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Backing up and restoring Evernote data (Reference article)

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Just for posterity...

 

For those who stumble across this thread via a forum/ Google search, here's a straightforward blog post on how to back up and restore your Evernote data:

 

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2932989/syncings-not-enough-how-to-back-up-and-restore-your-evernote-data.html

 

The premise is the following:

 

"Syncing's not enough... syncs can go awry. Cloud services can go down. Here's how to ensure your notes are there when you need them."

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Nice article, BUT, it fails to inform the user of the major limitations of using ENEX files.

 

One issue with ENEX export/import that everyone should be aware of is that you will lose information in this process:

  1. All Note Links to any of the Notes in the ENEX are broken, lost, and will have to be recreated.
  2. The ENEX files do not contain any Notebook data.
  3. When you Import the ENEX file, the Note Created Date is lost, and set to the current date/time.
  4. To preserve Tags in the ENEX files, you must check the checkbox to include Tags during both the export and import process
  5. Tag hierarchy is not preserved.  If you had one, it will need to be recreated after the import process
  6. If the ENEX files came from Sync'd Notebooks,
    1. the Sync'd NB will have to be recreated, and the import of the ENEX Notes moved into the appropriate NB.
    2. Moving these Notes into Sync'd NBs will go against your monthly upload allowance

 

REF:  How to back up (export) and restore (import) notes and notebooks

 

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I am surprised the article does not mention the .EXB file in Windows.

 

If one doesn't have any local notebooks... everything, including tags, tag hierarchy, attachments, notes, notebooks, and stacks are stored in that single .EXB file which makes regular backups easy.

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Revised:  2016-05-01

Here's a more complete reference.
Your best protection is to do your own backups -- do NOT rely on Evernote.

EDIT:  Based on recent discussions, and more thought on my part, I have revised this post yet again to reflect my current thinking.  Others may disagree.

If you want to backup your Evernote Notes so that you can recover them in case of loss, you have a number of choices.  Choose the Backup Strategy that works best for you.  
See my followup discussions below:

  1. Export to ENEX files
    1. Because we cannot do a true restore from a personal backup, we will ultimately need to export Notes to be recovered to ENEX files even if the Evernote database is restored using backup software
    2. Export each Notebook to a separate ENEX file, and be sure to check "Include Tags".  It is best to name the ENEX file with your NB name since the ENEX file does NOT contain any NB info.
    3. Evernote provides an import process to pull these exported Notes back into Evernote
    4. So it is not really a backup/restore, but a export/import process.
    5. For more info, see this EN Knowledgebase article:
      How to back up (export) and restore (import) notes and notebooks
    6. See the major limitations of using ENEX files above
    7. Third party apps to automate backup using ENEX are starting to appear:
      1. Backupery for Evernote Windows is one (but I have not used/reviewed it).  For a discussion about it, see Backupery thread.

      2. CrashPlan 

  2. You can also use a local backup system like MS Windows Backup for EN Win, and Time Machine for EN Mac, to backup the Evernote folder on your machine
    1. Database Folder to Backup
      1. Mac -- See Location of Evernote Data Folder for EN Mac 
      2. Windows -- See How to backup your data in Evernote for Windows 
    2. This is most useful when
      1. you have had a loss of the EN database on your PC/Mac, and have you have NOT had an changes/deletions of notes since the backup;
      2. OR if you have a large EN database you wish to move to a different PC/Mac
    3. Keep in mind that you cannot restore selected Notes using the backup software
    4. Be aware that you cannot use Time Machine to just backup one folder/subfolders.  
      1. TM does an incremental backup of all files/folders on your Mac, except for the ones you specifically exclude.
      2. So if you want to just backup your Evernote data folder, then it is best to use other backup tools.
  3. For catastrophic protection use an online system like CrashPlan to backup the Evernote folder on your machine
    1. CrashPlan does offer a backup process that does an export of changed Notes to ENEX.

If you want a backup that is independent of Evernote, then export your Notes to HTML.

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

 

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Discussion of the Backup and "Restore" Process

Question:  What is the best way to backup my Evernote Notes?
Answer:     It depends on Which Strategy Causes the Least Pain/Effort?. while still providing a secure, reliable backup.
 
Regardless of your backup strategy, just realize that you can't do a true restore.  Read on for details.

Putting aside Local Notebooks for the moment, the important thing to keep in mind is that we can't do a true restore in the usual sense of restore.  As an example of true restore, take a look at the backup of files/folders on your PC or Mac.  If you restore any file from this backup, then the OS accepts the file restored as the latest version of that file.  If you had previously created a file alias, or URL, to that file, it will still work.  Not so with Evernote.

Evernote only recognizes one source as the master, authoritative source for a Note:  The Evernote Cloud Service.

When you "restore" (actually an ENEX import) a Note from your personal backup, you are not technically performing a restore.  You are creating a new Note (with a new GUID).  So if the original Note still exists on the EN Cloud Service, then it is NOT changed by your "restore".  You will actually have two "versions" of your Note in Evernote, even though they have the same Note Title.

