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ANSWERED How Can I Backup My Notebooks?

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Does anyone know how I can backup the information in my Evernote notebooks? I'd love to back them up to Dropbox. Is that possible? Thanks in advance! 

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I think that a forum or web search would help you -- there is plenty of discussion about it here on the forums. It also helps if you mention the Evernote client you are using (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, web).

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Does anyone know how I can backup the information in my Evernote notebooks? I'd love to back them up to Dropbox. Is that possible? Thanks in advance! 

 

Try Revert.IO 

It is free and specializes on Evernote backups (along with a few other programs).

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Does anyone know how I can backup the information in my Evernote notebooks? I'd love to back them up to Dropbox. Is that possible? Thanks in advance! 

 

Your best protection is to do your own backups -- do NOT rely on Evernote.

 

I recommend using a local backup system like MS Windows Backup for EN Win, and Time Machine for EN Mac, for ease of restore, and on online system like CrashPlan for catastrophic protection.

 

I haven't used Revert.IO (as mentioned by JBenson2) yet, but I really like what I have read about it.

 

Here is a comprehensive Mac Backup strategy provided by long-time Evernote user/ guru and Forum member GrumpyMonkey (AKA Christopher Mayo).

 

Windows users may also want to review EN KB Article Backing up and Restoring Evernote Data under Windows

 

One final note:  Use of export to ENEX files will backup your Note content, but, when you go to restore, it will have these limitations/issues:

  1. All links to these Notes will be broken
  2. This is really an export/import process, NOT a true restore
  3. Notebook names and Stacks will be lost
  4. Tag hierarchies will be lost
  5. When you do the restore it will go against your monthly upload allowance because Evernote sees these as NEW Notes.
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I've used https://www.cloudhq.net for a year and it works very well. It gives me peace of mind to see that every single time I make a change to anything in Evernote, I get a little notification in the upper right corner of my Mac screen that it's backing up the change to my Dropbox!

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On March 11, 2016 at 4:22 PM, bjkd said:

I've used https://www.cloudhq.net for a year and it works very well. It gives me peace of mind to see that every single time I make a change to anything in Evernote, I get a little notification in the upper right corner of my Mac screen that it's backing up the change to my Dropbox!

I wasn't clear if it's backing up your entire database each time, or just the individual change being made.

On the Mac, I have default backups via time machine, and I'm concerned that my entire database folder gets backed up. I haven't been able to verify this.

I'm looking into doing a delta export each morning of changes made the previous day

Also, with your backup, do you have a restore plan.  For example, let's say you've lost some important notes.  How will you use your backup file to restore the.

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2 hours ago, DTLow said:

I have backups via time machine, and I'm concerned that my entire database folder gets backed up. I haven't been able to verify this.

Why the concern?  Time Machine backs up everything, except for folders you exclude.
TM does not backup the entire Evernote database/folder every time.  It backs up ONLY the files that have changed since the last backup.
Keep in mind that most of the EN Mac "database" is not really a database, it is many, many folders and files, with one folder for each Note.
There are a few actual SQLite databases that are  used to store your note metadata, and other stuff.
For more info, see:  Use Time Machine to back up or restore your Mac 

Of course, the best way to gain confidence is to actually do a restore.  When you do a restore, you can choose to restore to either the original location, or a new location.  So you could restore your entire Evernote database folder to, say an external drive, and then verify everything.

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23 minutes ago, JMichaelTX said:

Why the concern?  Time Machine backs up everything, except for folders you exclude.
TM does not backup the entire Evernote database/folder every time.  It backs up ONLY the files that have changed since the last backup.

An example, I made a simple change to a note on my Mac.  Below shows the files that were changed and which I assume woulld be backed up (I'm working on the Modified date)

For Window users, you have a single .exb file 
I'm still not clear what  https://www.cloudhq.net will back up?

56e3a0487e15f_ScreenShot2016-03-11at8.49

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18 hours ago, DTLow said:

Below shows the files that were changed and which I assume woulld be backed up

Just to be clear, you can't just restore one note from TM backup, and expect the EN Mac app to see it.  You will need to restore the entire top-level Evernote folder (which includes the SQLite databases), and maybe even the Evernote app if your backup is old enough.

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1 hour ago, JMichaelTX said:

Just to be clear, you can't just restore one note from TM backup, and expect the EN Mac app to see it.  You will need to restore the entire top-level Evernote folder...

