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(Archived) Making Evernote 5 usable

Dave DeLong


(This is not a question, but rather advice for people in my situation: where Evernote 5 is totally unusable due to constant beachballing)

I suspected that most of the issues I was having with Evernote 5 were centered around my large number of tags (4,895). I found that a clean install of Evernote would be barely usable, until I tried to interact with the Tags view. Then all hell would break loose and the only thing that would get Evernote back would be to uninstall and re-download all my notes again.

One of the things for which I use Evernote is as an off-line archive of several blogs that I follow. I wrote a program a while ago that periodically runs and downloads new articles and pushes them into Evernote, maintaining things like creation date, tags, etc. I recently added a couple more blogs to this list, one of which caused the generation of about 400 notes and 3,000 tags. Evernote 3.3 could cope with this, but Evernote 5 couldn't.

I decided that having a usable Evernote was more important than having an off-line archive of that particular blog, so I managed to delete the notes through the web UI. Unfortunately, Evernote keeps tags around indefinitely, even if no note references them. So, I still had my problem of "Evernote can't handle nearly 5,000 tags".

The iOS version of Evernote seems to handle this all fairly well, and I started trying to delete the tags from there. I deleted several hundred, one-by-one, but that took a few hours, and I have better things to do with my time. So, being a programmer, I decided to look at fixing this programmatically. After a little bit of experimentation, I came up with the following code:


As a warning to all who come across this:

This code deletes content from your Evernote Note Store. Use at your own risk.

Basically, it downloads your list of tags, and then goes through each tag and determines how many notes use that tag. If there aren't any notes with that tag, then the tag is deleted ("expunged").

After running this for ~10 minutes, I've cleared 2,940 tags from my account. Evernote seems to be much better at dealing with 2,000 tags than it does with 5,000.

Hopefully this may prove useful to other people who are finding Evernote 5 to be unusable and who also have large numbers of unused tags.

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