Many of us, including me, have often said it is important to do you own backups of the Evernote database on your PC or Mac, using backup tools like Time Machine (Mac) or Windows Backup.  While this does preserve the Note content, a simple restore of the Evernote database using your backup software will not actually result in restoring Notes that were deleted or changed since the backup.  After the EN database restore, as soon as you open the Evernote app, and sync to the EN Cloud, all of the Notes you just restored will be overwritten by the version from the EN Cloud, or deleted if the Note no longer exists in the EN Cloud.  So, you have just lost the purpose of doing the restore from backup.

While I'm talking about restore using your backup software, let me make the point that you can't just restore selected Notes from this backup.  You have to restore the complete EN database (while disconnected from the Internet), then start the Evernote app and export the Notes of interest to ENEX files.

Finally, while you can recover the Note content from your personal backup, there is no way to recover/restore other data in the Evernote database, like Notebooks, Tag trees, Saved Searches, Shortcuts, etc.

The most important thing about doing a backup is to preserve the content of the Note.  So doing an ENEX export (or HTML export) achieves that purpose.  The ENEX export provides the best source for easily getting the Note content back into Evernote, but as a new Note, not as a replacement for the current Note in Evernote.

 
If you lose the Evernote database on your PC or Mac (for any reason), the easiest, and only true restore (in most cases) of Evernote to your PC/Mac is to reinstall Evernote app, and sync (downloading in this case) all of your Notes from the EN Cloud.  However, this obviously does NOT restore notes in your Local Notebooks.  To recover those, you will need ENEX exports.
 
Limitations of ENEX export/import:   Some data is lost in this process
  1. All Note Links to any of the Notes in the ENEX are broken, lost, and will have to be recreated.
  2. The ENEX files do not contain any Notebook data.
  3. When you Import the ENEX file, the Note Created Date is lost, and set to the current date/time.
  4. To preserve Tags in the ENEX files, you must check the checkbox to include Tags during both the export and import process
  5. Tag hierarchy is not preserved.  If you had one, it will need to be recreated after the import process
  6. If the ENEX files came from Sync'd Notebooks, 
    1. the Sync'd NB will have to be recreated, and the import of the ENEX Notes moved into the appropriate NB.
    2. Moving these Notes into Sync'd NBs will go against your monthly upload allowance
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23 minutes ago, JMichaelTX said:

 It depends on the purpose of your backup.

I think that's the most significant point in answering this question.

If it's the technical definition of backup, you have to be looking at file backups both on and off site.

If we're taking about trying to retrieve a note that somehow got purged, I go to my html export.  And by purged I mean it's gone, not in the trash; not on the EN cloud.

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2 minutes ago, DTLow said:

If it's the technical definition of backup, you have to be looking at file backups both on and off site.

Good point.  One strategy is to export your changed Notes to ENEX files, which are then backed up by your PC/Mac backup software.

That also is an advantage the CrashPlan offers, automatically export to ENEX and backup to the CrashPlan cloud (all encrypted).

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On 7/2/2015 at 4:13 PM, jbenson2 said:

I am surprised the article does not mention the .EXB file in Windows.

 

If one doesn't have any local notebooks... everything, including tags, tag hierarchy, attachments, notes, notebooks, and stacks are stored in that single .EXB file which makes regular backups easy.

As a Windows user I just back up the .exb.  Everything, including local notebooks, is included.

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2 hours ago, s2sailor said:

As a Windows user I just back up the .exb.  Everything, including local notebooks, is included.

Yup, you are correct. Local notebooks are included in the .EXB file

For Windows users, backing up using the .EXB file is so much easier than anything else mentioned.

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32 minutes ago, jbenson2 said:

For Windows users, backing up using the .EXB file is so much easier than anything else mentioned.

Doing the backup is the easy part on both platforms.  ;)  Time Machine on the Mac is extremely easy:  set it and forget it.

The rub is "restore"', or "recovery" as it should be called.  Just like with TM, to recover selected Notes from a .EXB backup requires replacing the current, active .EXB, and then exporting the selected Notes to ENEX, then putting the active .EXB back in place.

Also, to be clear, even if you restore your .EXB, you can't use any of the other data in it, like Notebooks, Tag hierarchies, stacks, etc. to update your account.  Evernote will not allow you to override the most current data they have in the EN Cloud with older data from your backup.

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Restoring a single note does take a few steps but is really not that difficult.  Fortunately, I've only needed to do that once.  I have had to replace a bad HDD a couple of times and have moved the database over to a new laptop a few other times and have found moving the .exb file painless.  I'm not following your comment below.  Tags, notebooks and stacks moved over just fine, as I recall.  I haven't had to do this recently.  I don't know if tag hierachies are maintained since I don't use those.

12 hours ago, JMichaelTX said:

Also, to be clear, even if you restore your .EXB, you can't use any of the other data in it, like Notebooks, Tag hierarchies, stacks, etc. to update your account.  Evernote will not allow you to override the most current data they have in the EN Cloud with older data from your backup.