And yet, according to @bjkd, Cloudhq seems to be doing that. I'm curious as to what's being backed up.

 every single time I make a change to anything in Evernote, I get a little notification in the upper right corner of my Mac screen that it's backing up the change to my Dropbox!

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2 hours ago, DTLow said:

every single time I make a change to anything in Evernote, I get a little notification in the upper right corner of my Mac screen that it's backing up the change to my Dropbox!

Backup is one thing.  Restore is another.

Time Machine also backs up every change, once an hour.

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On 3/12/2016 at 7:32 PM, DTLow said:

I have backups via time machine, and I'm concerned that my entire database folder gets backed up. I haven't been able to verify this.

Maybe this will help:

  • TM backs up every change once an hour.
  • When you restore the top-level Evernote folder, it will restore ALL files and subfolders in it as of the selected date.
    • So the restored folder will look and contain everything as you saw it on that date.
    • I have just verified this doing a restore of my Evernote folder to another drive
    • For more info, see How Time Machine Works its Magic 
      (Note: if you get a "page not found" at first, keep trying)
       

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4 hours ago, JMichaelTX said:

For more info, see How Time Machine Works its Magic 

Thanks for the resource; it was informative and indicates I may have even been incorrect in looking at Modified Date
Its obvious this line of thought is not a solution to Backing up notebooks/changes to Dropbox

Edited by DTLow
added "line of thought"

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7 minutes ago, DTLow said:

Its obvious this is not a solution to Backing up notebooks/changes to Dropbox

I don't know what you mean by that.  What is "this"?

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On March 11, 2016 at 4:22 PM, bjkd said:

I've used https://www.cloudhq.net for a year and it works very well.

 

On March 11, 2016 at 5:32 PM, DTLow said:

It wasn't clear if it's backing up your entire database each time, or just the individual change being made.

I think I found the answer to my question re cloudhq backup.
On the Dropbox side you have the note in pdf format, and it's updated realtime as the note is updated in Evernote.

My solution is a script running each morning to export the previous day changes.
It creates both enex and html formats; more useable than pdf; but not realtime.

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10 hours ago, DTLow said:

My solution is a script running each morning to export the previous day changes.

How often have you had to use these daily Evernote exports?

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1 hour ago, JMichaelTX said:

How often have you had to use these daily Evernote exports?

Only a couple of times, but that shouldn't reflect on the need for backups.

Aside from the Dropbox backup solution the OP asked about:

- My first step for recovering lost notes is to look in my trash folder. 

- I also find the Evernote note history useful for bad edits.

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1 hour ago, DTLow said:

Only a couple of times, but that shouldn't reflect on the need for backups.

Agreed.   The question I have is what type of backup is necessary:

  1. Time Machine
  2. Export to ENEX (and/or HTML)
  3. Both

The presumption is that it is easier to recover a note in an ENEX file than it is to recover it from a TM backup.
As far as I can tell, that is the only advantage of having an ENEX backup over a TM backup.

But is the ENEX backup "system" really easier over all, considering that you have to manually manage the entire process?
Of course with the Mac you can write scripts that would automate much of the process.  But that is added work, and of course not available to Windows users.

This has to be balanced against the effort required to backup and restore selected Note(s) using Time Machine, and how often you are likely to need a restore.

Time Machine:

  • The entire backup process is automatic.  All you have to do is turn on TM.
  • TM then does a backup once an hour.
  • Restore is no doubt more complicated
    1. Move or rename the current Evernote top-level data folder
    2. Do the actual TM restore of the Evernote top-level data folder for a selected date
    3. Open EN Mac, and export the desired Note(s) to ENEX
    4. Delete the restored Evernote folder
    5. Move or rename the original Evernote folder back to original location/name
    6. Open EN Mac, and import the ENEX you just exported to a Local Notebook
    7. Move the Note(s) to your sync'd Notebook

Let's look at the ENEX Process:

  1. Make sure you do the daily export to ENEX
    1. This is a lot of work, if done manually
    2. You can write a script, but that is extra work, and you have to make sure the script always runs.
  2. Find the ENEX file that contains the Note(s) you want to recover.
    (how do you do this?)
  3. Open EN Mac, and import the ENEX file to Local Notebook
  4. Find the Note(s) of interest, and copy to your sync'd notebook

Step #2 (Find the ENEX) could be the challenge.  If you don't know the date of the ENEX backup for the specific Note of interest, how do you find the Note amongst all of the many ENEX files you have?  With TM, all I have to know is the most recent date when the Note existed and had the proper contents.

