Merge collections and sets


Merge sets into collections.


Two easy steps:

  1. Delete sets as a standalone object type. The word and concept “set” should be removed from Anytype.
  2. Add an option, inside collections, to query objects by type or relation value.


Anytype is confusing to new users. Very confusing. Sets are among the most confusing aspects. But a set is just a collection of object (specifically, a filtered collection of all objects of one or several types or relation values). There is no reason that “set” should be a standalone object type. It adds nothing other than confusion.

With collections gradually becoming more powerful, it should become the primary way of organizing objects. Merging sets into Collection would make onboarding of new users and use of Anytype in general significantly easier and more accessible.

A set isn’t a collection of anything. It’s a saved search. By all means, let’s think about whether a different name would make sets easier to understand.

It’s a saved search of… objects. It collects objects from one’s space based on one’s search query, and displays these objects together. By any possible definition of “collection”, sets are collections of objects.


Agree and disagree.

Set are like view.
Collection are like database.
We need both of them, but pehaps not with their actual form/name.
We need set/view, a view that can be applied to the entire anytype or just to a collection (this filter is currently missing).

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Sorry to push back, but really, to me sets and collections are just two different methods to arrive at the same results: a custom display of objects present in the user’s space.

Sets use queries while collections use links. So it’s a difference in how we arrive at the same result.

That’s why I’m definitely not saying we should get rid of queries. I think querying objects is a critical method (I use it a ton and in many cases, trying to replace sets with collections would be a nightmare). I’m just saying that those two methods should be merged into a single object type, and because Collections are far easier to grasp to new users, sets should be merged into collections.


The fact that one creates links and the other doesn’t makes them different. They might look the same, but they’re not.

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I’m not saying they’re the same. I’m saying they fulfill the same function (collect objects) and that merging them into a single UI would be a drastic improvement in terms of user experience, accessibility, and ease of onboarding.


I believe under the hood collections and Sets are technically the same, where the query for a set is defined by Object Type (a Relation) or the presence of a (user chosen) Relation and a Collection is a query of user defined Object (hidden ID Relation). You could argue that they are the same and that linking an Object to a Collection is the same as adding a filter option to a Set to show just that Object (query on Relation “Object ID” with value in a array of user defined ID’s). On the other hand, you could argue they are different as the current UI of a Set does not allow mixing of multiple Relations (either in the traditional sense as an Object Type Relation), while a Collection seems to allow this by the use of a hidden Object ID Relation.

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Hi there, great discussion. Our current vision (subject to change):

  • Search will be more powerful and basically will incorporate all abilities of current sets (filter/sorts/etc.)
  • Sets will be basically saved search requests, maybe we even will rename them
  • Collections will be primary way to work with many objects in more “traditional” data base way with a sprinkle of Anytype flat structure

AWE-SOME :raised_hands::raised_hands::raised_hands:

That’s even more radical and definitely more elegant than what I was hoping for. Super excited to see this vision come true!


I am excited for the new search and I have nothing against your vision.
However, please don’t break current features of Sets. They better suit my use cases and I would be sorry to see them be nerfed.


Yep there are no ideas to nerf sets. Current idea is to make search as powerful as sets and then integrate sets into search basically.


any sense of timing for when this will be implemented?

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The rough timeline I can forsee:

  1. Ability to change default type for collections and sets by relation (start of Q4)
  2. More robust sets querying (end of Q4)
  3. More powerful search functions (first half of 2024 depending on other things)
  4. Some things towards the sets being part of the search (Somewhere in 2024 hard to say, it is roughly a priority or smth)

Is UX improvement included (but not mentioned because there are many at each step )?
Like drag and drop into inline collection which I regularly miss :grin:.


Thanks for rising this up. I will put it as possible improvement in inline collections bucket.


Can you please describe expected behaviour :pray:

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I’ve post a FR here :

If you need it, I can add a video or add user cases :smiling_face:

@ignatovv, video of some user cases added to the FR :wink: