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(Archived) Simple .xls/.csv import into EverNote?



Forgive me if I have missed this somewhere, but after spending over an hour searching through the EverNote forums I cannot find a way to simply import a .csv (or .xls) file into EverNote! Unbelievable! I have several hundred entries exported from my Mac Palm Desktop and then cleaned up in Excel and saved as a .csv file. There MUST be a way in the year 2010 to import this into EverNote, right?

The Mac EverNote application can ONLY import a "Notes Archive" -- what the heck is that?

Please tell me I'm crazy and I've just missed the obvious somewhere...

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You're crazy and just missed the obvious somewhere... :)

But seriously -- try dragging-and-dropping the .xls/.csv file on the Evernote icon in your dock. A new note will be created with your file name as the title and the file attached to it. From there, you can Quick Look inside or open and edit the file.

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Uhh... perhaps you don't understand the nature of a .csv file --

-- it is not a file just to attach to an Note

-- it does NOT contain the text of a single note

-- it is the result of exporting HUNDREDS of notes from the Palm Desktop Mac application in tab-delimited format

-- it contains HUNDREDS of individuals notes that EverNote should be able to easily parse into individual Notes (each row in the file represents a different note).

Just for fun, I tried your suggestion and got an error message from EverNote (see attachment) stating that a free account can't import the file and clearly identifying the file as something to be used as an attachment - NOT as a source of new individual notes.


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Sorry -- I wasn't clear about your intent from your original post, but I think I've got it now:

  • [*:37tf4a33]You have the Evernote Free service -- not Premium;
    [*:37tf4a33]You don't want to attach the CSV/XLS file to a note, but rather create individual notes from the entries in your CSV file

Do I have it now?

If so, then you're having an issue similar to someone who wrote to me wanting to export their notes from Notespark: http://veritrope.com/tips/reader-question-export-from-notespark.

What you're suggesting, while "easy" from a technical standpoint, is actually more complicated than it appears. Take your particular example -- You'd like to take a CSV file from Palm Desktop (your "memos", I assume) and import entires as individual notes. Once you know which tab-delimited field corresponds with which Evernote note field, it's not hard to set something up (either within the program or with an AppleScript) that will import the notes. This correspondence, however, is the hard part in making a "one-size-fits-all solution": The fields are different for every type of program exporting to a CSV file!

Take this example that I found of someone trying to bring Palm data into Outlook via CSV: http://www.deepwave.net/articles/palm/palm_calical/

...or this example of someone trying to get their Palm notes from the CSV file into Toodleoo:


All of which shows that, while it may be the year 2010, importing/exporting your data still isn't a trivial thing.

If enough people express a need for a Palm Importer, I'll write an AppleScript to do the job.

(...or, if A LOT of people ask, I'm sure Evernote will roll it into their import options!)

In the interim (with a little Google-fu), I found someone who already did what you are asking -- albeit in a somewhat convoluted way.

I've cut-and-pasted their technique below for you or anyone who wants to take a shot and share their results back here:

1. Export your memos from Palm Desktop to a file in your Documents folder.

- Open Palm Desktop

- Click File, then Export

- Be sure to change the default options to:

- Module: Memos

- Items: Desktop Memos (NOT all memos)

- Format: Tab & Return

2. Replace all the funky vertical bars with regular ones

- open TextEdit

- Click on TextEdit > Preferences

- Click on the Open & Save tab

- change Opening files: to Western (Windows Latin 1) (remember to change it back later!)

- close the Preference dialog

- open the file in TextEdit

- copy one of those fake verticle bars | to your clip board (it is not a vertical bar, it just looks like one)

- apple-F, and paste in the fake |, and replace with a real |

- save the file

- exit text edit (changing your preferences back)

3. create the perl file

- open a Terminal windows (in Applications>Utilities)

- cd Documents

- vi convert.pl

- i

- paste in this:

use strict;

my $file = shift || exit;
my $text = `cat $file`;
my @items = split(/\r/,$text);

foreach my $line (@items)

my ($title, $body) = split(/\t/,$line);
$body =~ s/\|/\n/gis;
# print ">>>>>$title\n\t$body\n\n";
#if(rand(100) < 10){last};

# print OUT $title . "\n";
print OUT $body;
close OUT;

- type ZZ (two capital Z's)

4. Run the converter

- perl convert.pl yourmemofilename

5. Open the memo files in Evernote

- select and then right click on about 20 of your newly created memo files.

- select open with Evernote

- each memo will be added to Evernote

- you can close each memo after it is added

- repeat with the next 20

Hope this is helpful!

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