So, to me, it comes down to how often I might need to recover a Note from backup.  If it is once a year or more, then the TM approach seems the most appropriate, the least amount of work.  If it is once a week, then the ENEX approach seems better.  Somewhere between a week and a year will be the crossover point that makes the TM approach more attractive.

Thank goodness I've never had the need to restore from an external backup.  The built-in Trash and Note History of EN Mac have always provided the only "backup" that I have needed.

This is another one of those areas of Evernote that each person has to decide what works best for him/herself.  For me, I see no need for a routine ENEX backup of my account.  TM will serve my needs very well.  YMMV.

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On March 14, 2016 at 8:46 PM, JMichaelTX said:

The question I have is what type of backup is necessary:

  1. Time Machine
  2. Export to ENEX (and/or HTML)
  3. Both

It's not clear which platform the OP uses, only for a Dropbox solution.
(Dropbox works for me; it gives me access to the backup from my Mac, iPad or web)

I think for this discussion the Mac Time Machine should be excluded.
I would also add the pdf/cloudhq solution; for some platforms, it is the only solution.

A html/pdf backup makes it easy to locate a note.
A enex backup makes it easy to restore a note (requires desktop platform)
So I do both, linked by a filename/foldername or date.

I wouldn't want to do this backup manually.  
On the Mac, it was easy to automate and schedule in AppleScript,
and the pdf/cloudhq solution is also automatic.

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So here's my question (which I think *may* have been answered, but if so...not in the way I had hoped)...

Is there a way to backup my *entire* EN database with all my notes, with all stacks, tags, links etc. preserved...and restore it so it looks and works just like it did pre-whatever happened? Is it as simple as just copying all the DB files, and restoring them back to exactly where they came from?

I mean, if the only way to do that is to export via .enex, then import and MANUALLY re-create *everything*...wow.

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13 hours ago, EricLorenz said:

Is there a way to backup my *entire* EN database with all my notes, with all stacks, tags, links etc. preserved...and restore it so it looks and works just like it did pre-whatever happened? Is it as simple as just copying all the DB files, and restoring them back to exactly where they came from?

I mean, if the only way to do that is to export via .enex, then import and MANUALLY re-create *everything*...wow.

>>.enex

This is not a backup; it's an export and import
Be aware of the limitations such as

  1. There may be a size limit; you don't want to find this out when your import aborts
  2. The enex export does not contain notebook information
  3. The import will create new notes; links are not preserved

>>backup

For a true backup, you have to backup and restore the database files.
For a Mac, this is a folder of files,
for Windows, it's a .exb file
Warning: The restore will trigger sync activity with the Evernote servers.
I'm not clear on how this will work out since the databases are from different dates.

To be honest. although I have backups,
my restore procedure would usually be to let Evernote rebuild my database by downloading my notes from the server.
If I had to restore deleted notes, I would retrieve them from the Trash notebook.

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3 hours ago, EricLorenz said:

Is there a way to backup my *entire* EN database with all my notes, with all stacks, tags, links etc. preserved...and restore it so it looks and works just like it did pre-whatever happened?

The answer to your direct question is:  Yes, using Time Machine.

The rub, however, is the restore.  Yes, you can fully restore your EN DB using TM.  BUT . . .

  • Any changes you made and sync'd to the EN Cloud will overwrite the TM restored DB, as soon as you connect to the EN Cloud, and sync again.

Here is a good example:

  • I have 16,000+ notes, with ~1,500 tags
  • More importantly, I have a very complicated tag hierarchy.
  • When I backup my notes (by any means) they will include tags (as long as I checked "include tags" in the export)
  • Let's say I went crazy (or crazier), deleted all my tags, and sync'd to the EN Cloud.
  • I Could restore all of my Notes with their tags, but I would have to manually recreate my intricate tag hierarchy.

BUT, I have thought of this, so I have a backup of my tags, including the parent tag of each, using AppleScript to a CSV file.
Using AppleScript with this CSV file, I could easily recreate my tag hierarchy.

Of course, in a worst-case scenario where you had not made a backup of your tags. you could restore the EN DB, and then backup tags.

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This is a related topic, I have created a feature request thread to address backups. The idea is to use a version controlled system based on the imported/exported date (search for git backup). If you think it is a good idea then chip in.

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