Zettelkasten Forum


[Feature request] Sort by Creation Date (default naming convention gives me anxiety)

Hello there!

I understand the principle behind the suggested naming system whereby each Zettel's name begins with the UID. I understand that if you follow this principle and do View > Sort by > Title (Z First), you essentially emulate the functionality of "Sort by Creation Date (Reverse)".

That said, I have two issues with the suggested naming system:

  1. The lesser problem for me is an aesthetic one. I don't like seeing a bunch of numbers in my note browser window on the left. But I can live with that.

  2. The bigger problem for me is that seeing the creation UIDs displayed at all times gives me depression or anxiety. Because I can always see the creation date in front of me, I often feel like "I'm not creating enough notes, I should create more notes. Yesterday I only made 7 notes, that sucks, why even bother, I'm just not going to use this app".

I understand that not everyone has to deal with such issues, but if I get such feelings, maybe there are other users out there who get them, too.

The thing is, I do want to see the notes in my browser in reverse chronological order. But in order to see it that way, you are forcing me to use your naming convention, which is causing me distress. Using "Sort by Modification Date" is not quite the same, that's more like the Noguchi filing method.

Therefore, I'd like to make a (hopefully small) feature request to include the possibility of sorting by creation date natively within the app instead of relying on the UID-in-the-name convention.

Thank you

P.S. I do use UIDs for the reasons you explain on your blog, but I put them inside the note at the bottom, where I don't have to see them at all times.

Comments

  • I use The Archive to write down my notes, because it is simple, uncluttered and visually appealing. I don't use UIDs. When I want to see my notes in chronological list, I open my notes database in Zettlr, which has an option to sort notes by date created. But why doesn't The Archive have this option? It will surely give users more flexibility regarding UIDs.

  • @Comstock_Gordon said:
    I use The Archive to write down my notes, because it is simple, uncluttered and visually appealing. I don't use UIDs. When I want to see my notes in chronological list, I open my notes database in Zettlr, which has an option to sort notes by date created. But why doesn't The Archive have this option? It will surely give users more flexibility regarding UIDs.

    Hi Gordon. You may not want to use UIDs in your file name or as part of the title, but keep in mind that the UID is a date/time stamp, so if you include it in the name of each text file, they will automatically sort by date. Seems like an easy solution, to me.

  • There was a feature request for this here a month or so ago. I don't ever remember seeing this question ask about why creation date sorting isn't included. I have come to embrace the UID as the means of sorting notes in the creation date order. But I also wonder why it isn't included. Is there a technical reason or is it just a design and philosophical choice?

    For some, it may be just a matter of choice about leveraging the UID for creation date sorting. For others, it may be a real accessibility issue. I had a family member with a disability who faced many challenges regarding technology and accessibility. Perhaps there is a real need for system creation date sorting that goes beyond a matter of personal preference or design choices is all I am suggesting. Sometimes the smallest of things make a big difference.

  • Here's my take (from a former discussion on a similar issue) on why you should not rely on date created metadata and instead add a timestamp to your filename:

    Relying on the date-created information in the the file's metadata is actually very risky. Date-created is a file system feature that may be different between operating systems, and file systems. Operations such as copying files (which depending on the devices/cloud storage you copy to/from may alter the date created), emailing files, restoring files manually from crashed hard disks, etc may alter the date-created field – all this happened to me at one point or another in the past.

    I would go as far and say that using date-created from the file system is at odds with the plain text approach.

  • I also feel that this feature should be included. I use Zettlr along with The Archive solely for its ability to sort notes by date created.

  • @GeoEng51 said:

    @Comstock_Gordon said:
    I use The Archive to write down my notes, because it is simple, uncluttered and visually appealing. I don't use UIDs. When I want to see my notes in chronological list, I open my notes database in Zettlr, which has an option to sort notes by date created. But why doesn't The Archive have this option? It will surely give users more flexibility regarding UIDs.

    Hi Gordon. You may not want to use UIDs in your file name or as part of the title, but keep in mind that the UID is a date/time stamp, so if you include it in the name of each text file, they will automatically sort by date. Seems like an easy solution, to me.

    Hi GeoEng51. The Archive allows users to not have UIDs in the name of newly created files. So I think even the developers agree that there are people who may want to use the app but not UIDs. For people like us, sort by date created would be useful.

  • @MikeBraddock said:
    There was a feature request for this here a month or so ago. I don't ever remember seeing this question ask about why creation date sorting isn't included. I have come to embrace the UID as the means of sorting notes in the creation date order. But I also wonder why it isn't included. Is there a technical reason or is it just a design and philosophical choice?

