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Jean-Michel

Still no way to bulk-import our data from read-it-later services?

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Hello to the evernote community!

 

So, I was a evernote user a few years ago, stopped to use it and switched to other services. 

 

Today, I have given Evernote another try, found that many things improved, starting with the fact that I simplified my usage of Evernote. Less  is more.

 

Biggest problem I have right now is that it doesn't seem to exist any usable data migration tools.

I am sure the Evernote community has a lot of die-hard fans that are here since years,

but welcoming new users is also very important for it to grow,

and an essential point for new users is the data-migration part.

Proof is that this topic comes up again and again, and it seems no response come.

 

See for example:

  1. bulk import HTML file with links
  2. REQUEST: Save full text automatically
  3. Read it later articles
  4. Is there a way to import my articles I already have in pocket to evernote?
  5. Evernote and Pocket
  6. http://www.makeuseof.com/answers/how-can-i-move-my-pocket-bookmarks-over-to-evernote/
  7. http://www.cultofmac.com/221894/move-over-instapaper-and-pocket-dotdotdot-adds-notes-tags-and-comments-opinion/
  8. http://www.cultofmac.com/221894/move-over-instapaper-and-pocket-dotdotdot-adds-notes-tags-and-comments-opinion/

 

People want to import the data they already have in their current read-it-later service.

I'm not talking here about tools like ifttt or zapier that are useful for new data, but don't migrate your existing data.

 

I am talking about tools like

  • Pocket 
  • Readingpack
  • Instpaper
  • Wallabag
  • Readbility
  • ...

A lot of us have hundreds of notes there that currently can't be exported to Evernote,

thus for us, Evernote would fail the "Remember Everything test".

 

Most of those tool either have an API (that's why ifttt and zapier can make use of them) or can export the data as a list of urls.

 

For pocket for example that would be http://getpocket.com/developer/ and https://getpocket.com/export

 

So please, give us a way out of our current services :)

 

 

   Jean-Michel

 

 

EDIT: better display questions of people having a similar problem

Edited by Jean-Michel

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To show how doable it should be for the great devs we have here,


here is how my pocket export file looks like :



<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<!--So long and thanks for all the fish-->
<head>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" />
<title>Pocket Export</title>
</head>
<body>
<h1>Unread</h1>
<ul>
<li><a href="http://example.com/" time_added="1373484756" tags="tag1 tag2">Listen! | Speaking of Translation</a></li>
...
</ul>
<h1>Read Archive</h1>
<ul>
<li><a href="http://example.com/article2.html" time_added="1372885501" tags="">title 2</a></li>
....

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Thanks for the suggestion.  Evernote developers do read these posts,  so maybe they can take this on board;  but there are a lot of other applications out there,  any of whom may change their format at any time.  Evernote would need to double the size of its development team to write and maintain an exit routine specific to every one,  not to mention then accepting responsibility for the integrity of the data imported - which may or may not have been clean in the first place. 

 

It is possible to export files from most applications,  and the trick at the moment is to find a file type that can be attached to an Evernote note and displayed inline - or a file type that can be converted to a displayable format.  (There are lots of online converters.)

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Hi @gazumped,

 

thanks for your reply.

 

There are a lot of other applications out there,  any of whom may change their format at any time.  Evernote would need to double the size of its development team to write and maintain an exit routine specific to every one,  not to mention then accepting responsibility for the integrity of the data imported - which may or may not have been clean in the first place. 

 

 

I understand that concern, but it is not valid.

Look for example at the Pocket export file a user get from https://getpocket.com/export 

Basically it's a list of URLs.

And URL is an internet standard specified by rfc3986, so it won't change anytime soon :D

 

It is possible to export files from most applications,  and the trick at the moment is to find a file type that can be attached to an Evernote note and displayed inline - or a file type that can be converted to a displayable format.  (There are lots of online converters.)

 

 

Yes, it is possible to import files one by one from most applications.

But that's not what users who have a lot of urls in their read-it-later service or bookmarks need.

They need a batch tool that would

  • find all URLs in a given html or text file

then, for each of those URL

  • fetch the article
  • prune it like the web clipper does
  • create an .enex note that would containe
    • the article's title
    • the article's source URL
    • the content of the article
    • the tags if it recognize them
  • then we only have to import the .enex notes in evernote to "store everything" there.

