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700 GB + of random documents,articles,ebooks,etc. hoarded over the years. Is Evernote a good idea to organize them?


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I have 700 GB + worth of documents, ebooks etc. that I've hoarded over the years. I will no doubt keep adding to that. But I find it impossible to go through them manually to organize, delete(most of the documents are random/useless junk), make retrievable as needed..etc. MacOS spotlight and Windows Search aren't enough (they dont search within documents). I understand Evernote is great for clipplings,snippets,OCR on relevant things I come across that I can take pictures of and file in Evernote, relevant work documents,etc. I know I'll have to do it over time (10 GB monthly limit and all), but overall, is it a good idea to upload my gigantic library of books, articles etc. into Evernote, alongside everything else? 

 

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10 hours ago, Document Collector said:

I have 700 GB + worth of documents, ebooks etc. that I've hoarded over the years. I will no doubt keep adding to that. But I find it impossible to go through them manually to organize, delete(most of the documents are random/useless junk), make retrievable as needed..etc. MacOS spotlight and Windows Search aren't enough (they dont search within documents). I understand Evernote is great for clipplings,snippets,OCR on relevant things I come across that I can take pictures of and file in Evernote, relevant work documents,etc. I know I'll have to do it over time (10 GB monthly limit and all), but overall, is it a good idea to upload my gigantic library of books, articles etc. into Evernote, alongside everything else? 

My opinion is if you don't need to find it in a search then it doesn't have to be in EN.  A bunch of random/useless junk can gum up your searches and any backups you might do.  So based upon the volume there may need to be some triage.  If it were a much smaller pile I would say add it, but not 6 years of uploads. 

You can incorporate access to file folders into EN notes for by adding folder links to notes.  Not searchable but accessible.  Make those cloud folders if you are concerned about having a web backup.  FWIW.

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15 hours ago, Document Collector said:

I have 700 GB + worth of documents, ebooks etc. that I've hoarded over the years.

Note the limit of 100,000 notes, and note size
Also, Mac's have a full local data copy with no options   
   
btw Local Notebooks are not impacted by the upload limit

I want all my notes/documents stored in Evernote   
In theory this should work; it would be interesting to see if Evernote chokes at that volume    
I'd say go for it,, but know that you might have to stop the load if there are problems

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13 hours ago, Document Collector said:

MacOS spotlight and Windows Search aren't enough (they dont search within documents).

Actually Mac Spotlight does an excellent job of searching within the content of just about every document type.  If Spotlight is not finding your content, you may need to force a reindex of Spotlight.

13 hours ago, Document Collector said:

overall, is it a good idea to upload my gigantic library of books, articles etc. into Evernote, alongside everything else? 

The answer depends on you -- what would be your objective of putting all of this in Evernote, particularly if a lot of is "random/useless junk".  Why do you even keep that stuff on your hard drive?

One of the main reasons that I put stuff in Evernote is that I want access to the information from multiple devices, from anywhere in the world.  Do you have that need?  Another is that I do a lot of web clipping of business, technical, and personal topics that I want quick access to.  Evernote has a great web clipper that makes this very easy.

I generally do NOT put books, or very large PDFs into Evernote.  Instead, I put an abstract and a link to the book/PDF on my local drive.  I do this mainly because I don't need world-wide access to them, and really large files are slow to upload and obviously take a lot of space.  I have an external 6TB Thunderbolt drive I use to store books, large videos, and other stuff like that.  Works very well.  Spotlight index all of that, and I can easily find what I want.

If you just have some unknown urge to keep all of this stuff, but you can't identify a specific need for the information, then I'd just put all of it on an external USB hard drive.  You can get a 1TB (and much larger) USB drive for very cheap today, and it would be  virtually effortless to move all of that stuff to the drive.

You might try this: write down a list of keywords that you would be interested in.  Then do a Spotlight search in the Finder of each keyword, or maybe combinations of keywords.  This will yield a nice list of files and folders that you can browse through, as you have time.  If you find any really interesting stuff that you might like to have access to in the future, then move it to a folder for later uploading into Evernote.

Questions?

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Thanks for the comments. JMichaelTX in particular articulated a lot of relevant thoughts on this that I've been wrestling with without quite knowing how to articulate them or integrate them into something actionable.I'll take my time, and keep you guys posted. Meanwhile,  keep the comments coming.

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...what everyone else said so far.  Plus: I also have a large collection of ebooks,  which I keep in Calibre https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calibre_(software) - despite being an avid Evernote user,  the only thing in my Evernote about ebooks is a link to open Calibre.  All my books are exclusively in MOBI format,  which cuts down on storage space and allows me to upload them to a Kindle / Kindle app for reading.  (Calibre also produces 'catalogues' which I think might allow me to link to individual book files should I wish to. Haven't looked into that yet...)

I'd support the 'add it all to Evernote [except ebooks] and see what happens' approach.  Some moons ago I worked for a time as an insurance underwriter which led to my acquiring a literal library of random documents, books and tables about every subject under the sun. It occupied a couple of large book cases and a filing cabinet - and several tall miscellaneous piles on the floor. 

For reasons of filing and finding and pure physical storage space I scanned all of it (apart from a few quality reference books I couldn't find online and didn't want to dismember and scan) into Evernote where it now resides on my hard drive (and a couple of backup external drives).  It took a while...

Keeping all that material did mean my searches turned up lots of false positives for the first year or so - but that led to me refining titles and tags (and searches) to avoid those hits,  and gave me an opportunity to weed out lots of really old material and many duplications alongside normal operations.  It's also led to my finding some serendipitous connections back to old university notes and useful references.  There are probably some notes that haven't been opened in 10 years - but they're doing no harm where they are.

I do recommend that you allocate all your 'stuff' to one notebook and also tag it with that notebook name.  That way you'll always see when that content is being displayed, and can exclude it by being selective in which notebook you're searching,  or by adding -tag:<stuff> to searches.

You'll be aware there's a monthly upload limit of 10GB,  plus a single note size limit of 200MB,  and (currently) there are no available extensions to either.  Your project would take 2-5 years (depending on how many books!) to complete if it's all synced to the servers.  Can't remember if anyone so far mentioned Local Notebooks (which are exempt from the upload limit) but I'd suggest you scan to a local notebook and gradually move those notes into a synced notebook over time. 

While your notes are there,  you have the only copy of your data:* so additional backups are essential!!

Good luck - and let us know how you get on!

* I appreciate - that's already the situation anyway,  but it's something to bear in mind...  

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