 

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I think there is no contradiction between your and JMichaelTX statements. If you copy your freshly synced Evernote database to a new hard drive, timestamps on your Evernote objects (notes, notebooks, tags) are the same as in the EN Cloud, so when the next sync occurs, Evernote will not overwrite your local Evernote data.
But if you copy an old Evernote database so timestamps on the Evernote objects are older than in the EN Cloud, so Evernote will overwrite your local database with the most recent cloud version of Evernote data.

On 1/6/2016 at 5:32 PM, s2sailor said:

Restoring a single note does take a few steps but is really not that difficult.  Fortunately, I've only needed to do that once.  I have had to replace a bad HDD a couple of times and have moved the database over to a new laptop a few other times and have found moving the .exb file painless.  I'm not following your comment below.  Tags, notebooks and stacks moved over just fine, as I recall.  I haven't had to do this recently.  I don't know if tag hierachies are maintained since I don't use those.

 

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On 1/6/2016 at 8:33 PM, JMichaelTX said:

Doing the backup is the easy part on both platforms.  ;)  Time Machine on the Mac is extremely easy:  set it and forget it.

The rub is "restore"', or "recovery" as it should be called.  Just like with TM, to recover selected Notes from a .EXB backup requires replacing the current, active .EXB, and then exporting the selected Notes to ENEX, then putting the active .EXB back in place.

Also, to be clear, even if you restore your .EXB, you can't use any of the other data in it, like Notebooks, Tag hierarchies, stacks, etc. to update your account.  Evernote will not allow you to override the most current data they have in the EN Cloud with older data from your backup.

According to Tier 2 Evernote Support on Windows desktop

To restore .EXB file or import .ENEX files:
Both file types will have the notebook names and tags. Neither file type will maintain tag hierarchy or stacks. 

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To be clear the EXB file does contain stacks and tag hierarchy if you leave it be  But if you restore an EXB to get something out, the something out will not keep either.  

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18 hours ago, jbenson2 said:

To restore .EXB file or import .ENEX files:
Both file types will have the notebook names and tags.

Well, I have not tested this in EN Win, but my understanding for a long time is that ENEX files do NOT contain any Notebook information.  So when you restore an ENEX file, it will not provide any original NB information.

I did just do a test in EN Mac 6.3 on Yosemite (10.10.5), of export all Notes in a NB to ENEX, and then import that ENEX back into EN Mac.
Here is what I found:

  1. No NB info is exported or imported, regardless of the fact that I selected a NB, right-click, and selected "Export. . ."
  2. When I did the import, EN Mac created a new Local NB named "Import " + ENEX file name, which in my case was "Test ENEX Export".
    So the Local NB was named "Import Test ENEX Export" automatically by EN Mac
  3. All Tags were retained and restored.
  4. Surprisingly, both the Created Date and Updated Date were stored in the ENEX, and imported back in with the Notes.
    This is contrary to EN KB, and may, or may not, be the same in EN Win.

Here's a screenshot of my Note List after import:

EN-Mac-6.3-ENEX-Export-Import.png

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EN Win confirm, ENEX files in Windows do not contain any notebook information.  You either export by notebook or add a tag for notebook if you want to export all notes.  The former tends to be the better alternative IMO.

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Is there any way to restore notes from the web EverNote to the Mac EverNote?  I upgraded and mistakenly let CleanMyMac uninstall the old version including all the support files, which included all my notes.  Now I have an upgraded version of EverNote on my Mac with no notes, but my notes are still all on my web account.

I did some testing and found that if I sync from the Mac client, it will delete all the notes on the web account.  I'd like it to sync the other way, from the web account to the Mac client, to restore my notes instead.

Any suggestions?

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On 2/26/2016 at 11:48 AM, eqgirlw said:

EverNote on my Mac with no notes, but my notes are still all on my web account.

Generally the only way this could happen is if you are logged in using different Evernote accounts.

In EN Web, click on your name in the upper right corner, which should show a dropdown.  Then click on "Account Settings" to view your UserName and account email.  As a safety precaution, while  you are using EN Web, you may want to backup all of your critical notes using the Share > email feature.

Now go to EN Mac, and make sure you are logged in with that same email account.

The EN Web app provides a direct connection to your account in the EN Cloud.  All you need to do to download your notes from the EN Cloud to your Mac is to install and log in to EN Mac using the same account email.  EN Mac will automatically sync with EN Cloud, thus downloading your notes.

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It turns out that if the Note was created in the client, synced with the Cloud, and then deleted from the client... syncing again will delete it from the Cloud, not restore it to the client from the Cloud.  I bit the bullet and manually copied each note from the Cloud, one at a time back into my client EverNote.

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On February 26, 2016 at 9:48 AM, eqgirlw said:

Is there any way to restore notes from the web EverNote to the Mac EverNote?