I think I have 2500 URLs in my pocket export file.

Computer science was invented, so that we don't have to do this kind of thing manually :)

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I don't think Evernote has any ambition to become a batch conversion facility to copy URL pages into notes - and I can imagine all sorts of problems that might arise if it did,  such as: suppose you run out of upload allowance midway through the process / the links change / you inadvertently include a malware site in your list...

 

Wat I said earlier  - "the trick at the moment is to find a file type that can be attached to an Evernote note and displayed inline - or a file type that can be converted to a displayable format."

 

Not saying that Evernote won't consider something that might help,  but they don't normally disclose what they're planning for the future.  Your feature request will have been noted...

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This "trick" just does not do the work.

We are not talking about content that could be attached to a single note.

 

We are talking about how to import hundreds of existing content (articles accessible from a public url) from an existing service.

 

 

I don't think Evernote has any ambition to become a batch conversion facility to copy URL pages into notes 

 

Then maybe they should change their slogan to :

 

"Remember everything you have not stored before. Forget everything you have stored befoe"

 

:P

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We seem to be going around in circles.  To summarise:

  1. Evernote doesn't have the specific features you want.
  2. Posting here brought the suggestion to the attention of the developers.
  3. There are other ways to import bulk files into Evernote,  just not in the manner you requested,  which may have some practical difficulties.
  4. Evernote may,  or may not,  do something more on this.

Thanks for your suggestion.

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I agree with Jean-Michel.  It is absurd that you can't bulk-import data from read-it-later services.  Yesterday, Evernote looked useful, and I this morning subscribed to the Premium version of Evernote. Now that I know that this won't work, there is no way that I will keep paying them.  Jean-Michael is right.  Their slogan should be, "Remember everything you have not stored before. Forget everything you have stored befoe."  I will start looking in to competitors today.

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You could use applescript to import your urls. I found this link

 

http://www.daigolab.org/instapaper-to-evernote-mac/

 

I am using a combination of python and applescript to import my pinboard notes into evernote (1100 bookmarks). It is not completely foolproof because of evernote crashes. Sofar I have imported approximately 900 bookmarks in 2 hours. So it is defenitely doable.

 

hp

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I put the import code on github. In case some wants to try.

Evernote might crash a few times. I have absolutely no idea why this happens. But the process is memory hungry and with a simple measures I was able to minimise the number of crashes

 

  • Evernote sync on pause
  • Dropsync on pause
  • Apps that weren't essential were closed

The link https://github.com/hgp1964/import_links_into_Evernote

 

Have fun,

 

hp

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I'm trying to understand the reasoning behind a bulk-import feature request for articles from read-it-later apps. I too use Pocket as part of my workflow. 

  • If one has hoarded so many articles that it is not possible to manually export the ones you need to Evernote one at a time - one would find it incredibly difficult to make any progress with actually reading those same articles. 
  • Evernote is not the best reading environment, especially since it does not have a dark background theme, despite popular demand (see the thread on the same topic)
  • If one is primarily interested in older articles showing up in "Context" so that nothing would escape you when you do an Evernote search or are reading a specific note - I could understand that. But. Wouldn't one be polluting your Evernote account with old information when there is fresh meat out there on Google? I mean, Google is pretty much still the standard for searching stuff, I think - and if you want to cross-check stuff in your Evernote account, you could simply turn on "Google Simultaneous Search" in your Web clipper add on. Wouldn't someone be worried in the least that they are not getting the most recent developments? 
  • It seems that for some, Pocket might be a tool that fits a hoarding compulsion rather than something that actually serves a practical purpose as it relates to productivity... like, say, "reading something later" at a more convenient time. 
  • Let's forget about what is technologically possible for a while... and let me ask why one wouldn't hassle Pocket to implement a bulk-export feature (specifically to Evernote) as opposed to asking Evernote to implement a bulk-import feature. There's nothing in it for Pocket, really. That implies you're jumping ship. Conversely, what's in it for Evernote? I don't think they'd be interested in rolling out that kind of feature, since their new vision is to make us better at what we do - work smarter and all that good stuff. Besides, they've already provided many on-ramps for easily getting information into our account as it is.
  • What does anyone do with 16.900 links anyways? How does one search those links in a meaningful way with no visual cues? Or even if a new note were to be created for each web page, what on earth would one do with all of those notes? I'm trying to wrap my head around this. I know some might have a few hundred - but still. The world is constantly churning out new media for us to consume. It's like trying to get an inbox with thousands of emails down to zero, when there is no need to anyways, because most of them are obsolete.

