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Migration (Import) of Evernote Notes into Another App

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Migration (Import) of Evernote Notes into Another App


I'm not leaving Evernote now, but to give comfort to myself and others I've done some research about how to import Evernote notes into another, as-of-yet unnamed app.  So, I'd like to present here some ideas and specific techniques and scripts to accomplish this import.  In fact this is presented in the same light as the Evernote promise that "your data is portable" and "we still want to make sure that they can leave the service quickly and easily. There is no data lock-in with Evernote." in their Evernote's 3 Laws of Data Protection, June 3, 2014.  To that end, Evernote provides two export formats:  ENEX and HTML.

Many have expressed concerns about being able to import their Evernote Notes into another system.
In fact, some are so greatly concerned that they have limited their use of Evernote to exclude use of Tags for fear they will not be able to get the Tags into another system.  That might be the most conservative approach, but, IMO, it is also extremely limiting.  For a solution of combining Title and Tags, see bottom of this post.
I feel sure that when/if the time comes to move to another system, we will be able to find and/or create a process to get our EN Notes into that system.  I say that for these reasons:
  1. My personal experience over 25+ years of doing data migrations.
  2. The number of existing tools, scripts, techniques for migration (export/import)
  3. Any NEW app that wants to capture the PIM market will likely provide an Evernote import tool
Over the last 25+ years, I have migrated many dozens of client datasets from their existing system/database/app to a new one.  It has never failed, although there is often some type of cleanup of a few records after the import.  This is to be expected.  To achieve the migration, I used a variety of tools, including:
  • Database SQL and export tools
  • MS Visual Basic for Applications (VBA)
  • MS Excel with custom macros and manual manipulations
  • MS Word with custom macros and manual manipulations
  • Import Tools of the new system
Migration Using Windows Tools
As you can guess from the above, all of those were in Windows-based systems.
I'm not sure of all of the Evernote related tools available for Windows, but there are tools like:
  • ENScript (ThoughtAsylum Article, other refs?)
  • AutoHotKey
  • The EN API
  • Of course, you can export to HTML using EN Win, and use VBA (or other language) to process/convert and import into the new Note app.
  • Others?  (please post if you know of others)
Migration Using Mac Tools
Today, many of us use Macs, and have a lot of our data, like EN Mac, stored on the Mac.
Mac tools include:
Fortunately, the Mac offers a great scripting system, AppleScript, that works great with the Mac OS and almost all Mac apps.  Evernote has a very rich AppleScript dictionary and interface.
There are already a number of great, extensive, AppleScripts at Veritrope.com to migrate EN Notes to another system/app. (There are also some great scripts to import into Evernote).
EN Mac AppleScripts From Veritrope.com
It seems like new sources and tools are emerging almost daily:
  • Revert.io — provides automatic backup and a true restore.
    • Since they clearly know how to access Evernote Cloud, if the need/opportunity arises (like Evernote shutting down) I would expect Revert.io to offer migration/export tools
  • MS OneNote — Some 3rd party initially offered a EN-ON migration tool, but as ON becomes more popular MS might offer their own migration tool.
  • Synology NAS Note Station app — offers import from Evernote
Finally for those that don't use tags, and put their keywords into the Note Title because they fear tags won't import into another system/app, I offer this simple solution:
  • Put your keywords into Tags, not in the Note Title
  • If/when you want to export to a new system, it is simple enough to use a tool like AppleScript to append the Tags at the end of the Note Title when doing the export.
  • So you can use tags while using Evernote, and append tags to Title for use with other systems.
I'm not trying to reengage the debate on Tags vs Titles here.  For that discussion, please see The Benefit of Using Tags.
I hope this thread will give comfort to all of us that we can use all of the features of Evernote knowing that should the time come (and I hope it doesn't) that we are forced to move to another PIM app, that we will be able to do so, even though it might take some work.
Please feel free to post your constructive comments, concerns, and suggestions.
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  • 10 months later...

Every date I get more concern about Evernote imprisoning my data. They are taking each day aggressive steps to limit the functionality of the Free a counts to force the use of Premium accounts (eliminating the email functionality, for example).

This is killing the hyper-openness paradigm that make Evernote fly when they started. 

I am trying to migrate carrying my indispensable tags, but I cannot. Thus I understand, in this toxic environment, the fear of people about the future of tags

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1 hour ago, rlopez said:

Thus I understand, in this toxic environment, the fear of people about the future of tags

I have no fear about the future of tags, about using them in Evernote, or about being able to export them with my Notes should I ever decide to do so.  As I stated in my above post, tags are included in the HTML export of your Notes. Virtually all apps, websites, blogs, etc that deal with written notes/articles/blogs, provide the capability to tag these items.  Tags are here to stay for the foreseeable future.

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Thankyou @JM.  That was a great summation of the subject.

@RL, I like your phrase "imprisoning my data"; however I don't think it applies to Evernote.  One of the reasons I value Evernote is that I know I'll always have access to my data.  For all the reasons @JM gave, and because of all the alternate platforms. As to the example you gave, the email feature; I saw it more of an income/expense thing.

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