As previously mentioned - reinstall Evernote and the notes will be downloaded.  
Its been done many times to resolve problems.
Actually you could just delete your database folder, and it would do the same, however refreshing the app is a good practice.
Warning: This does not include local notebooks

You might want to look into setting up backup processes.

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On 7/2/2015 at 3:14 PM, JMichaelTX said:

 I now believe that export to ENEX is the best method.

 
There are two major backup strategies that can be used with Evernote:
  1. Export to ENEX files
  2. Backup using traditional file-based backup systems
Previously, I expressed a preference for #1, but I have now changed my mind back to #2, at least for EN Mac.
Both are very good strategies.  It just depends on where you want to do the work:
  • On the front end, doing a very frequent export (at least daily)
    OR
  • On the back end, ONLY when/if you need to do a restore.
 
Exporting your Notes to ENEX files, one per Notebook, is a PITA, IMO.
Restoring selected Notes from a backup system is also a PITA.
 
So, the question comes down to which causes the least pain, and when do you want to encounter the pain?
 
With #1, you have to either build or buy a tool to do the daily export to ENEX.  Then, you have to also backup these files using #2.  
 
With #2, you don't have to do anything extra for Evernote until you need to do a restore.  You just backup Evernote along with the other files on your PC/Mac.
Then, only when you need to restore selected Notes, will you encounter significant manual pain to first restore the actual Evernote database, and then export the selected Notes to ENEX.
 
But, you may not need to ever do #2, or only on a very rare basis.  Personally, I have never needed to restore any Evernote Note from my personal backup.
 
So, the decision is easy for me:  Put off the pain until I have to do the work, i.e. use strategy #2.
Since I need a traditional file-based backup system anyway, why not just rely on it for the Evernote backup?
 

I do not backup my notes in EN Mac to ENEX for these reasons:

  1. It is a PITA to do so
  2. It is very unlikely that I will ever need the ENEX backup
  3. I use the Mac Time Machine (TM), which does a backup of changed files/notes every hour.
  4. So, even though it is a PITA to restore selected Notes via TM, I figure that I would only encounter that pain very rarely, if ever.  So far I have never needed to restore a note from TM backup.
  5. My TM backups go to a NAS unit, which is a 3 TB RAID-1 (6 TB total) system.  So I feel well covered.
 
Potential Backup Issue for Evernote Windows
 
EM Mac stores all of your Note contents in files/folders.  So incremental file-based backup is easy.
 
EN Windows stores everything in a SQLite database.  If you have lots of Notes, let's say > 10,000, this database can be quite large, easily 10-15 GB.  So the issue is when a backup system like Windows Backup does a normal, incremental (only files that have changed) backup, how does it handle the EN Win database?  If your backup system has to backup the entire database every time, then that can quickly mount up to very large storage requirements for your backup system.  This would also cause the time required for the backup to increase significantly.
 
My guess, and it is only a guess, is that most backup systems (especially the free, low-end models) will have to backup the entire database.   I say this based on my experience with Backup Exec, a very high-end system, which required a special module to incrementally backup databases.  But this would be a question for the manufacturer of your backup system.
 
Because of this issue with backup of the EN Win database, backup strategy #1 may be preferred, since the daily backup would only be for new notes and notes that have changed, and that you have exported to ENEX files.  You would exclude the database from daily incremental backups, and include it only when you did a full backup (once a month?).
 
I hope you guys find this helpful.  Please feel free to ask any questions and/or challenge any of my statements/decisions.
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7 hours ago, JMichaelTX said:
There are two major backup strategies that can be used with Evernote:
  1. Export to ENEX files
  2. Backup using traditional file-based backup systems

Lesser backup strategies are:
        3. Evernote copy of your notes on the web servers
        4. Evernote note history on the web servers.
These can also be considered, but be aware of the disadvantages.

>>Exporting your Notes to ENEX files, one per Notebook, is a PITA, IMO

On the Mac side we're fortunate in that we can automate backups via scripting (Applescript) and/or time machine.  Very little pain for whatever solution is implemented.

>>So, the decision is easy for me:  Put off the pain until I have to do the work, i.e. use strategy #2.
In deciding your backup process, people should also consider how they will restore their notes
Its all great to have backup files, and then find out they have a a problem trying to use them.
This consideration should include restoration of individual notes or the entire database.

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This is an important subject.

What really ticks me off is the lack of participation by anyone from Evernote.

Evernote loves to brag about their unshakable "3 Laws of Data Protection".  (My data is my data and it is portable.)  But if a bad guy hacks into the Evernote server again and crashes some of my data, anything I have backed up is useless to sync with because my date stamps will be older than the trashed data on Evernote's cloud server.

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8 hours ago, DTLow said:

Exporting your Notes to ENEX files, one per Notebook, is a PITA, IMO

 

Greek chicken PITA, IMO:

pita.jpg

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Just imagine if I have 100 notebooks in my personal Windows Evernote account.

If I want to do nightly backups, does that mean I need to create 100 individual enex files each night?

Businesses accounts are able to create 5,000 notebooks. I wonder how they do restorable backups. 

