Evernote might be in trouble, so here's how to get your notes out of it completely and saf...



  • Reply 21 of 27
    Thanks for the info. Not stated is another negative: it doesn't export tag information, based on my experiments, unless you export as HTML, where it loses the folder stack. I organize my notes using a tag hierarchy, because the notebook hierarchy can only go two levels deep - which is dumb.

    I have long had issues with Evernote. The fact that, in reality, they do not offer a way to properly export your data is predatory in my mind.

    And, their editor and formatting have been substandard forever.

    But... I don't know of a good alternative, although I am now backing up frequently and wish I could write a script to do it automatically. I use Android for my mobile devices (because I'm an Android developer), so Apple Notes doesn't cut it. Dropbox does provide a way to sync, but it is file based.

    I also found it a bit odd that the company was reported to be "circling the drain" supposedly because the user base is not growing. Do all Internet companies have to grow forever?
    edited September 2018
  • Reply 22 of 27
    chasmchasm Posts: 2,421member
    For those of us who don't have thousands of notes in EN and/or don't like subscriptions, the Apple Notes method outlined above is the way to go (or OneNote if you are already using that; unlike Office generally, OneNote is free). While I'm also hoping that Evernote will be okay in the long run, this was a very practical and helpful article to remind us all that almost any online service can "go away," and that it is good to have a backup and/or transportable-format copy of that data.
  • Reply 23 of 27
    Exporting all notes from Evernote sometimes chokes on <inexplicable error>. Just saying don't set it to export and walk away! You can also export to html, which is more work but more compatible than the enex files from EN.

    For OneNote, there was an importer released some time ago which worked well. I think it was written by a MS employee. Disclaimer: I haven't used this for some time!

    I'd recommend Notion as an alternative. It can import from html. It does not have the email-to option that EN has. It does have sync amongst devices that is faster and more reliable [so far] than EN. Search is also faster. I had started using Notion and EN in parallel; thinking about a move, before I read here about the EN issues. I have about 2000 notes to back up, at least, even if not to move...

  • Reply 24 of 27
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,752member
    I only have a few dozen notes so exporting was easy. I tried OneNote and didn't like the interface so I moved everything to Notes. I did one notebook at a time and moved each into an equivalent Notes folder. A few notes didn't import so I had to repeat each one individually but that was only a handful.
    Syncing did bog down but everything finally caught up.
    I like the way Notes works so I am a happy camper. If my needs exceed the capacity of Notes I will probably switch to a dedicated app but it will have to work with iCloud so I don't have to be concerned about another 3rd party biting the big one.
    What makes you think iCloud isn't going to bite you? Apple has a pretty notorious history in terms of cloud services. Learn your lesson with what might become of Evernote... don't put your data in some proprietary 'organization' app.

    As a systems analyst covering some large enterprises, I always rejected any solution that used any form of a proprietary database or one that only provided access to the data from their own interface.

    I'm more likely to do something like that with Apple, but still, I am hesitant to rely on ANY third party cloud for my data.
    Exactly! How does that saying go, once bitten, twice ____? I've been bitten a couple times already over the decades, because I'm a bit dense. But I've learned.
    My disagreement, would be in terms of not trusting Apple more than 3rd parties. At least they often specialize in such things until something happens. For Apple, this is an afterthought. (And, I have serious doubts about whether it is meant to handle high complexity or volume.)

    mesocyclone said:
    But... I don't know of a good alternative, although I am now backing up frequently and wish I could write a script to do it automatically. I use Android for my mobile devices (because I'm an Android developer), so Apple Notes doesn't cut it. Dropbox does provide a way to sync, but it is file based.

    I also found it a bit odd that the company was reported to be "circling the drain" supposedly because the user base is not growing. Do all Internet companies have to grow forever?
    I use Dropbox, but could also use other systems. And... I do use files. I have two hierarchies of files, one simply with text files, the other, anything else. They both have a similar structure in terms of folder (though they aren't identical). The text documents are just simple plain text documents. Then, I store accompanying documents in the non-text folders, and sometimes (if I feel needed) I reference the associated non-text files in the text file.

    The nice thing, is that there is nothing proprietary involved, and it is all quite searchable with basic OS tools (though I wish Spotlight worked better!!!). I can access the info on Mac, iPad, or pretty much any other OS if needed. Also, I can easily have the text structure sync'd to any device, as it is tiny, and then exclude the other files if necessary.

    The downside, is that it takes more work and effort to use/maintain. But, this kind of situation is where those efforts will pay off. (For example, when Notebook by Circus Ponies went out of business, I spent like 3 or 4 whole days moving data out of it... and that was just notes from my undergrad/grad school.)

    re: companies and growth - Absolutely not, though there is that saying that if you're not growing, you're dying. But, growth doesn't have to be in terms of size. The main reason that fallacy exists, though, is due to the public markets and investors. If a business doesn't have debt, it could quite happily make the same amount of profit year after year forever... or even less profit, so long as it is enough to keep it running and keep the business owners fed/happy.
  • Reply 25 of 27
    Korky KathmanKorky Kathman Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    I have a lot of Evernote legacy dating back several years. There's a lot of variety in those notes, too. Scanned docs, text, notes, formed sheets with tables, etc. As the article said, I found the move into Apple Notes to be painless and easy, though the application itself isn't very robust. When I tried the same migration to OneNote, however, the migration tool had extensive problems with content translation. Anything that was in a table in Evernote, got ignored in OneNote and you get a big box of nothing. That was bad. Plus, as others said, the interface and motif is very counter-intuitive. I've used DevonThink before and may return since this is a one-time charge kind of thing and it's tried and proven. Very powerful. As for the future of Evernote, flat growth and layoffs definitely seem to be sounding an abandon ship siren. Will they go under? Probably. They might go through a round or two of bankruptcy, but more likely, they'll get a buyer for their product and someone else might try to resurrect it. Maybe Microsoft will buy it up or Apple, but both of them have THEIR products, so if they did pick up the product it would be to offer migration to their own apps and then kill Evernote as it exists. Someone with deep pockets might still pick it up, but Evernote has gotten so complex and with crazy restrictions lately, it's less effective than it was originally as an auxiliary app.
  • Reply 26 of 27
    I miss Sidenote. That was free, very convenient with the way it slid out of the side of the screen, and better still, it stored each note as a separate RTF file, so you would always have access to those notes even if Sidenote itself stopped working for some reason. Too bad it's no longer updated or supported. The only thing I didn't like about it was that it needed you to click on a floppy button to save notes manually (I liked to save after each edit on the off chance my system crashed and there's no opportunity for the program to save automatically on exit) rather than accepting the standard command-S shortcut.

    You may wanna check out the awesome (though relatively unknown) app called FSNotes.  It's got a macOS version as well as one for iOS.  I forgot which one is the one you have to pay for (I think it's the iOS one), but it's a one-time payment for the whole app, and only $2.99.  No subscriptions or annoying in-app purchases, and it stores each note as an RTF file as well (or if you prefer, as a makedown file or a few other formats).  Best part is, the storage and organization of all your notes is done right within iCloud.  So, on macOS it's within iCloud Drive > FSNotes (and then with subfolders that double as a similar function to notebooks like in OneNote or Evernote), and similarly within the iOS 'files' app in the FSNotes folder.  Automatically syncs, you can add tags to it, and unlike OneNote the search functionality on iOS *actually* works properly!

    Also, it auto-saves and you can choose to manually edit any of the files using an external editor, like TextEdit on macOS.  You can also set it to use a different folder and keep it entirely local and off the web if you wish.  I am a long-time user of OneNote and similar apps, and am a huge text-file nerd with many thousands of txt, rtf and rtfd files on my hard drives.  FSNotes is the best all-around option I've found thus far, it's simple, works well for what I need it to do, and is lightweight and fast.  The developer is a single dude who has been consistently updating it and adding features to it upon request, very much worth every penny IMO.
  • Reply 27 of 27
    conejo23conejo23 Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    I used to use Devonthink Pro Office years back and liked it but really needed IOS access to my data. They kept postponing release of Devonthink To Go and I kept waiting and waiting. Finally it came out and the 1.x versions were just trash. So I switched to Evernote and have enjoyed using it, for the most part, but do have some quibbles. I've often thought about going back to Devonthink and recently checked out the reviews of the 2.x version of their mobile app and people love it. My license was still good so I downloaded the latest version of Devonthink Pro Office, imported all my notes from Evernote, bought the mobile app, synced, and now I'm completely running on the Devon model. Just a few notes for people considering making that switch. - It's a very powerful app with a learning curve, kind of like OmniFocus. But the search and AI functionality is really strong, the functionality of this solution is terrific. - the user interface is just lame. And above, I mentioned that my old license (from like 7 years ago) was still good. That's because I was on a 2.x version then, and it's STILL on a 2.x version. I was really hoping they finally hired someone who had UIX experience. Nope. Looks exactly the same. It was homely 7 years ago, it's even more so now. They try to justify that by saying it's powerful, and sometimes you can't make powerful apps pretty like simpler apps, which is absurd, and just an excuse to not spend time on the UI. - the company is really, really arrogant. As I'm coming back I'm asking the tech support people some questions about trying to migrate workflows and basically I'm getting a lot of non-answers, instead saying I need to change my workflows. One reason I left them years ago was when I said on their forums I needed mobile access to my library, I didn't get "yeah, we get it, sorry, we're not there yet". Instead I got blasted for thinking I needed such access and one person working for the company even went so far as to say "we're not making an app here to store recipes. If that's what you want, go to Evernote." I don't use recipes, but I took their advice and it went well. Just be prepared. Great app, powerful, deep functionality, doesn't play as nicely with other apps as Evernote (something the Devon folks blame on all the other apps which somehow magically work with everyone else but them), and you have to deal with the aforementioned arrogance and rudeness. But in the end, I think the positives of moving here outweigh the negatives.
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