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I have found Evernote to support everything necessary to be a next-generation file system with tagging and document organization I would prefer to store all my documents (PDFs, etc.) in it to be seamlessly integrated with typed notes.

But, I'm nervous about storing all my personal documents without knowing for sure there will always be a way to access the underlying PDF files, etc.

Where are those files stored?  Besides dragging them out of the note onto - for example, a desktop - is there a system location where copies of all the PDFs or other attachments are hiding?

Thanks,
Justin

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11 hours ago, jekins said:

But, I'm nervous about storing all my personal documents without knowing for sure there will always be a way to access the underlying PDF files, etc.

Where are those files stored?  Besides dragging them out of the note onto - for example, a desktop - is there a system location where copies of all the PDFs or other attachments are hiding?

The notes and attachments are maintained in the EN database and can only be accessed using the EN software.

I maintain a backup copy of my notes in HTML format on a cloud drive.
This is maintained using the EN export function, run daily for changed notes.
This backup includes all attachments (pdf etc) and can be easily accessed

Even without the backup, I have access to my data on my Mac, my iPad, my iPhone and the web platform.

In addition, EN maintains Note history to allow access to previous versions

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10 hours ago, jekins said:

I have found Evernote to support everything necessary to be a next-generation file system with tagging and document organization I would prefer to store all my documents (PDFs, etc.) in it to be seamlessly integrated with typed notes.

But, I'm nervous about storing all my personal documents without knowing for sure there will always be a way to access the underlying PDF files, etc.

Where are those files stored?  Besides dragging them out of the note onto - for example, a desktop - is there a system location where copies of all the PDFs or other attachments are hiding?

Thanks,
Justin

If you are using the Windows desktop application all the PDFs are stored in a data base on your PC.  Go to Options to see the location.  You can export PDFs at any time by searching for notes with PDFs, Ctrl-A to select all, and right click to select export attachments.  

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...and see the Google Docs integration.   More information - https://help.evernote.com/hc/en-us/articles/218734618

Currently Android and Web (Chrome only) - more platforms coming.  Launch post - https://plus.google.com/u/0/106947406594901198103/posts/VbeEoxX2d7P?cfem=1

Evernote has some limits on its online OCR,  and I prefer to carry out my own process before uploading files - mainly I then know that the file is searchable immediately.  However too many 300-page manuals and books bulks out the database and can add a lot of false hits in searches.  I'm looking at moving a lot of my PDFs to GDrive and linking them to a 'bookmark' entry in Evernote.  In your context this would keep your files separate (don't forget regular backups though) and give you the luxury of an Evernote index for searches.  You would not have the full content search if a file is attached from GDrive though.

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Thanks for everyone's thoughtful answers.  As it turns out, I'm using a Mac and I found the database folder, which has all embedded attachments (all my PDFs) in their original format in subfolders, so I'm definitely able to fish them out of their if something unforeseen happened.

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I store all my PDF's and other documents in folders (Import-2015, Import-2016, etc.) on my PC and then have these folders identified in Evernote as import folders (Source=Keep in the Import Folder setup).  The folders are actually on a Goggle Drive so have an automated "backup" with them as well.  A majority of my PDF's are hard-copy that EpsonConnect scans directly into the GD cloud folder, which Evernote almost instantly imports a copy into my primary notebook.  From there I add my tags, title and move it to the appropriate notebook.  All in all a pretty painless process for me.  The one negative is that I cannot initially control the PDF's file name when scanned and imported, a limitation of my printer. I rarely bother with renaming the file and just give the EN note page a meaningful title.

Been doing this for about 3 years now and comfortable that I have a readily available copy of my documents if something was to happen with my Evernote data.

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13 hours ago, TX281 said:

The one negative is that I cannot initially control the PDF's file name when scanned and imported, a limitation of my printer. I rarely bother with renaming the file and just give the EN note page a meaningful title.

Isn't this a serious negative.  
For me, I would end up with various pdfs named Scan001 etc.  Without the EN note, this would not be very useful
I would think renaming the files is mandatory if you have any hope of accessing them outside the EN framework.

I encourage backups for your EN data, but I don't think independent backup of your source is the route to go. After verifying the input to EN is complete, I discard the original source.

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I usually scan to a folder on my hard drive and rename the files to something significant before uploading them to Evernote. With the latest Google drive integration,  the ones I need to be content-searchable will go to Evernote,  others (300-page manuals!) will go to GDrive with a link back to an Evernote note.

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11 hours ago, DTLow said:

Isn't this a serious negative.  For me, I would end up with various pdfs named Scan001 etc.  Without the EN note, this would not be very useful

Yea, if I were to leave EN, then would have that issue to deal with I suppose.  I can either take the extra couple steps to deal with it now or possibly later, but no plans to leave EN, so a non-issue for me until then.  As Gazumped notes, I'm liking the GDrive integration feature and finding that for some documents keeping them in GDrive and linking to EN is ideal.

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12 hours ago, DTLow said:

Isn't this a serious negative.  
For me, I would end up with various pdfs named Scan001 etc.

Depending on the scanner not much risk of duplicates since you can set the file name to include date/time.  It would be a problem for sure if you were to export them all.  2012_01_22_12_28_48.pdf doesn't tell you much as a title doesn't tell you much about the document.  

However, I'm with @TX281, not going to worry about it since no plans to leave EN, so will cross the bridge should I come to it.

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