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I'm living on the edge: I couldn't be bothered to back up my Evernote data. I default to the graces of the productivity gods. 

Anyways... don't you think the onus should be on Evernote itself to keep a backup of all information on their servers? 

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11 hours ago, jbenson2 said:

Just imagine if I have 100 notebooks in my personal Windows Evernote account.

If I want to do nightly backups, does that mean I need to create 100 individual enex files each night?

Businesses accounts are able to create 5,000 notebooks. I wonder how they do restorable backups. 

Not to mention the work to restore those 100/5000 notebooks

One solution would be to duplicate the notebook name with a tag.
Then it's just one export/import
**There is a secondary benefit to this because there are search benefits with tags

Is there a way to script this in Windows?

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5 minutes ago, DTLow said:

Is there a way to script this in Windows?

Simplest would be to keep a backup of the .EXB file.

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3 hours ago, Frank.dg said:

I'm living on the edge: I couldn't be bothered to back up my Evernote data. I default to the graces of the productivity gods. 

Anyways... don't you think the onus should be on Evernote itself to keep a backup of all information on their servers? 

It might be prudent to at least back up local notebooks.

By definition, there is no copy of these on the Evernote servers.

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Good point. Personally never saw the benefit of local notebooks. Don't have anything top secret and I "need" to have everything searchable on all my devices. 

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14 hours ago, jbenson2 said:

Just imagine if I have 100 notebooks in my personal Windows Evernote account.

If I want to do nightly backups, does that mean I need to create 100 individual enex files each night?

Businesses accounts are able to create 5,000 notebooks. I wonder how they do restorable backups. 

To paraphrase Henny Youngman, "If it hurts to have 100 notebooks, don't have 100 notebooks".  ;)

Just kidding.  Yeah, a utility of some sort to do notebook knowledgeable backup for restore purposes is needed.  Fewer notebooks, ENEX is not so bad, but still automation would be helpful.  More notebooks even more so. 

Could always add notebook name as a tag, but then why have notebook (other than the quick search restriction benefits).  Not a good solution at all.

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26 minutes ago, csihilling said:

To paraphrase Henny Youngman, "If it hurts to have 100 notebooks, don't have 100 notebooks".  ;)

Good point.

Actually, I only have 14 notebooks and could consolidate them down to 4 notebooks (pending, personal, financial, business).

The reason I threw out the 100 notebook number, was to point out how ludicrous the process of creating 100 nightly notebook-by-notebook.enex backups is. I'm hoping this discussion opens Evernote's communication policy and allows Evernote employees to respond. After using the program for the past 8 years, I no longer have confidence in the proper procedure for backing-up and restoring an Evernote Windows backup.  

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15 hours ago, Frank.dg said:

Simplest would be to keep a backup of the .EXB file.

Yes, I agree that is the simplest way to backup EN Win.

You just need to be aware of the following:

  1. This could require a large amount of backup storage, since most backup systems have to backup the entire database, not just the changes to the database.
    1. If you have a large number of notes (say > 10,000) and/or very large notes (like with large PDFs), then the EN Win database could be fairly large, easily in the range of 10-15 GB, or more.
    2. If you are doing a daily backup that adds 10-15 GB, that will quickly consume your backup storage device.
  2. If you ever need to restore Notes from the .EXB file, then you will have to:
    1. Copy or rename current EXB file
    2. Restore selected EXB file from backup
    3. Export Notes of interest to ENEX
    4. Put the original (from #1) EXB file back in place
    5. Import the ENEX files

As I mentioned above, I consider this less pain/effort than doing a daily export to ENEX, especially since I will rarely, if ever, need to restore note(s) from backup.
My biggest concern with this process is #1 above -- large backup storage required.

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20 hours ago, Frank.dg said:

Greek chicken PITA, IMO:

Do you have delivery?  :lol:
Looks great!

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1 hour ago, jbenson2 said:

Good point.

Actually, I only have 14 notebooks and could consolidate them down to 4 notebooks (pending, personal, financial, business).

The reason I threw out the 100 notebook number, was to point out how ludicrous the process of creating 100 nightly notebook-by-notebook.enex backups is. I'm hoping this discussion opens Evernote's communication policy and allows Evernote employees to respond. After using the program for the past 8 years, I no longer have confidence in the proper procedure for backing-up and restoring an Evernote Windows backup.  

Yeah, I have 10 notebooks, 2 of which are typically empty (INBOX and Scans) and 1 of which has a few notes or none (I named it Quick - easy way to get quick access to a current project set of notes by temporarily moving them there).  Could probably compress to 3 storage notebooks plus INBOX and Scans, but I like how the current set up facilitates searches in my use case.  Net of it all, manual ENEX backups once a week aren't too much of a labor.  IAC. it's mostly for local NBs and accidental deletes in synced NBs, history covers synced notes pretty well for me.

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Do you wonder how business account users using Windows back up their data?

Do they backup their notebooks individually each night?