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I see the use case fine -- you may have actually read a fair number of the articles; now you want to suck them into a more permanent location, one that has pretty good search and organizational facilities. I wouldn't want to sit down and try to organize ~17K articles, but you can make a start, I suppose.

 

If Pocket can export to HTML, then it may be feasible to import those into Evernote wholesale. I don't know that it can, but if not, why not? That'd be a pretty good question to ask the Pocket folks.

 

Lack of dark background seems to be beside the point: I find a white background eminently readable; I don't find dark backgrounds at all readable, at least based on my KIndle  experience, on KIndle Fire and on Android.

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I'm trying to understand the reasoning behind a bulk-import feature request for articles from read-it-later apps. I too use Pocket as part of my workflow. 

  • If one has hoarded so many articles that it is not possible to manually export the ones you need to Evernote one at a time - one would find it incredibly difficult to make any progress with actually reading those same articles. 
  • Evernote is not the best reading environment, especially since it does not have a dark background theme, despite popular demand (see the thread on the same topic)
  • If one is primarily interested in older articles showing up in "Context" so that nothing would escape you when you do an Evernote search or are reading a specific note - I could understand that. But. Wouldn't one be polluting your Evernote account with old information when there is fresh meat out there on Google? I mean, Google is pretty much still the standard for searching stuff, I think - and if you want to cross-check stuff in your Evernote account, you could simply turn on "Google Simultaneous Search" in your Web clipper add on. Wouldn't someone be worried in the least that they are not getting the most recent developments? 
  • It seems that for some, Pocket might be a tool that fits a hoarding compulsion rather than something that actually serves a practical purpose as it relates to productivity... like, say, "reading something later" at a more convenient time. 
  • Let's forget about what is technologically possible for a while... and let me ask why one wouldn't hassle Pocket to implement a bulk-export feature (specifically to Evernote) as opposed to asking Evernote to implement a bulk-import feature. There's nothing in it for Pocket, really. That implies you're jumping ship. Conversely, what's in it for Evernote? I don't think they'd be interested in rolling out that kind of feature, since their new vision is to make us better at what we do - work smarter and all that good stuff. Besides, they've already provided many on-ramps for easily getting information into our account as it is.
  • What does anyone do with 16.900 links anyways? How does one search those links in a meaningful way with no visual cues? Or even if a new note were to be created for each web page, what on earth would one do with all of those notes? I'm trying to wrap my head around this. I know some might have a few hundred - but still. The world is constantly churning out new media for us to consume. It's like trying to get an inbox with thousands of emails down to zero, when there is no need to anyways, because most of them are obsolete.

 

These links are from Scientific Articles and Interesting News for many years of reading.

It´s all about the storage and search: [not google] but in selected/already readed articles. Try to search something Gold you already viewed in internet, but you don't remember in what place.

Pocket stored badly and didn't have search function available, so I found evernote.

I dont read in Evernote. I re-search what is in it.

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On 7/9/2014 at 7:35 PM, gazumped said:

We seem to be going around in circles.  To summarise:

  1. Evernote doesn't have the specific features you want.
  2. Posting here brought the suggestion to the attention of the developers.
  3. There are other ways to import bulk files into Evernote,  just not in the manner you requested,  which may have some practical difficulties.
  4. Evernote may,  or may not,  do something more on this.

Thanks for your suggestion.

More importantly, prospective Evernote customers should be aware that Evernote does not provide a reasonable method to export one's notes. The only two options are a proprietary format that other apps cannot read, or exporting all of your notes into individual html files. This is in contrast to, for example, Instapaper, which can save your entire library into a single html file that can then be easily imported into other products like Pocket. (Of course, since Pinterest has now bought Instapaper, it's probably only a matter of time before this feature is removed, hence my switch to Pocket.)

So, in other words, Evernote is intentionally making it difficult for you to take your data with you should you decide you want to switch to a better app later on. Pretty scummy if you ask me, and just the latest reminder of why I stopped using this product.

