Smart Groups matching criteria


I keep notes of meetings i have as rtf’s, using a consistent naming structure, the titles all being based around date, time, meeting and people present :

20111214 // 11:33 [meeting] [Me, John, Paul, Ringo]

Which i used to use to notational velocity - so i could search for ‘[meeting]’ and all of the minutes would come up, ordered by date…

I’m trying to create a smart group that will do the same, but am struggling to see how to do this. Is there a way to search on if a field contains, rather than matches a field. Ie. Name contains ‘[meeting]’ ?

Not sure if i’m missing something, but I don’t seem to be able to get this to work…

Many thanks in advance,


Well, you can search for documents where the name contains a string rather than matching the entire name, but that’s not the problem with your search. The left and right brackets are wildcard search operators, so using the search [meeting] will find all documents that contain an ‘m’, or an ‘e’, or a ‘t’, etc. I’m not sure, but I suspect that you will need a different naming convention for your meeting documents.

One thought is to use a document naming convention similar to what Merlin Mann uses-here’s a link to a lengthy podcast that is well worth the listen. … n-mann-ii/

Or just come up with something on your own that uniquely identifies those text files and is easy to remember, like ‘meetingNotes’.

There is also the option to tag the documents, using ‘meeting’ and ‘notes’.

Or just search for

Name matches “meeting”

replacing the brackets with quotes (assuming that everything in the brackets is the search string)

That would certainly be the simplest solution, but I was assuming that the word meeting and the meeting participants were bracketed to differentiate them from other documents that might also contain those words. Perhaps not?

Ahh - thanks for the help Gents.
It was Merlin inspired in the first place to use the square brackets, thinking they would provide unique strings to search for - which worked in NV :slight_smile:

No worries - i can change my convention, didn’t realise they were a wildcard.

Thanks for the help!