    For some, it may be just a matter of choice about leveraging the UID for creation date sorting. For others, it may be a real accessibility issue. I had a family member with a disability who faced many challenges regarding technology and accessibility. Perhaps there is a real need for system creation date sorting that goes beyond a matter of personal preference or design choices is all I am suggesting. Sometimes the smallest of things make a big difference.

    Hi MikeBraddock. I agree with you. Since The Archives gives us an option to not have UIDs in filename, sort by date created feature should be included.

  • @rhubarb said:
    Here's my take (from a former discussion on a similar issue) on why you should not rely on date created metadata and instead add a timestamp to your filename:

    Relying on the date-created information in the the file's metadata is actually very risky. Date-created is a file system feature that may be different between operating systems, and file systems. Operations such as copying files (which depending on the devices/cloud storage you copy to/from may alter the date created), emailing files, restoring files manually from crashed hard disks, etc may alter the date-created field – all this happened to me at one point or another in the past.

    I would go as far and say that using date-created from the file system is at odds with the plain text approach.

    Hello rhubarb. I get your point. I am not arguing against UIDs. But even then, there would be some users who may not want to use them for their own subjective reasons. And an option to "sort by date created" does not seem technically difficult to implement, and apps like Zettlr are offering it. So I think some percentage of users will benefit from it.

  • @Comstock_Gordon

    Interesting that NV and NVALT, and it looks as if NVULTRA doesn't include creation date sorting either. So maybe there is a technical limitation. The Archive inherited the NV design, so perhaps that is it. Obsidian doesn't include it either. It also uses a plain text approach.

    I imagine databased apps such as Bear and Zettlr support creation date sorting as hey store it and retain it with the notes.

    Maybe the plain text apps can't due to design, and it is a technical issue. Surely these apps would include it, if it wasn't difficult to do so.

    As a retired developer, I understand the challenges of trying to overcome technical limitations due to design choices. Perhaps @ctietze can comment, so we aren't guessing.

  • @MikeBraddock said:
    @Comstock_Gordon

    Interesting that NV and NVALT, and it looks as if NVULTRA doesn't include creation date sorting either. So maybe there is a technical limitation. The Archive inherited the NV design, so perhaps that is it. Obsidian doesn't include it either. It also uses a plain text approach.

    I imagine databased apps such as Bear and Zettlr support creation date sorting as hey store it and retain it with the notes.

    Maybe the plain text apps can't due to design, and it is a technical issue. Surely these apps would include it, if it wasn't difficult to do so.

    As a retired developer, I understand the challenges of trying to overcome technical limitations due to design choices. Perhaps @ctietze can comment, so we aren't guessing.

    Thanks for the insight. I can understand it if it is a technical limitation. If that is not the case, I think users should have an option to decide what suits them best, UIDs or sort by date created.

  • I would be highly surprised if it was due to a technical limitation. Early during beta, The Archive also did not have sort by date modified. Since that is an absolutely critical feature to me, I posted a feature request, a few others chimed in, and then it got implemented.

    So my guess is that sort by creation date has not been implemented yet, because there just has not been as much (perceived) demand for it (until now?).

    I personally don't need sort by creation date very often, so I would just use an app like FSNotes or Zettlr when I needed it, but if it were implemented in The Archive, I would find that convenient as well.

    If you like The Archive's "PrettyFunctional (Basic)" theme, consider upgrading to the "PrettyFunctional (Regular)" theme.

  • Guys, calm down. Perhaps, you just wait until Christian and me spoke about this matter, instead of speculating. :smile:

    I am a Zettler

  • @sfast said:
    Guys, calm down. Perhaps, you just wait until Christian and me spoke about this matter, instead of speculating. :smile:

    We shall do that. Thank you.

  • We talked about this and will include that option in a future update. We've already included "Sort by Modification Date" to accommodate users who just want to sort their plain ol' notes in a useful way, ZK ID's or no, and there's no reason not to offer this piece of metadata, too.

    I also merged the 2 feature request threads into one.

    Author at Zettelkasten.de • https://christiantietze.de/

  • @ctietze said:
    We talked about this and will include that option in a future update. We've already included "Sort by Modification Date" to accommodate users who just want to sort their plain ol' notes in a useful way, ZK ID's or no, and there's no reason not to offer this piece of metadata, too.

    I also merged the 2 feature request threads into one.

    That is great. Thank you! 😀

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