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2 hours ago, freediverx said:

More importantly, prospective Evernote customers should be aware that Evernote does not provide a reasonable method to export one's notes.

Actually Evernote is one product that allows easy export of your notes.
I simply right click and select export.

>>The only two options are a proprietary format that other apps cannot read, or exporting all of your notes into individual html files.

It turns out the xml format is the method being used by other products - for example MS OneNote and Apple Notes
The alternate html format seems to be a reasonable standard - maintaining all the data and in common use

>>Instapaper, which can save your entire library into a single html file that can then be easily imported into other products like Pocket.

I'm not sure how useful it would be for my 7000+ notes to be in a single html file.
Other than Pocket, are there other products that could use this single file?
My understanding was that it was a special setup for 
Instapaper > Pocket conversion, and it was limited to small files.

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8 hours ago, freediverx said:

The only two options are a proprietary format that other apps cannot read, or exporting all of your notes into individual html files. This is in contrast to, for example, Instapaper, which can save your entire library into a single html file that can then be easily imported into other products like Pocket.

This is a false statement. Evernote -- or at least the Windows client -- can export a collection of notes into a single HTML file, and has been able to for years. Please stop spreading FUD.

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+1

IMHO extremely useful, even much more today then at the start of this thread, and when you look at the enormous success of feed aggregators like Inoreader, Instapaper, Feedly, etc. and the success of content aggregators like pocket. Big part of ENs success in popularity AND reviews were the content clippers like the Web Clipper (Mostly) and now the Outlook clipper (To some part). Meaning: Collecting and archiving content, from casual to mass use, based on personal and professional needs. 

It still seems to be ENs spirit to be the digital brain. The storage of all important and relevant content when and where needed. At least this has been said quite from the start to mz knowledge, and still has been repeated not long ago by the new CEO.

When most ppl in this world use the internet from their Android/iOS device like latest studys show, the too rely on apps to aggregate the content like those mentioned above, with a huge trend of growth in use compared to access by web browser. It is a superior concept, because of its convenience, but also for (semi) professional use and the so called "power users". 

The connection between different web services is now one of the most important factor for software; Web services or local traditional software alike. Zapier and IFTTT are a prominent example for the huge need and want for this.

A walled garden type of company strategy drove MS towards the wall, and even market leaders in traditional desktop software now understood this, now they often use their new openness for advertising purposes, and see this as a major advantage to customers. 

I hope the new CEO will push EN into the (not so) new times of web services, and connection between them.

For example: A "batch save" option in webclipper would make things much easier when working with a service like pocket or inoreader, at least till there is a better and deeper integration.

I do understand that keeping code for other services APIs up to date can be huge work, and therefore costs.

But there are anyway only some top services in the market, so if would be limited to some extent. 

And i too think, that EN should diversify more for special usecases, like Journalistic / scientific research, writers in general, casual home, and business office use, use for Bloggers, archiving Media like important photos, Videos, etc.

I would pay more then my premium account, if there would be special plugins/addins/extensions for some of the use cases. If they could make EN more modular software wise, this would be a huge benefit. A mass of threads there is about EN not being to diversified for those mentioned or other use cases. 
PPL are never a statistic sum. There all have a special use case and workflow. So its just stupid company wise, to reject them, even when a feature request gets supported by a larger number of paying customers.

The old CEO of the Opera Browser said a few days ago something like about his new Browser: When a feature is only wanted and used by 1%, the do it, as long as it is technically possible and doable. 

And BTW: The mass of ppl who only use EN for some casual note taking will never pay for premium. Its the power users, the EN fans and community, the professional and semi professionals who pay. And as i said, i would pay more for extended options (IMHO Addins would be best, to disable not needed stuff), and i think from mz experience on reading here for years, that i am not alone with it..

Create some reasons to counter OneNote. It looks like that creators update in spring 2017 will continue to improve on integration between Windows and MS Office, and OneNote too is being pushed with constant updates and enhancements. Rumors about a whole new UX too.. Plus the web clipper has made a giant leap forward. 

 

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Still not clear on what Evernote is supposed to import, and where it's to come from

fwiw  For import to Evernote, I parse data files on my Mac, using AppleScript.
So, if the aggregator has an export option, I can work with the data
 

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