Or do they assume that the Evernote cloud servers won't be hit by Cryptolocker type blackmailers? A few large medical/hospital corporations have been hit and ended up paying the ransom payment.

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19 minutes ago, jbenson2 said:

Do you wonder how business account users using Windows back up their data?

Do they backup their notebooks individually each night?

Or do they assume that the Evernote cloud servers won't be hit by Cryptolocker type blackmailers? A few large medical/hospital corporations have been hit and ended up paying the ransom payment.

Clueless.  You would hope the more users, the more sophisticated the company, the more critical the data, the more attention to backup/restore.  If you give EN credit for security, accidentally deleted notes are still an issue.

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1 hour ago, jbenson2 said:

Do you wonder how business account users using Windows back up their data?

You might be surprised at how many small-medium businesses have very poor IT management, often without even having a dedicated person to manage IT.

If it were my company or client, I would recommend CrashPlan for backup.  For details, see Backing Up Evernote with CrashPlan.

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We Mac users are very fortunate -- we have AppleScript that can do many things, with Evernote and other apps.

I felt sorry for you Windows users, so I did a bit of research to find that you too may be able to script export of notes to ENEX files.

REF:  Evernote Windows Command LIne Tools 


Exporting Notes by Notebook Using Windows ENScript
 
It looks possible to create a Windows script that will do a daily export to ENEX using the ENScript program, and some 
Windows batch file scripting.  I haven't done this, and don't plan to, but it looks like to me that the following could be done:
 
Schedule a Windows task to run each day, that runs:
  1. ENScript -- export list of Notebooks to text file.
  2. WinScriptHost -- Use this notebook list to build batch file with ENScript command lines for each Notebook to export Notes that have been changed/added to ENEX
  3. Run the batch file with the ENScript export command
The ENScript exportNotes query parameter is the key.  You could set both Notebook and Note Modified date.
 

ENScript Commands
 
listNotebooks
  • Lists existing notebooks:
  • - /t [local | synced] - Specifies whether local or synchronized notebooks are listed. If omitted, all notebooks are listed.
 
exportNotes
  • Export the set of notes to an Evernote export file (ENEX):
  • - /q query - Specifies the query that selects the notes to be exported. The query string is formatted according to the search grammar. To show all notes, use "/q any:"
  • - /f filename - Specifies the name of the file to export the notes to. If omitted, the ENEX is written to standard output.

 
Any Windows scripters out there up for the challenge?

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4 hours ago, JMichaelTX said:

We Mac users are very fortunate -- we have AppleScript that can do many things, with Evernote and other apps.

 
Any Windows scripters out there up for the challenge?

Export Scripts were presented here   http://www.jamierubin.net/2014/08/12/going-paperless-how-and-why-ive-automated-backups-of-my-evernote-data/

As @jmichaeltx said, the solution is Applescript/ENscript

For those with multi-notebook concerns, I'd suggest you preserve the notebook id 
- with a tag (one export/import)
- separate export/import per notebook

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On May 2, 2016 at 6:44 PM, Frank.dg said:

I'm living on the edge: I couldn't be bothered to back up my Evernote data. I default to the graces of the productivity gods. 

Anyways... don't you think the onus should be on Evernote itself to keep a backup of all information on their servers? 

From the tv show Firefly after a problem happens - I've given some thought to moving off the edge. Not an ideal location. Might get a place in the middle.

I do trust Evernote to protect my data, but I still have a backup stategy.  Actually I think I'm more at risk from myself doing something stupid and losing data.

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15 hours ago, DTLow said:

First of all, your reference is ONLY for Mac AppleScript.

Second, that is a terrible AppleScript.  I would never use it:

  1. It exports ALL notes without regard to Notebook
  2. It uses a very poor "find notes" statement, which can fail.
    set matches to find notes "created:19900101"
  3. It exports ALL notes without regard to date (last modified)

I would share my script, but I do not have an AppleScript for daily export of ENEX, because I don't need it.  As I stated above, I just use Mac Time Machine.

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On May 3, 2016 at 11:07 AM, JMichaelTX said:

First of all, your reference is ONLY for Mac AppleScript.

 http://www.jamierubin.net/2014/08/12/going-paperless-how-and-why-ive-automated-backups-of-my-evernote-data/

Second, that is a terrible AppleScript.  I would never use it:

  1. It exports ALL notes without regard to Notebook
  2. It uses a very poor "find notes" statement, which can fail.
    set matches to find notes "created:19900101"
  3. It exports ALL notes without regard to date (last modified)

I would share my script, but I do not have an AppleScript for daily export of ENEX, because I don't need it.  As I stated above, I just use Mac Time Machine.

Windows scripting is discussed in the comments 

I experienced no problems with the "find notes" statement, but would be interested in alternative coding. 

My personal script (Mac/Applescript) is here -Project: Applescript - Evernote Backup
This script backup is in addition to my Mac Time Machine backups.
Update: I no longer backup my Evernote data with Mac Time Machine.  This type of backup uses a lot of space and is of limited use.
 

