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Any Way to Automatically Sync a Folder on File System to Evernote Notebook?


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I am new to Evernote and do not understand it very well yet.   I have an application that I want to know if any version of Evernote can solve.   I have hundreds of test reports created as PDF files, and these exist in a nested tree of folders at a specific folder on my local hard drive.    What I want to have happen is for Evernote to *automatically* sync with that folder, so that any time I add a new file or folder to the local folders on my file system, this automatically uploads and is indexed into the Evernote notebook.

The idea here is for Evernote to be able to create a full-text index for these files so that multiple people can search easily on any specific word found in any of those PDF files.

It would be extremely time consuming and cumbersome if I had to manually sync the local folder and the Evernote notebook.   So finding a way to have things just synchronize in the background and automatically is important.

It is also important that changes made to the Evernote notebook do not affect the master files.   If someone accidentally deleted files in the notebook, those actions should not result in deleting files on my file system.

How close can Evernote get to this functionality, and which versions of the product do I need for that?

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11 hours ago, persistentone said:

I am using the basic web interface on Windows.   I am able to install and use whichever level of their service will make this all automatic.

There is no way to sync a folder to the Evernote web version; you'd need to use the native Windows application. You would use the Import Folder faciility, but even then there are limitations as to how deep in the folder hierarchy the import process would go.

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On 2017-02-27 at 11:28 PM, persistentone said:

What I want to have happen is for Evernote to *automatically* sync with that folder, so that any time I add a new file or folder to the local folders on my file system, this automatically uploads and is indexed into the Evernote notebook.

cloudHQ is not a service I use, but supposedly it does 2 way sync

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11 hours ago, jefito said:

There is no way to sync a folder to the Evernote web version; you'd need to use the native Windows application. You would use the Import Folder faciility, but even then there are limitations as to how deep in the folder hierarchy the import process would go.

 

A requirement to use an "Import" function does not meet the requirements I clearly stated.   I do not want one-time manually-created archives.   I am looking for a way to *automatically* create a full-text index for part of my file system that I expose through Evernote.  It has to update dynamically, in real-time, and without any manual intervention on my part.

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11 hours ago, jefito said:

There is no way to sync a folder to the Evernote web version; you'd need to use the native Windows application. You would use the Import Folder faciility, but even then there are limitations as to how deep in the folder hierarchy the import process would go.

 

Which version of Evernote would be able to use OCR to create a full-text index around PDF files that are pages of numbers and words created as a scanned image of the original page?

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44 minutes ago, persistentone said:

Which version of Evernote would be able to use OCR to create a full-text index around PDF files that are pages of numbers and words created as a scanned image of the original page?

Change of topic

For premium accounts, Evernote offers an OCR/Indexing feature for PDF and Image files. This is run on the EN servers and is available for all platforms (versions)

There have been reports that the indexing is also done for externally OCR'd files for all account levels

 

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11 hours ago, persistentone said:

A requirement to use an "Import" function does not meet the requirements I clearly stated.   I do not want one-time manually-created archives.   I am looking for a way to *automatically* create a full-text index for part of my file system that I expose through Evernote.  It has to update dynamically, in real-time, and without any manual intervention on my part.

Doesn't exist at this time. You can set up import folders, and their content gets pulled into Evernote automatically, and therefore indexed, but they're otherwise independent of the file system. If you want to make this a feature request, then there's a more appropriate forum for that. I can move this topic, if you wish.

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11 hours ago, jefito said:

Doesn't exist at this time. You can set up import folders, and their content gets pulled into Evernote automatically, and therefore indexed, but they're otherwise independent of the file system. If you want to make this a feature request, then there's a more appropriate forum for that. I can move this topic, if you wish.

 

I think I still do not understand the functionality.  Probably I just need to go try to use it.  Which versions of the Windows desktop Evernote application support the functionality you are describing?

The way you said this "...their content gets pull into Evernote automatically" makes it sound like every time I update the local file system the Evernote index will get updated without my taking additional actions.    What exactly did you mean by "automatic" here?

