching documents and bookmarks makes sense.

“Item finder” for searching just “items” (tags, etc.), but excluding documents from results would make sense.

“Item finder” for searching both items and documents doesn’t make sense for me. As the name states, it should search just for “items”.

As “item finder” is implemented, listing both items and documents, the “file finder” became a bit useless. In that case to have an all-in-one search makes sense (unification of file finder + item finder in a single tool).

I was trying to explain to a colleague who just started using Dynalist (coming from Workflowy) the three available searches (four searches including the global search - ctrl+enter). She got a bit confused, finding difficult to make sense of all these searches, and the overlap of “item finder” and “file finder” both searching documents didn’t help her sense making!

IMO, I don’t see problem on having all these searchers, since they create different levels of specialized searches. But a boundary should be set to “item finder”, in order documents aren’t listed there anymore, and since just items are listed, it would be even easier to select from the search result (I wouldn’t be concerned to differentiate if the result is a document or an item). This way I could explain to my colleague easier:

  • Use document search ‘ctrl+F’ to locate items in the opened document;
  • Use global search ‘ctrl+enter’ to expand the search for all Dynalist items;
  • Use item finder ‘ctrl+shift+O’ to perform a fast global search for Dynalist items (only)
  • Use file finder ‘ctrl+O’ to search for documents and bookmarks from the left panes

The root item of a document is an item too though. Notice how you can hover the name of the document (not in the file pane but in the document side) and use the same item menu. Document is a wrapper over the root item which can have more properties, such as sharing information.

You could try explaining it this way: if you use bookmarks, use Ctrl+O to search for bookmarks. If no bookmark is used, one can live with the item finder alone.