Evernote_Backup.scpt

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1 hour ago, DTLow said:

My script (Mac/Applescript) is below; It does a daily backup of the previous day's changes, and a weekly full backup

If your script works for you, then that is great.

However, I would caution others to be aware of some issues:

  1. Use of the "with timeout" may mean that the export does NOT complete.
  2. It appears that you are running BOTH an incremental and total export on Saturday.  Not necessary and consumes extra storage space.
  3. You are exporting to BOTH HTML and ENEX -- not necessary IMO.
  4. Your statement for finding ALL notes is flawed:
    set theNotes to find notes ("updated:19900101")
  5. Neither your daily nor full exports do anything to identify the Notebook of the Notes.
  6. Your export location is hard coded, and will have to be changed by each user
  7. The name of your export file for full backup is fixed, and so it will be overwritten each week.
  8. You don't trap for any errors, so if there is one the user may not know what caused it.

 

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@JMichaelTX, @DTLow...

Now this is precisely why I don't bother to do backups. I'm considering not getting out of bed in the morning as an additional safeguard.

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BTW, I just copied my .EXB file. I was humiliated to find that the sum total of my Evernote footprint amounts to a mere 4.7 GB. Does this mean that I'm not a power user!? 

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1 minute ago, Frank.dg said:

BTW, I just copied my .EXB file

Congratulations, your first backup!  May you never need it.  B)

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15 hours ago, Frank.dg said:

BTW, I just copied my .EXB file. I was humiliated to find that the sum total of my Evernote footprint amounts to a mere 4.7 GB. Does this mean that I'm not a power user!? 

You would assume all those cartoons and the like would eat up more space.  ;)

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2 hours ago, DTLow said:

For Window users

Note: This covers the backup side of the discussion - the restore is manual

 
 
 

Thanks for the link.

For users with many notebooks (10 or more), creating nightly backups of each individual notebook is incredibly time-consuming. The automated process sounds like a winner to me.

Restoration should be a very rare event.

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On May 3, 2016 at 1:57 PM, JMichaelTX said:

You are exporting to BOTH HTML and ENEX -- not necessary IMO

The .enex format is for import to Evernote. 
I don't find the format too user friendly. 
Its searchable, but the only use I can see for it is as import to Evernote ( and Apple Notes and MS OneNote). If I'm locked out of Evernote, the format is of no use.

The HTML format can't be used as import, but it is an accurate representation of your notes and attachments. You get one file per note, and don't need Evernote to view your backup data.  This is how I'll survive the Evernote Apocalypse ?

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7 minutes ago, DTLow said:

I don't find the .enex format too user friendly. Its searchable, but the only use I can see for it is as import to Evernote ( and Apple Notes and MS OneNote)

Well, the purpose here is for backup, so I don't see any need to routinely export all of my notes to HTML, just so I can read them.  If the occasion ever comes up where I need to use a Note(s) outside of Evernote, then I can easily export to HTML at that time.

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1 hour ago, DTLow said:

This is how I'll survive the Evernote Apocalypse

IMO, this is a false flag.

Even IF Evernote (the company) were to disappear without notice tomorrow, my EN Mac app, and my EN Win app, would STILL continue to work, even without an Internet connection.  So I could at that point, export ALL of my notes to HTML.  Or, even better, since I use a Mac, I could use AppleScript to copy my EN Notes to another app, like DevonThink, Apple Notes, or any other Mac app that supports AppleScript.

So I never concern myself with an "Evernote Apocalypse", which will most likely never happen in my lifetime.  If it does, I'm ready.

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On 5/6/2016 at 3:20 PM, JMichaelTX said:

Even IF Evernote (the company) were to disappear without notice tomorrow, my EN Mac app, and my EN Win app, would STILL continue to work, even without an Internet connection.

 
 

I've often wondered what would happen to the content in EN should the company go belly-up. The company's recent downsizing and financial issues have brought the question even more often to the fore of my mind.

I recognize that the desktop clients have local storage of content, and that typically means continued local access if the online component goes dark. But some applications terminate app functions when servers go offline permanently. Are you sure EN would not be one of those? There's always the possibility that the cause of the online component ending requires that the desktop apps be rendered useless, too. For instance, in the event of EN losing a patent suit or for another reason being ordered to cease all operations. In that case, a court would give users the time to get their content out, but should one miss the announcement... Evernote Apocalypse.

On 5/6/2016 at 3:20 PM, JMichaelTX said:

an "Evernote Apocalypse", which will most likely never happen in my lifetime.  If it does, I'm ready.

Never say never. The entire point of backups is to act as insurance against the unforeseen, unlikely, or previously thought impossible.

 

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47 minutes ago, iamPariah said:

I've often wondered what would happen to the content in EN should the company go belly-up. The company's recent downsizing and financial issues have brought the question even more often to the fore of my mind.

I recognize that the desktop clients have local storage of content, and that typically means continued local access if the online component goes dark. But some applications terminate app functions when servers go offline permanently. Are you sure EN would not be one of those?

