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Delete duplicates


Marc de Oliveira

Idea

As your product is quite bad at identifying when a file already exist in Evernote it would be of great value for Evernote to be able to identify and (offer to) delete entries that are exactly the same. Having to go through an inventory of 25.000 files (most are probably duplicates) manually is simply not doable.

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Hi.  In Windows it's possible to fairly easily check for probable duplicates.

  • Go to the Notes List window in All Notes
  • Right click the headings line and switch off all the headers except for Title and Size
  • Select one of the entries and Ctrl+A to select all
  • Copy and paste into a spreadsheet and sort the list on Title
  • Use the spreadsheet features to locate those entries with the same title and size (or just the same title)
  • The titles (on the same computer) are also links back to the original notes

You can take action if you wish,  but beyond saving a little (cheap) disk space and -maybe- speeding up syncs and searches,  it's never seemed worth it to me to spend any time specifically on managing duplicates. 

I remove them when I see them of course - but that's alongside the normal tasks of curating a large database.  I'm up to 50,000+ and 20GB or so.

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4 hours ago, Marc de Oliveira said:

As your product is quite bad at identifying when a file already exist in Evernote it would be of great value for Evernote to be able to identify and (offer to) delete entries that are exactly the same. Having to go through an inventory of 25.000 files (most are probably duplicates) manually is simply not doable.

Out of interest how did you get so many duplicates?

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The duplicates come from the automatic folder synchronization. If files or folders are moved or renamed it generates huge re-uploads of the exact same files. If you get a new computer and setup synchronization for the same files again, they all get uploaded again.

I understand that it can be difficult for the synchronization to understand what is going on in these cases, but I think it is important that the tool can later clean up the mess.

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5 minutes ago, Marc de Oliveira said:

The duplicates come from the automatic folder synchronization.

Actually it's an automatic import folder; not folder synchronization   
I have "delete after import" enabled

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Yeah, sorry I called it synchronization.

Anyway, I work from the computer and would not want to open the files in Evernote all the time. It's great to have them in Evernote if I ever need them from another device but it would not make sense for me to set the folder import to "delete source".

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3 minutes ago, Marc de Oliveira said:

Yeah, sorry I called it synchronization.

Anyway, I work from the computer and would not want to open the files in Evernote all the time. It's great to have them in Evernote if I ever need them from another device but it would not make sense for me to set the folder import to "delete source".

Out of interest again, why not delete source?  Why keep the files in two places?

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I think my main reason for not wanting to have my documents in Evernote exclusively is that I would then become completely dependent on the Evernote product and would not be able to switch to another provider if I ever wanted to do that.

I know that they have a feature for exporting the files but the result is a complete mess that I would never be able to put back in the structure I had it in on the computer. Until they make a decent export that returns the files in a way that can actually be used, I will not delete the files from my computer.

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37 minutes ago, Marc de Oliveira said:

I know that they have a feature for exporting the files but the result is a complete mess ... Until they make a decent export that returns the files in a way that can actually be used

I use the export feature for an html backup of my data; daily incremental and weekly full 
The data is completely functional, with a separate html file for each note    
The note also has a resources folder for attachments (native format)   
Why do you see this as a "complete mess"

Alternatively, we can use Save Attachments feature to extract just the attachment files

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15 minutes ago, Marc de Oliveira said:

I think my main reason for not wanting to have my documents in Evernote exclusively is that I would then become completely dependent on the Evernote product and would not be able to switch to another provider if I ever wanted to do that.

I know that they have a feature for exporting the files but the result is a complete mess that I would never be able to put back in the structure I had it in on the computer. Until they make a decent export that returns the files in a way that can actually be used, I will not delete the files from my computer.

You are definitely in a pick your poison situation.  If it were me and the structure were that important I would either tag or notebook the notes in such a fashion so as to be able to export later.  Thereby eliminating the multiple note copies and duplicate search results.  If search is not important, use a cloud service as opposed to EN for backup.  Or is there some other reason for the notes to be in EN?

For me it's bad enough to have two versions of the truth floating around but worse yet when you get multiple results in a search for the same thing.  So I would just delete after import.  Horses for courses.

And from an EN perspective I'm pretty sure EN was not designed to accommodate the ramifications of folks purposefully adding large quantities of duplicate notes.  It wasn't even designed to identify the occasional duplicate note entry.  There are other posts where you can add your vote in support for this.

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10 minutes ago, Marc de Oliveira said:

To me it is a mess as my files are organized in folder structures (both on the computer and in Evernote), but the Evernote export just creates a single flat list of folders - or am I doing it wrong?

The key is to first make what you refer to as the folder structure the context in EN via a search.  Then highlight the search results, right click, and select Save Attachments.  You can then save all the attachments for those notes wherever you like.  A bit of work depending upon the number of folders but what you have to do with today's EN if you want to be able to reconstruct your folders at some point in the future.  Could be worth it if you think EN is a long term solution for you.  Again, for me a non-issue, but if this is what you want.it will work.

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Well, with 27,000 notes in a few hundred folders in Evernote, I would prefer that the export just recreated the folder structure the notes were already in. So, even if what you suggest would probably work, I would never have the patience to do it if I ever wanted to move to another provider - or wanted to keep my files on my own machine.

That's why I find keeping the well structured documents on my machine the only way to work this. If a complete export would place the files according to the folder structure I have in Evernote, it would be a different question. In that case I would not be worried about deleting the files on my computer.

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4 minutes ago, Marc de Oliveira said:

Well, with 27,000 notes in a few hundred folders in Evernote, I would prefer that the export just recreated the folder structure the notes were already in. So, even if what you suggest would probably work, I would never have the patience to do it if I ever wanted to move to another provider - or wanted to keep my files on my own machine.

That's why I find keeping the well structured documents on my machine the only way to work this. If a complete export would place the files according to the folder structure I have in Evernote, it would be a different question. In that case I would not be worried about deleting the files on my computer.

Get it.  The price paid with a tool not 100% in alignment with your use case.

Last thought.  Keep your folder structure on your device as is and copy new entries to an import folder that deletes after import.  As with all workarounds some work but should eliminate adding more duplicates in EN.  Maybe there's a utility out there that will watch a folder for new entries and copy to another folder.  FWIW.

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3 hours ago, Marc de Oliveira said:

my files are organized in folder structures (both on the computer and in Evernote

Noted; Evernote has no support for folder structure   
Some users emulate folder structure using the notebook/tag trees,   
and use separate exports for each emulated  folder

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