Beta Version 13.6.7 Available for Testing on January 3rd, 2024

Happy New Year! Here’s to another great year for Notenik improvements.

This beta gives you a first look at a new field type of lookback. Such a command is meant to be paired with a corresponding lookup field in a second Collection. The new field type is meant to let you see all of the Notes that contain lookups to a Note in a second Collection. For example, if your quotes Collection included a lookup to an authors Collection, then a lookback field in the authors Collection would show you all of the quotes attributed to each author.

This beta is not yet intended to be feature complete. It will calculate lookback values when a Collection is opened, but I have not yet provided any logic to keep those values updated during a session: that work is yet to come.

But I thought it would be useful at this point to get some feedback on how this feature works, in terms of how it appears in the Display tab for the Collection containing the lookback field. Let me know what you think! Looking forward to feedback!

BTW, this enhancement is in response to this request from Malcom.

This beta version is no longer available. Look for a later beta release or the most recent Mac App Store release.


This sounds good! Sounds like it should address a similar request I posted a while back here.

Yes, I had your earlier request in mind when the request from @Malcolm came in.

That’s great! Having the ability to go directly to a note is very helpful.

I added a lookback field to the collection template, reloaded the collection, and the field was displayed. All of the links are functional, and working correctly.

My collection is a simple activity tracker and it’s comprised of People, Jobs, and Work Notes. With the addition of a lookback field I can start to normalise the data being collected in each component. And it’s extremely easy to get from one element to another. Having a list of jobs displayed in a note for a person is much easier than generating a report from the jobs area. Ditto for work notes. I simply link them to a job, which is already linked to a person.

Now I’m keen to start exploring the options for reporting.

How do we tell a collection to refresh the data used in lookup and lookback fields?

I’ve noticed that the information is sticky. If I create new notes in Authors the new Author does not show up immediately in the Author field in Books. Similarly, the new book does not show up immediately when I go to create a new quote.

I’ve found that I have to close and re-open the collections to get the new items into the list of options.

I’m redoing some of the internal logic here… hold on for the next beta.

The purpose of this first beta was to see if it worked at all, and to see if the Display output looked reasonable. The results there seem to be positive, so I’m working on the next bits. Will probably have an improved beta available next week some time.

See the latest beta.

The most you should have to do is reload the Note display in order to see the latest data. You should not have to reload or re-open the Collection(s).

These notes are for v13.6.9

It worked correctly in one instance, not in another.

Adding an author, switching to Books and adding a new note in Books:

  1. Before refreshing data the new author is not visible in the option list
  2. After refreshing data the new author is visible in the option list

Switching to Quotes and adding a new note in Quotes:

  1. Before refreshing data the new book is not visible in the option list
  2. After refreshing data the new book is not visible in the option list

The three collections are all stored in my iCloud folder. Each one has it’s own folder.

The Quotes collection initially had a different name. I changed the name in the collection settings. The original file path retains the original file name.

Thanks for the report. Let me dig a little deeper.

Try the latest beta (13.6.9.a) and let me know how this works for you.


Running the same set of tests as above the new data is visible in the option list whenever I create a new note in any of the linked collections.

The only work flow in which the option list did not display the new information is this.

  1. Create a new note in Quotes
  2. Do not save it
  3. Switch to Books and create a new book
  4. Switch back to notes
  5. Attempt to add the new book title.

The display of a list of Quotes in Books requires a data refresh?

I’m not sure about this at present. I thought I saw this happen twice but as I started to document it I couldn’t get it to repeat.

This is the workflow that I can’t verify.

  1. Create new Book
  2. Switch to Quotes
  3. Create new Quote
  4. Link Quote with new Book
  5. Save and switch back to Books
  6. The new Book does not display a list of Quotes with drop-down.

You will need to do a Note Reload on the Author page - after you have finished the other adds - in order to see the new book and new quote appear on the Author page.

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