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28 minutes ago, persistentone said:

Which versions of the Windows desktop Evernote application support the functionality you are describing?

This was recently discussed at the discussion below

The import folder feature is supported by all current EN/Win versions.  

Note, in Windows, only new files trigger the Evernote upload.  Macs recognize add/deletes.  Neither identify changed files.

You might look into the cloudHQ service; supposedly it has a two way sync feature to cloud folders

 

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41 minutes ago, persistentone said:

Probably I just need to go try to use it.  Which versions of the Windows desktop Evernote application support the functionality you are describing?

All of them since at least five years ago, if not longer. Tools / Import Folders... See https://help.evernote.com/hc/en-us/articles/209004967-How-to-create-import-folders-in-Evernote-for-Windows

43 minutes ago, persistentone said:

The way you said this "...their content gets pull into Evernote automatically" makes it sound like every time I update the local file system the Evernote index will get updated without my taking additional actions.    What exactly did you mean by "automatic

Exactly. If you add files to the folder, they get imported into Evernote. Note that deletions do not count, only additions; Evernote does not mirror your folder structure. Note also that you can configure Evernote to remove imported files from the folder after import succeeds, or not (Delete/Keep setting), on a per-folder basis. Note also that you can configure an import folder to include sub-folders for inclusion in the import, but to only one level deep (it's by design that no more than one level are included).

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On 3/2/2017 at 7:57 PM, jefito said:

All of them since at least five years ago, if not longer. Tools / Import Folders... See https://help.evernote.com/hc/en-us/articles/209004967-How-to-create-import-folders-in-Evernote-for-Windows

Exactly. If you add files to the folder, they get imported into Evernote. Note that deletions do not count, only additions; Evernote does not mirror your folder structure. Note also that you can configure Evernote to remove imported files from the folder after import succeeds, or not (Delete/Keep setting), on a per-folder basis. Note also that you can configure an import folder to include sub-folders for inclusion in the import, but to only one level deep (it's by design that no more than one level are included).

 

I need help understanding how the Tools | Import Folders feature works in practice.   I have a nested group of folders, and as I understand it Evernote will only automatically pull in the root that I point to when I import, and additionally Evernote will pull in all files from each folder that is *one* folder under the root.

For anything I want to pull in that is two or more folders deep in the hierarchy, do I have to repeat the Tools | Import Folder function for each of those locations?

Can one Shared Notebook that I create contain many different folders I have imported into that Notebook?  What is the limit on the number of separate folders that I can import and then have Evernote automatically update the Shared Notebook each time a file is added in one of those folders?

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13 hours ago, persistentone said:

For anything I want to pull in that is two or more folders deep in the hierarchy, do I have to repeat the Tools | Import Folder function for each of those locations?

That's my understanding - you would have to set up multiple entries
At least the one sub-folder level cuts down on the setup and makes it dynamic

>>Can one Shared Notebook that I create contain many different folders I have imported into that Notebook?

afaik All the Import-Folder entries can point to the same notebook
         If you want to mirror you folder structure, you can create separated notebooks
         I'm not aware of any limits on the number of import folders but be aware of the notebook limit (250)

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13 hours ago, persistentone said:

I need help understanding how the Tools | Import Folders feature works in practice.   I have a nested group of folders, and as I understand it Evernote will only automatically pull in the root that I point to when I import, and additionally Evernote will pull in all files from each folder that is *one* folder under the root.

That is correct, and they all go into the same notebook. There is no folder mirroring.

 

13 hours ago, persistentone said:

For anything I want to pull in that is two or more folders deep in the hierarchy, do I have to repeat the Tools | Import Folder function for each of those locations?

That would be a way to do it, yes.

13 hours ago, persistentone said:

Can one Shared Notebook that I create contain many different folders I have imported into that Notebook?  

Yes.

