StevenMay

When to use Search and when to use Reports? Please share you thoughts


Here are my current conclusions

 Reports tool is better for filtering by multiple criteria compared to Search because you don't need any keyword.

It's impossible to use Search for all thoughts with some certain criteria regardless of a keyword

The main differences between Search and Reports tools:

  • Search could be limited by a Parent thought. A keyword is needed. You can search for Tags with a keyword but unfortunately not for Types because Types can only be selected (which is useful when doing a keyword search but a problem when you want to see all thoughts with a certain Type regardless of a keyword)...
  • Reports tool lists all thoughts with some certain criterias(Types, Tags and so on) without providing an ability to use some specific keyword for filtering. Also it's impossible to limit the results by a certain Parent thought.


With the Search we get almost the same functionality as with the Reports tool (by using AND/OR/NOT) except that we have to use some keyword which is a problem when you want to get all of the thoughts with some certain Types regardless of the keyword. (The solution could be adding some certain character to all thoughts but it's too lame and I'm not going to use it)..


Why not combine both search and Reports features? I can see that they are conceptually different. But one is good at one thing but can't do some other thing and vice versa. But you can't do everything regardless of what you use... It's kind  of ironic

  • Either make it possible to search without a keyword or search in Types in the same way as Tags, Names and so on. This would provide complete functionality.
  • Or add the ability to use Parent thought in the Reports tool as a criteria. 

I'd prefer the second because it would make the most sense...

Also I could explain why I would want to limit report results by a certain parent if it's necessary

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zenrain
In general I use search when I want to search the contents or the name of a thought for a certain word or phrase. For example, I want to find all thoughts with the word Adherence. search will check the thought name, label, notes and attachment contents.

I use reports when I want to have a list of thoughts with a certain criteria. For example, I want to see all thoughts that represent books so I do a report on the thought type "Media: Book".
I also run reports for creation or modified dates, to give me a list of thought's I've accessed recently. One cool trick a forum member came up with is you can set the Sort to Date Activated, and then you have an instant history/list of your thought browsing.

Finally, you can search within report results. To do this:
  1. Type the keywords for your search.
  2. Run the report you want to use to narrow things down.
  3. Click Edit > Add Report Results to the Selection.
  4. Go back to the Search tab and check the In Selection box.
  5. Profit!


macOS 10.14.6
TheBrain 11.0.119
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StevenMay
Thanks, Zenrain. I've tried searching in many ways and even generated special "search thoughts" but still couldn't do some things...

Let's say I have some projects under a Parent thought "Personal Projects".
All those projects have some child thoughts with the Type "Action"
And I want to list all thoughts with the Type "Action" which are only under the thought "Personal Projects"
Note that I have thoughts with the Type "Action" under other Distant Parent thoughts ( like "Work Projects" and etc. ) so that's why I would want to limit report results by a certain Parent thought...

Is it possible to do this? ( Currently I always assign an Area of Focus Tag for every Action but would be cool use Distant Parent thoughts instead)
Quote
zenrain
The only way I can think of is a huge cludge (and it's not really a report).
  1. With the Parent thought active, choose Edit > Crawl Brain and Modify Selection.
  2. Select the depth and direction you want and click OK.
  3. In the reports tab choose a custom report. Select all the types except the one you want to show in the report (and any supertypes that include that type). You probably will want to save this report.
  4. Once the report has run, right click the selection box and choose Remove Report Results from the selection.
Blech.
I'd enter this in the Feature request forum, and perhaps also in UserVoice.
macOS 10.14.6
TheBrain 11.0.119
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StevenMay
Thanks, it worked
I didn't know about this "Remove Report Results" feature. Actually could be very useful.
Very unconvenient approach though....  so I will enter a request.

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StevenMay
Actually I came up with another approach:
  1. With the Parent thought active, choose Edit > Crawl Brain and Modify Selection. 
  2. Select the depth and direction you want and click OK.
  3. Choose Edit > Set Selection Tags and assign new Tag for example "Personal Projects Parent thought" or "!report" or whatever
  4. Run the report and now this Tag could be used as the Parent thought criteria + any other/multiple criteria! 
  5. Remove the Tag after you don't need it
Still not as good as what I would want but pretty close... I mean it does exactly what I want, uses some certain Parent thought to limit Report results. But would be cool to simply use Parent thought right away in the Reports tool
Quote
zenrain
Ah, good call, that is probably easier.
macOS 10.14.6
TheBrain 11.0.119
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