Funny you should mention that.  On the desktop platforms, if you're logged out of Evernote, you need Internet access to log back in.  You have the app and data on your device, but some sort of call to Evernote com is required.

My backup solution includes a non-Evernote solution to access my notes.  I use an html export to a cloud server.

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1 minute ago, DTLow said:

My backup solution includes a non-Evernote solution to access my notes.  This is an html backup to a cloud server.

1

Right, which I think is a very wise idea.

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5 minutes ago, DTLow said:

This is an html backup to a cloud server.

Do you back up your web clippings?

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2 minutes ago, Frank.dg said:

Do you back up your web clippings?

Its actually and incremental backup - all notes changed the previous day

I backup everything, regardless of source
At this time, space isn't an issue - so I don't have to be selective

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59 minutes ago, iamPariah said:

Never say never. The entire point of backups is to act as insurance against the unforeseen, unlikely, or previously thought impossible.

 

Evernote Apocalypse was my attempt at humour; I even added a ?

However a recent discussion on Ransomware presented a more plausible scenario.

Ransomware infecting your pc, and because of syncing also corrupts your Evernote Server data, along with all your devices 

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1 hour ago, iamPariah said:

I've often wondered what would happen to the content in EN should the company go belly-up. The company's recent downsizing and financial issues have brought the question even more often to the fore of my mind.

As far as I can tell, Evernote is in good financial health, and is on a road to return to its core mission and feature set.  I see no evidence of an "impending doom".  See this recent interview by The Verge:  Evernote's new CEO on the company's critics: 'I love to be underestimated' 

1 hour ago, iamPariah said:

But some applications terminate app functions when servers go offline permanently. Are you sure EN would not be one of those? There's always the possibility that the cause of the online component ending requires that the desktop apps be rendered useless, too.

Anything is possible.  But IMO, the scenarios you state are highly unlikely to occur:

  1. From the beginning, Evernote has stated that our data is "our data", and we are free to take it elsewhere.  To that end they have provided several export options.
    1. So I would be totally shocked if Evernote pushed out an update that prevented us from using the desktop apps.
  2. It is very rare for any company of size, with 100's of millions of users, to go out of business overnight.  In fact, I don't know of any.
    1. It is much more likely that Evernote themselves would give us ample notice to export our data
    2. I would expect some other large IT company, like Google and Yahoo, to buy out a failing Evernote, pennies on the dollar, and continue services, at least for the short term.
  3. In spite of the pundits, I see no current reason to expect Evernote to fail, to go out of business.
  4. On the contrary, I expect Evernote to either go public, or be bought by one of the big boys.
1 hour ago, iamPariah said:

Never say never. The entire point of backups is to act as insurance against the unforeseen, unlikely, or previously thought impossible.

I did not say absolutely never.  I said "most likely never happen in my lifetime".

I totally agree that each person should make their own backups.  I never (oops, there's that word ;) ) suggested that backups should not be done.

I did say in another thread:

On 5/21/2016 at 10:49 AM, JMichaelTX said:

Backing up your digital data is like buying insurance:  coverage vs cost vs risk of loss

IMO, there is no need, except possibly piece of mind, for buying more insurance than you need.

For me, I am quite comfortable with using only Time Machine to backup my EN Mac data (and everything else on my Mac) once an hour to a 3TB NAS running RAID 1 with high-end hard drives.  I have no need to also backup to ENEX or HTML.

But I do have two Macs, one highly portable, with Evernote and all of my critical data, as well as all of the critical data being in DropBox.

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In terms of a hypothesized Evernote apocalypse, you can add me to the list of people who aren't concerned. With 100 million registered users, I think that it wouldn't be long before we saw importers for .ENEX and .EXB files. It sounds like they are built off of common file formats. Their philosophy that we own our own data is so very important.

Also, I find the "The Verge" interview quite compelling. The new CEO sounds like he has his head screwed on right and is ready to build a strong foundation. The product isn't as polished as I'd like and presentation and work chat do nothing for me, but it's still the best out there in my view.

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On 5/27/2016 at 3:32 PM, DTLow said:

Funny you should mention that.  On the desktop platforms, if you're logged out of Evernote, you need Internet access to log back in.  You have the app and data on your device, but some sort of call to Evernote com is required.


And that is the part that concerns me...

Just to confirm:  I can have a complete (local) backup of my Evernote data (.ENEX or .EXB files), but a connection to Evernote's servers is required in order for me to access those (local) files via the Evernote desktop app?

So, if I ever get locked out of my online Evernote account (or if Evernote's servers go down), then I'm sunk?  Apart from HTML export, there is no option for accessing a (local) copy of my data unless I have an internet connection to Evernote's servers?

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4 hours ago, write2David said:

Just to confirm:  I can have a complete (local) backup of my Evernote data (.ENEX or .EXB files), but a connection to Evernote's servers is required in order for me to access those (local) files via the Evernote desktop app?

If you log out, you need access to the internet servers to log in.  My solution is to never log out

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