13 hours ago, persistentone said:

What is the limit on the number of separate folders that I can import and then have Evernote automatically update the Shared Notebook each time a file is added in one of those folders?

I don't know of any practical limits (Evernote is probably using this API, or something related; I don't see any limits mentioned), but if you're considering using more than a handful of import folders on a regular basis, then you should  probably rethink what you're doing.

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So I upgraded to Premium.  I created my first Shared Notebook and shared it to my consultant.  I then added in two folders into that Shared Notebook.

Will Evernote automatically apply OCR to the PDF files that contain images?   Or do I need to configure some attribute to enable OCR?

How long does it take for that OCR process to complete?

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When I share a folder on my local file system to Evernote through Import Folders, I want to make sure there is no configuration of the product that would send changes made in Evernote back to the file system?  The replication is one-way-only, from my computer to Evernote?

In the event that someone modified an Excel file in Evernote, and I updated the file on my file system later, then the person's changes in Evernote would get overwritten by the new file, without warning to the user?

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1 hour ago, persistentone said:

Or do I need to configure some attribute to enable OCR?

Documentation is available at https://blog.evernote.com/tech/2013/07/18/how-evernotes-image-recognition-works/

No configuration is necessary; the OCR/Indexing is done automatically

>>How long does it take for that OCR process to complete?

Depends on how many entries are in the queue.  In my testing, it was within 5 minutes

>>The replication is one-way-only, from my computer to Evernote?

Yes, it's a one way import

>>I updated the file on my file system later,

I'd want to test this but I believe the file would be identified as a new file, and imported as a new note. There is no overwrite

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1 hour ago, persistentone said:

When I share a folder on my local file system to Evernote through Import Folders, I want to make sure there is no configuration of the product that would send changes made in Evernote back to the file system?  The replication is one-way-only, from my computer to Evernote?

In the event that someone modified an Excel file in Evernote, and I updated the file on my file system later, then the person's changes in Evernote would get overwritten by the new file, without warning to the user?

What DTLow said. In addition, I suggest that you try these scenarios yourself, to make sure you understand what's happening. To be clear; the import folders feature does not do syncing; it only copies new files from your folder (and one lever of subfolders, if configured) into Evernote as new notes.

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2 hours ago, DTLow said:

>>I updated the file on my file system later,

I'd want to test this but I believe the file would be identified as a new file, and imported as a new note. There is no overwrite

 

That would make version control a nightmare.   You could end up with 20+ copies of the same file.

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1 minute ago, persistentone said:

That would make version control a nightmare.   You could end up with 20+ copies of the same file.

That actually sounds like version backup.  You can retrieve previous versions of the file.

 

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1 hour ago, DTLow said:

That actually sounds like version backup.  You can retrieve previous versions of the file.

 

 

Right, but there is an elegant way to handle version control, and there is a nightmare way.   The elegant way is like Dropbox does it, where you see the current version only, and as a menu option you can select the version history and then scan that for the specific version you want to see.   The nightmare way is to make copies of documents and have them all be accessed from the same place in a single list.  Common mistakes that the nightmare way would cause would be people start searching for strings and viewing old versions of a Note.

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10 hours ago, persistentone said:

The elegant way is like Dropbox does it

You can put the file in a dropbox folder on your local machine and then put a link to the file into a note in EN.   If you want to share the file, you need to put the file on dropbox and use a dropbox link in the note, .  In either case you open the file from within EN and dropbox becomes version history, though the shared version requires a download each time..

Or, simply put the Excel file in EN and delete it from you local folder.  Note history will provide version control, perhaps not as granular as dropbox depending upon how often you modify the document.  This would be best if you want to search the file using the EN search engine.

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9 hours ago, persistentone said:

Right, but there is an elegant way to handle version control, and there is a nightmare way.

I was just being facetious about your version control comment.  I wasn't being serious
If I was using your system, I'd probably duplicate the previous notes if there are updates

Evernote actually has a Note History feature to access previous versions of notes

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