Changing Multiple Categories at Once

Hi,

I’ve been using Emma for a while now and is an absolutely god send for all my budgeting and transaction monitoring needs. However once a month when I tot up all my expenses and I need to move a transaction from one category to another, it’s a massive faff to have to do this one transaction at a time!

I’d love to be able to select - say 8 different transactions in ‘shopping’ and be able to bulk change them to ‘bills’ all in one go. Would save me masses of time and the frustration of multiple taps!

If this is actually already a thing then I can’t find and would love someone to point me in the right direction. Otherwise it’s my most sought after feature please!

Cheers!

K

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Hey @Kierand :raised_hand_with_fingers_splayed:

Welcome to the Emma Community!

Are your transactions often being miscategorised?

Hi Joel, thanks for getting back to me!

Not exactly miscategorised, more like uncategorised! Basically month to month a handful of transactions are sorted under ‘general’ that I then need to manually sort into the appropriate category. These vary but inevitably there’s 20-25 transactions I need to ‘re-position’.

I use a FIRE spreadsheet to tally things up and I’ve more or less got my categories aligned to my spreadsheet so its not a case of creating new or better fitting categories, it’s just a bit long winded to recategorise each individual transaction time after time if that makes sense?

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I agree with this. I’d also love to be able to select multiple transactions to recategorise at once.
Eg: many may be business expenses that are auto-categorised to holiday, eating out, transport, general - but may have been on a business trip so I want to reclassify them as business (to be expensed).
Same applies to holiday vs normal spend.

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Another vote here. Bulk categorisation (tagging) would be amazing. I find the current process frustratingly time-consuming (too many steps & animation delays) when having to do many transactions in sequence.

OT re tagging: I recently found that Emma auto-assigned tags to many of my past transactions, in a similar way it auto-assigns a category. I’d rather do my own tagging instead. I’ve just checked my report (finally decided to go Pro yay!) and found that I’d have about 850 transactions I’d very much like to remove auto-tags from. While I may have a bit of OCD I’m definitely not going to attempt to address this manually…

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Welcome to Pro @lucianf :partying_face:

Do you mean bulk categorisation for transactions that are not from the same merchant?

Ideally any transactions, but the question is then how you’d implement it (UI).

I see two options:

  1. In the Analytics tab, allow bulk operations for a given category or merchant.
  2. In the Accounts tab, rework the search feature and implement proper filtering (by criteria like date, account, merchant, category, tag, notes etc.). Then allow bulk operations on the filtered results.

1 should be easier to implement but obviously would be quite limited.

2 would be very powerful. I understand you like to keep things simple, and a fuzzy search field that covers everything is easy. But I think you’re missing out here. Your USP is that you’re aggregating data - a powerful filter would be so great for analytics not just bulk operations. Answering questions like “how much did I spend at Sainsbury’s this year” or “how much #food I bought with my Amex card”.

You can imagine which one I’d prefer :slight_smile:

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Yep agree with @lucianf , point 2 would be ideal!

Say I go on holiday and spend money in a Sainbury’s and Tesco’s (groceries), spend money in a restaurant for my dinner (eating out) and use a taxi for getting about (transport). Now multiply these payments over a week’s holiday, say 30+ payments spread across 3 (maybe more categories). I now want to move all of these different payments into the ‘Holiday’ category so I can gauge/budget my holiday spending, but under the current set up, this involves 30 repeated times where I recategorise individual items.

Using Lucian’s powerful filter concept, I can then search for ‘taxi journeys whilst on holiday’ or ‘eating out whilst on holiday’ which I can then learn from in order to better budget next time.

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To me this is a bigger topic, of what the value is (for me) with these aggregator apps. I’ve tried them all (Money Dashboard, Yolt, Emma, and MoneyHub - in that order). For me the two big asks are powerful analytics and great UI/UX (I don’t care about gamification, budgets, rewards, upselling, comparison/switching services). MoneyDB’s filter is the best, while Yolt has the best UI/UX (with Emma a very close runner up). I can probably justify MoneyDB better for my case (it’s free, it has a website), but I chose to support Emma because of the personal touch.

What I think everyone misses though is a killer combination of clean UI + powerful filter + custom searches. Everyone seems to focus on a cookie cutter approach - offer pretty much the same features - budgets and monthly summaries of categories/merchants. But I think people have more fine grained questions than that. I’d rather figure out my own budget, let me phrase the question, and just give me the data.

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Completely agree with both you and @Kierand.

I think the mass categorisation thing would work best with an upgraded search function.

The reason I suspect many third-parties haven’t built this feature is because of its complexity

I’m also one of these people. The other cohort of people we need to keep in mind (and a large amount of Emma users), however, are completely new to budgeting. Emma may be the first time they’ve seen their money broken down. We know that this cohort is looking for a fun, soft approach to their money - a financial BFF :bear: The other cohort that I suspect you and & I belong to want an in-depth analytical tool.

With limited screen real estate, we’re always assessing how we can balance the needs of seasoned budgeters with guiding those just starting out on their financial journey :walking_man:

With all that being said, challenge accepted :mechanical_arm: