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HELP: How to back up/export Evernote files?

backup exporting evernote

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#1 Kathy S.

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 08:39 PM

I want to be able to make sure my Evernote files are on my hard drive in some additional place, aside from Evernote on my Mac, in case Evernote ever goes belly-up. I asked about this on a help ticket and got this response:


You can use your desktop apps while being offline, however you do need to use Evernote to see your documents. If you sync them, you can always see them on our WebClient too.
You could also (as a backup) put them in a compressed file and add a password to that file. This requires 3rd party tools and has nothing to do with Evernote.


Looks like backing up to a compressed file is the way to go. (Unless someone has a better option?) I'd love to know what folks are using to back up the files, since it's not something you can do with the Evernote software, apparently.

Thanks!

Kathy

P.S. A broader question... Just how concerned about this do we need to be? I know many of us are scanning documents to Evernote and then shredding the hard copy. I see that mentioned on a lot of productivity/organization blogs. I love the idea of an almost-paperless office, but I don't want to lose my data.

#2 GrumpyMonkey

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 08:51 PM

I want to be able to make sure my Evernote files are on my hard drive in some additional place, aside from Evernote on my Mac, in case Evernote ever goes belly-up. I asked about this on a help ticket and got this response:


You can use your desktop apps while being offline, however you do need to use Evernote to see your documents. If you sync them, you can always see them on our WebClient too.
You could also (as a backup) put them in a compressed file and add a password to that file. This requires 3rd party tools and has nothing to do with Evernote.


Looks like backing up to a compressed file is the way to go. (Unless someone has a better option?) I'd love to know what folks are using to back up the files, since it's not something you can do with the Evernote software, apparently.

Thanks!

Kathy

P.S. A broader question... Just how concerned about this do we need to be? I know many of us are scanning documents to Evernote and then shredding the hard copy. I see that mentioned on a lot of productivity/organization blogs. I love the idea of an almost-paperless office, but I don't want to lose my data.


Hi Kathy. Welcome to the forums!

I have had nothing but good experiences with Evernote and my data over the years. Everything I have synced has been faithfully stored. However, I am very careful when it comes to my data, and I prefer to have multiple backups just in case. Nowadays, storage is so inexpensive, and the Mac is so well-equipped for it, I cannot think of many reasons not to be creating backups of your files.

(1) Time Machine
I prefer to use Time Machine. I have an external drive (about 100 dollars for 1TB) on my desk. I plug the drive into my computer in every day before going to bed. It only takes a couple of minutes and everything is done.

(2) Time Capsule
If you don't want to physically plug anything into your computer, you could use Time Capsule to accomplish the same thing. Again, it is easy to set up and run.

(3) Export
If you prefer to do it all yourself, you could export all of your notes a few times a month (every day seems a bit excessive) and archive them as HTML or ENML (Evernote format) files. It is easy to do.

(4) Cloud Backup
Carbonite, Sugarsync, and other backup services that you can point to your Evernote data (some, like Dropbox, cannot) will save your data to the cloud. These are inexpensive and easy to set up as well.

(5) Separate Installation
Install Evernote on another machine. I have it installed in a couple other computers, and I sync those occasionally to keep it all up to date. If my Mac fails, I always have my files safe and sound over there (not to mention, saved in Evernote servers in the cloud).

One thing to note: all of your Evernote files are easily searchable from outside of Evernote. You can use Spotlight (I prefer HoudahSpot) to find anything anytime. I believe the Evernote folders contain HTML (web page) versions of every note, so you can easily open and read the content (they are all coincidentally labeled "content" regardless of the note titles) without using the Evernote client.

#3 Kathy S.

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 08:58 PM

Hi GM!

Thanks for the help. I don't think I was clear enough in my question, now that I see your reply. Or maybe I'm confused. I already do all kinds of back-up on my Mac for my regular files. I have a 1T external hard drive and I use Time Machine religiously. I also use BackBlaze for off-site backup of my files.

My understanding, from talking with the Evernote folks is that while I have the Evernote software on my Mac, and I can see my files while using the software, there's no place where those files "live" on my Mac in an independent folder somewhere. So if something happens to Evernote Web version or to my Evernote application, where are my files? Do they exist?

Thanks so much for your help for this newbie!

Kathy

#4 Kathy S.

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 09:01 PM

Hi again GM,

<<One thing to note: all of your Evernote files are easily searchable from outside of Evernote. You can use Spotlight (I prefer HoudahSpot) to find anything anytime. I believe the Evernote folders contain HTML (web page) versions of every note, so you can easily open and read the content (they are all coincidentally labeled "content" regardless of the note titles) without using the Evernote client.>>

This is great to know. Where do I find the location where they are in a folder?

And HoudahSpot sounds intriguing. May I ask why you like it better than Spotlight?

Thanks again for your time and your help!

Kathy

#5 GrumpyMonkey

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 09:11 PM

Hi again GM,

<<One thing to note: all of your Evernote files are easily searchable from outside of Evernote. You can use Spotlight (I prefer HoudahSpot) to find anything anytime. I believe the Evernote folders contain HTML (web page) versions of every note, so you can easily open and read the content (they are all coincidentally labeled "content" regardless of the note titles) without using the Evernote client.>>

This is great to know. Where do I find the location where they are in a folder?

And HoudahSpot sounds intriguing. May I ask why you like it better than Spotlight?

Thanks again for your time and your help!

Kathy


Hi Kathy. Glad I could help :)

I may be misunderstanding you. The files are located on your Mac. They are at: Library -> Application Support -> Evernote -> accounts -> Evernote -> your account. This is what Time Machine backs up, so you ought to be just fine with the Time Machine backup you are doing now. Once you find the folder on your computer, go take a look in TM and make sure it is there. It's always good to check your backups too :)

You can access these anytime. Go in there and click on an HTML file and you will see the information right there. So, you can feel secure knowing that all of your stuff is yours, and not locked away inside of some proprietary structure. Portability is one of Evernote's key features, in my opinion. Even if you don't leave the service in the future, it is important to know that you can.
http://blog.evernote...ata-protection/

As for HoudahSpot, I like the interface and find it far more intuitive than Spotlight, even though it is basically just a new front-end for the Spotlight index. It is free to download and try.

#6 peterfmartin

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 05:00 AM

My impression, though I could be wrong, is that there is metadata that will be lost if you only access your notes outside of Evernote (such as by opening the HTML files as GrumpyMonkey recommended). That said, you definitely won't ever lose access to note content if you've backed those files up, since those HTML files are easily viewable outside of Evernote.
Using Mac version 3.2.0 beta 1 on OSX 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard), web occasionally, and Chrome clipper (and Windows once upon a time).

Information and help: Getting Started | Knowledge Base (note: often wrong or outdated) | Evernote Support for customer support

#7 GrumpyMonkey

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 09:39 AM

My impression, though I could be wrong, is that there is metadata that will be lost if you only access your notes outside of Evernote (such as by opening the HTML files as GrumpyMonkey recommended). That said, you definitely won't ever lose access to note content if you've backed those files up, since those HTML files are easily viewable outside of Evernote.


Are you saying that the act of opening a file from outside Evernote destroys the metadata? I don't think so. I will test it out, though.

#8 peterfmartin

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 03:14 PM

No, sorry; I just mean that I'm not sure whether, without the Evernote application, I can view all the metadata (tags, notebook, created and updated date, author, etc.). Do you know whether that's possible?
Using Mac version 3.2.0 beta 1 on OSX 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard), web occasionally, and Chrome clipper (and Windows once upon a time).

Information and help: Getting Started | Knowledge Base (note: often wrong or outdated) | Evernote Support for customer support

#9 GrumpyMonkey

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 04:04 PM

No, sorry; I just mean that I'm not sure whether, without the Evernote application, I can view all the metadata (tags, notebook, created and updated date, author, etc.). Do you know whether that's possible?


When exporting as HTML, the content of your notes is kept just as it would appear in your notes. Any attachments are stuck into a folder with it. Some of the metadata is stored in the header using the <meta> tag with names like "keywords", "created", "content", "author", and "source url". The "keywords" are your tags. I do not think your notebooks are included in the data, though. With the exception of the notebooks, the metadata is not lost, but you might need to be technically proficient to make much use of it outside of Evernote.

#10 KimSellsYourHome

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 06:15 PM

GM,

This question is for you. Sorry I may posting this wrong, but I am new and clueless on how to post! :unsure:
I followed your instructions on how to be sure that Time Machine is backing up my EN files. When I went into Library -> Application Support, there was no EN folder. Do I need to set that in EN somewhere? I really want to be sure my EN files are being backed up to my TC.

This is what you had said and what I am referring to:

"I may be misunderstanding you. The files are located on your Mac. They are at: Library -> Application Support -> Evernote -> accounts -> Evernote -> your account. This is what Time Machine backs up, so you ought to be just fine with the Time Machine backup you are doing now. Once you find the folder on your computer, go take a look in TM and make sure it is there."

btw, how do I reference a previous post in a new post? ;)

Thank you,

Kim
Kim

#11 GrumpyMonkey

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 11:53 AM

GM,

This question is for you. Sorry I may posting this wrong, but I am new and clueless on how to post! :unsure:
I followed your instructions on how to be sure that Time Machine is backing up my EN files. When I went into Library -> Application Support, there was no EN folder. Do I need to set that in EN somewhere? I really want to be sure my EN files are being backed up to my TC.

This is what you had said and what I am referring to:

"I may be misunderstanding you. The files are located on your Mac. They are at: Library -> Application Support -> Evernote -> accounts -> Evernote -> your account. This is what Time Machine backs up, so you ought to be just fine with the Time Machine backup you are doing now. Once you find the folder on your computer, go take a look in TM and make sure it is there."

btw, how do I reference a previous post in a new post? ;)

Thank you,

Kim


Hi Kim. Sorry, I missed this post. There are probably several library folders in your computer. Evernote is located here on my computer: SSD > Users > Username > Library > Application Support > Evernote. Are you not finding the folder there?

#12 SonOfJonah

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 08:36 PM


GM,

This question is for you. Sorry I may posting this wrong, but I am new and clueless on how to post! :unsure:
I followed your instructions on how to be sure that Time Machine is backing up my EN files. When I went into Library -> Application Support, there was no EN folder. Do I need to set that in EN somewhere? I really want to be sure my EN files are being backed up to my TC.

This is what you had said and what I am referring to:

"I may be misunderstanding you. The files are located on your Mac. They are at: Library -> Application Support -> Evernote -> accounts -> Evernote -> your account. This is what Time Machine backs up, so you ought to be just fine with the Time Machine backup you are doing now. Once you find the folder on your computer, go take a look in TM and make sure it is there."

btw, how do I reference a previous post in a new post? ;)

Thank you,

Kim


Hi Kim. Sorry, I missed this post. There are probably several library folders in your computer. Evernote is located here on my computer: SSD > Users > Username > Library > Application Support > Evernote. Are you not finding the folder there?


Hi GM,

I've been concerned about this issue too. But as with Kim I can't find the EN folder on my Mac, tried both places you mentioned. I have several other files in Application Support like LogMeIn, Microsoft, etc but no EN.

Also I'm not able to search my EN folders through Spotlight, do I have to activate it somehow?

Thanks in advance.

#13 GrumpyMonkey

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 09:21 PM



GM,

This question is for you. Sorry I may posting this wrong, but I am new and clueless on how to post! :unsure:
I followed your instructions on how to be sure that Time Machine is backing up my EN files. When I went into Library -> Application Support, there was no EN folder. Do I need to set that in EN somewhere? I really want to be sure my EN files are being backed up to my TC.

This is what you had said and what I am referring to:

"I may be misunderstanding you. The files are located on your Mac. They are at: Library -> Application Support -> Evernote -> accounts -> Evernote -> your account. This is what Time Machine backs up, so you ought to be just fine with the Time Machine backup you are doing now. Once you find the folder on your computer, go take a look in TM and make sure it is there."

btw, how do I reference a previous post in a new post? ;)

Thank you,

Kim


Hi Kim. Sorry, I missed this post. There are probably several library folders in your computer. Evernote is located here on my computer: SSD > Users > Username > Library > Application Support > Evernote. Are you not finding the folder there?


Hi GM,

I've been concerned about this issue too. But as with Kim I can't find the EN folder on my Mac, tried both places you mentioned. I have several other files in Application Support like LogMeIn, Microsoft, etc but no EN.

Also I'm not able to search my EN folders through Spotlight, do I have to activate it somehow?

Thanks in advance.


Hello. Welcome to the forums!

I wish that I could do more to help you find the folder, but that is all of the information I've got. I hope that some of our other more tech-savvy members can jump in and help with this.

Spotlight is the same thing. I have never had a problem with the indexing -- I just completely wiped my drive and reinstalled OSX (Mountain Lion), and had no problem then either. I think the best thing to do might be to open a customer support ticket listing your two items (see the link in my signature). If you could report back here with the solution, that would probably help a lot of people in similar predicaments.

#14 Metrodon

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 09:40 PM

If you are using the App Store version then your data is now located here:

~/Library/Containers/com.evernote.Evernote/Data/Library/Application Support/

#15 GrumpyMonkey

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 10:06 PM

If you are using the App Store version then your data is now located here:

~/Library/Containers/com.evernote.Evernote/Data/Library/Application Support/


Oh. Why didn't I think of that? Now, I vaguely recall a Spotlight issue with the appstore version. Didn't Heather mention that somewhere? I'll search around...

Here it is. The appstore version might have problems.
http://discussion.ev...es/#entry159279

I wonder if you might be able to solve both of your issues by using the "home brew" direct download from Evernote.
http://discussion.ev...fs/#entry156618

#16 Senad

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 06:06 PM

One way to backup your Evernote files is to use something like CrashPlan or cloud services (like Dropbox or Google Drive) running on your PC. But the problem with this kind of backup of Evernote is that you get "raw" files which I cannot used without restore and it hard to do "single file" restore (it is more like "bare-metal" backup/restore - it is not "application" aware). Also these kinda of backup will backup your notes only when they are sync'd with PC (and sometimes you might create so many notes on your iPad and iPhone that this might be a big problem).

One other thing you can use to backup and export all your Evernote notes is cloudHQ: cloudHQ can replicate all your Evernote notes into Dropbox / Google Drive / Box and export them into PDF, MSWord, ODT, TXT or ENEX format. And everything is done in the cloud so there no need to wait for note to be sync'd with your PC (or Mac).

Also sometimes it is neat to have ability of Dropbox history (or Google Drive versioning) just to peak into previous version of a note or to have Evernote attachments ready in Dropbox / Google Drive / Box for further processing. Or you can share certain notes via Dropbox / Google Drive / Box. Anyway just one more option to consider.

I think it is prudent to have both: "bare-metal" backup of your PC and also backup of Evernote notes via cloudHQ. The first approach will give you easy restore if your PC/Mac hard drive gets completely wiped out. The second approach with cloudHQ will protect you against accidental deletion of notes and malicious deletion (which are much more common).

#17 everett

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 03:41 PM

I wanted a three step process to back up Evernote. It needed to be automated (set it and forget it). I also wanted simple. Last I wanted a cloud solution. To use this three step process you MUST (as in do NOT do this if you haven't) exit Evernote before doing ANY of it. After a few false starts here's what I did:

1) I moved ~/Library/Containers/com.evernote.Evernote/Data/Library/Application Support/Evernote to /Users/my_user_on_the_system/Dropbox.

2) I created an alias of /Users/my_user_on_the_system/Dropbox/Evernote.

3) I moved the alias of Evernote that I created back to ~/Library/Containers/com.evernote.Evernote/Data/Library/Application Support/

What this does:
All my Evernote files now exist in Dropbox AND on my computer. If anything goes wrong (my HD fails and Evernote servers are down), I recover my Evernote files by reinstalling Dropbox (on the new HD/OS/Computer), syncing Dropbox, and repeating step 3 (above). As it's just a symlink, I don't have to even wait for files to move. They will have already moved from the cloud (Dropbox) back to me.

Some notes:
I can create an automator task to copy/zip the directory
/Users/my user on the system/Dropbox/Evernote and then move the zipped directory to iCloud. I'd have triple offsite redundancy. This is bordering on insane as my computer, Evernote, AND Dropbox will have all had to fail for me not to be able to get to my Evernote files. However, the observation that Evernote is the kind of service that only becomes more valuable the more you use it, is accurate, and might warrant this level of paranoia.

I use a MacMini to serve my network at home. I have OpenDirectory running. The user on my Laptop is a network user. This means that my User directory (and Libraries) are also located on the server. This way I can log in to the same account on the desktop, server, and the other laptop in the house. I have Evernote and Dropbox running there as well (with the same configuration). At this time I have a copy of my Evernote directory on my Laptop, on my server, 2 laptops, on the Win7 part of my Laptop, in the cloud in Evernote, and in the cloud in Dropbox.That means it's spread across 3 different computers, 2 different OS's, and 2 different cloud services. I feel relatively safe.

**As soon as I locate the equivalent directory in my Win7 partition, I'll do the same thing (erase the Evernote directory and make an alias from the DropBox directory to where the erased Evernote directory existed). This way it's set up the same in Win7.

*** This is taken from the article at wn7ant.com

#18 GrumpyMonkey

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 03:46 PM

I wanted a three step process to back up Evernote. It needed to be automated (set it and forget it). I also wanted simple. Last I wanted a cloud solution. To use this three step process you MUST (as in do NOT do this if you haven't) exit Evernote before doing ANY of it. After a few false starts here's what I did:

1) I moved ~/Library/Containers/com.evernote.Evernote/Data/Library/Application Support/Evernote to /Users/my user on the system/Dropbox.

2) I created an alias of /Users/my user on the system/Dropbox.

3) I moved the alias of Evernote that I created back to ~/Library/Containers/com.evernote.Evernote/Data/Library/Application Support/

What this does:
All my Evernote files now exist in Dropbox AND on my computer. If anything goes wrong (my HD fails and Evernote servers are down), I recover my Evernote files by reinstalling Dropbox (on the new HD/OS/Computer), syncing Dropbox, and repeating step 3 (above). As it's just a symlink, I don't have to even wait for files to move. They will have already moved from the cloud (Dropbox) back to me.

Some notes:
I can create an automator task to copy/zip the directory
/Users/my user on the system/Dropbox/Evernote and then move the zipped directory to iCloud. I'd have triple offsite redundancy. This is bordering on insane as my computer, Evernote, AND Dropbox will have all had to fail for me not to be able to get to my Evernote files. However, the observation that Evernote is the kind of service that only becomes more valuable the more you use it, is accurate, and might warrant this level of paranoia.

I use a MacMini to serve my network at home. I have OpenDirectory running. The user on my Laptop is a network user. This means that my User directory (and Libraries) are also located on the server. This way I can log in to the same account on the desktop and the other 2 laptops in the house. At this time I have a copy of my Evernote directory on my Laptop, on my server, on the Win7 part of my Laptop, in the cloud in Evernote, and in the cloud in Dropbox.That means it's spread across 2 different computers, 2 different OS's, and 2 different cloud services. I feel relatively safe.


Very inventive, and thank you for sharing! However, I would caution inexperienced users who are not tech savvy from using this kind of a solution, because (as far as I know) it is not supported by Evernote, and there is always the potential for trouble.

Personally, I have found that Time Machine is a far simpler solution, because it requires only one step -- plug in the external drive :)

As someone who is paranoid about his digital stuff, though, I do HTML exports, do manual backups onto drives, and have Evernote synced to multiple computers. I even have it synced to Windows on my Mac (via Parallels), so I actually have two versions of Evernote in the same computer simultaneously backing each other up.

#19 dataminer

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 12:13 AM

I'd seriously caution anyone EN 5.0.4 about backing up EN data into its .enex archive file format. I've been happily backing up my notebooks into .enex archives since I started using EN (as well as running Time Machine).

In the course of trying to solve a problem with share/emailing EN notes, EN support told me that they'd - found "some issues" with my datbase when looking at the activity logs I sent them.

So I followed their advice to export all my notebooks as .enex files, getting rid of the user/library/ Application Support/Evernote/accounts/Evernote/ folder and restarting Evernote as a clean (empty) version, and then reimporting the .enex files

First thing I learned on importing the .enex files of the Stacks was that when you export a stack, you export only the notes from the stack, but without the underlying notebook structure. Inconvenient, but can be overcome with an hour or more of work to reconstitute the structure that I had established for data from several projects as well as from my business and my investment/tax management.

Second thing I learned was that in 5.0.4 (latest Mac version), when you bring up the export screen it has the "Include tags for each note" box ticked as the default. Very reassuring. But apparently what it means, to judge from the results I achieved, is that it exports the tags to the tag list of the new datbase, but none of them is associated with any note. All notes are bare of tags.

So now I have roughly 2500 notes, across 18 databases for the aforesaid projects, business, investments and tax with not a single tag. Pretty near to useless in most instances.

This is a deal breaker so far as I am concerned. I can probably/possibly recover an earlier version of the EN database from Time Machine (If I can identify all the files that need to be restored), but no way I am going to take the risk of having this (or worse) happen again with another EN update.

#20 JPowers

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 12:04 AM

My solution to this issue is to not immediately put most things into Evernote. I have my scanner set up to save everything that goes through it into a designated folder as a PDF. I then go to that folder and name the files as I wish, them drag them to the Evernote icon. This way, I have them in a fairly universal form outside of Evernote for whatever I may need to use them for, plus I get the benefits of accessing them through Evernote.

(Naturally, this doesn't apply to things I've gotten in Evernote in other ways, such as from the web browser, but most of my important stuff comes in through the scanner.

I also have both Time Machine and Crashplan backups. I'm pretty new to Evernote, though, so someone more knowledgable may have a more sophisticated solution -would be interested to hear.





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