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Joe Goss

windows Import old notebooks into Evernote (using .enex) loses all note links

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Hi everyone

I use Evernote quite extensively, I have a premium account and end up uploading a lot of data, mostly .zip and images. I have my own way of using Evernote, I found thats how it works anyway because you have this open canvas almost and you are set to figure out how to make use of it. This is great and I have a cool system but the problem is I want to make use of exporting to a .enex file.

As you may know that's the native Evernote export database, and if you want you can export notebooks or your entire system. My set up is like this: I don't use search that much, I don't use tags and have about two notebooks. All of my organizing comes from note links, You know the ones where you right click and copy note-link, and then paste that into a new note. That's it, my entire Evernote system is based on note links. I really like it and it works for me. I guess my system is like a private website/private wiki/private note system/private journal. Its really useful.

Except the size, I need to at some point export some older parts of my system (because some synced computers have low Hard disk space). Moving a ton of notes into another notebook thankfully does not effect my note links. However exporting this for archiving purposes is a huge issue. If you export to enex and then import, every single link will not work

Here is the question, is my computer doing something abnormal for evernote. Why does exporting and importing lose every single internal link. You can test this by making just two notes, link one to another and export to enex, and then import, the links will be broken. If this isn't just me, can I submit this as a feature request? I really need to be able to export my notebooks without losing my primary navigation system.

Cheers

Joseph Goss

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This is a limitation of the ENEX export format. The exported link guids point to the original notes, but, when you import the enex you are creating new notes with new guids.

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Cheers for the quick response.

So its a limitation, is it possible to use the api to write a custom exporter? Can the api control the note links?

If possible I might try writing my own exporter. How would I import the notes though?

As I understand the only way to import is to write a converter to enex, which again would null all my links right?

No workarounds then?

Joe.

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None that I aware of. Note guid is not part of the exported metadata. In addition guids are assigned by the service, not by the client.

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My situation is similar to Joe Goss', as I use note links extensively. I want to give copies of a structured Evernote notebook (actually a half dozen notebooks) to other people for their own personal use. Exporting my notes and having them import them to their own Evernote seems like an easy way to do this, but, unfortunately, the links are lost. Is there an alternative or a way around my problem? If I share the notebooks, could the links be preserved? Would I have additional options if I had the Premium version?

I'd appreciate any suggestions.

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I've been thinking about this a bit. I have quite a lot of experience in this kind of reconciliation, having written a database and report-writer that included XML serialisation (way back in the 90's before XML became and then ceased to be *****).

It's not conceptually hard - a custom exporter/importer could write an ENEX file with additional metadata in the format, or alongside it, and use that to reconcile the original links when it uploads.

As I was writing the above, I wondered what would happen if I put a link to the note in itself. This works - you can effectively include the note's own link in its content, with a little bit of work!

The funny thing was when I imported that note back again - it went into Imported Notes - and clicked that link - it came up with both notes as a result of clicking the note. Temporarily, the newly imported note has the same GUID and is found by a local search. After a sync, the new note has its own GUID and clicking on the link just takes me back to the original.

I next tried deleting the original to see what effect that had on the link. It behaved the way I expected - the link is a valid HTTP address with nothing at the location so it doesn't trigger any visible change but it remains in the note.

This means, adopting this technique, you can have a bunch of notes which can be reimported in any order and the links repaired by a single scavenging program later.

eg: (simplifying the numbers for ease of reading)

Note MyIndex contains a link ID 145

Note Andy's Insights has the ID 145 and contains a link to self (manually created) with that ID 145.

Both notes are exported and imported into a clean system.

Andy's Insights now has the ID 197 and still contains that link to self of 145.

I could write a scavenger program that went through and built a target table of notes containing "link to self hyperlinks" that matches their old self GUID with their new GUID. It would then go over my other notes and find any pointing to those original hyperlinks, correcting them to the new ones. This is a search-and-replace on hyperlinks.

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wow - these are creative ideas to solve the note link GUID issue. it's been 2 years, has anyone here discovered or created a solution yet?

I was hoping to move many of my personal notebooks to Evernote Business & found it loses links in the process too :(

I, too, am a fellow wiki afficiando & note links is the basis of how my entire Evernote system works so I'm been in a funk around this matter & glad to see there are other peeps who bump into this too.

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I put a formal request to Evernote as I discussed in this thread, to add fields to the export. Seven months later, not a peep in response other than the initial acknowledgement.

As you should know by now, that's very common on this board, since EN does not discuss their roadmap or ETAs.

 

WRT the notebooks, two viable alternatives have already been discussed in other threads on this topic.  Either tag the notes with the notebook name or make an enex file for each notebook.

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WRT the notebooks, two viable alternatives have already been discussed in other threads on this topic.  Either tag the notes with the notebook name or make an enex file for each notebook.

 

 

That still doesn't fix the import-update issue of wanting to pull things in to update the same notes in the same notebook and it means you have to move notes to the destination notebook after importing. If they came from multiple notebooks that's a pain.

 

Due to some encouragement (pushing) from Chinarut, a github repo and wiki has been created and we welcome contributions.

 

I am incredibly busy but I fear nothing will solve this and I need to have solutions at least for my own apps. (Which, as they are priority 3 behind client work and touchgr.am will probably still not see daylight before 2015, sigh). We hope that by making this a well-seeded community effort, even if Evernote don't solve the problem, there will be created a viable alternative to help with import/export.

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So its a limitation, is it possible to use the api to write a custom exporter? Can the api control the note links?

If possible I might try writing my own exporter. How would I import the notes though?

 

Just to clarify, Joe was on the right track but the current ENEX limits mean that a custom importer is also required:

  1. You have to save additional data and know how to pull it back in.
  2. On import, you might want to update notes rather than add new copies.

 

The idea behind the smartENEX project is to define a community standard for an extended ENEX and enough tools to help people integrate custom import and export into their own product.

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I put a formal request to Evernote as I discussed in this thread, to add fields to the export. Seven months later, not a peep in response other than the initial acknowledgement.

As you should know by now, that's very common on this board, since EN does not discuss their roadmap or ETAs.

 

WRT the notebooks, two viable alternatives have already been discussed in other threads on this topic.  Either tag the notes with the notebook name or make an enex file for each notebook.

 

 

If you make an enex file for each notebook, when importing the enex file, are intra-notebook note links preserved?

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thanks @AndyDent for shaping my "encouragement" and forwarding the conversation with the rest of the group - didn't mean to be pushy with everything on our plates!

 

 

If you make an enex file for each notebook, when importing the enex file, are intra-notebook note links preserved?

 

 

some please verify this: i'm guessing because *all* GUIDs are reassigned, all note links are lost.

 

ps. I'm just noticing I'm in a Windows thread - i represent Mac and iOS users and more importantly, the cross-platform nature of this topic :)

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Hi all,

I am having the same issues with losing ALL links after importing enex files.  Our CFO just left the company and transferred ownership of around 1000 notes to me.  This is an incredible amount of knowledge that I am lucky to have, but in his system everything was linked internally to other notes in his records.  After importing the notes via .enex files I get the error:

"This note link refers to a note that does not exist on this computer. Do you want to synchronize and try to retrieve it from the server?'

Once I click 'synchronize' I get an error that reads:

'The note link refers to a note that no longer exists'.

I can see the notes that the links refer to, so I know they are there.

Do you have any suggestions as to how to restore the links?

I would be forever grateful!!

-PAul

 

 

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