Jump to content
Ilja

Splitting my Evernote database into two

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

 

I saw there have been several discussions regarding similar questions as mine, but none that addressed it specifically, so I hope you forgive me for posting this.

 

Once upon a time, when life was simple, I started my Evernote account and put pretty much everything into it. Gave it little thought, to be honest. Several further though, I find that that approach is getting to be problematic. For one, I have two jobs: one as curator of a museum (paleontology/minerology), and another one in which I divide my time between doing (historical) research and more administrative tasks.

 

Particularly that last combination causes problems. I find that from both perspectives, my search results are perpetually being polluted by information I don't need, and it is getting mightily irritating. I have always used Evernote as a sort of storage attic and in hindsight, I should've taken tagging more seriously. Too late now, I'm afraid.

 

The question: would it be possible to split the database in two, so to speak, and use one portion when I'm working on a research project and another portion for admin tasks? I would rather not shell out more money than I need to, but if there's no alternative, that's what I'll do. Another option would be to combine Evernote with an app such as DevonThink. Any suggestions?

Share this post


Link to post

Hi.  It's a feature (not a good one) of every big database that sooner or later it will include more or less every word you could possibly search for,  and an ever-increasing number of possible phrases;  so yours is a problem that most people will face in time.  There are a few ways around the issue though -

 

Longer term you may like to opt for my current solution of no new notebooks (unless absolutely necessary);  no tags - initially at least - but quite long titles for my notes.  I use date (as yyymmdd),  origin (letter/leaflet/newspaper),  source (name of the originator),  keyword(s) - effectively my 'tags' - all as:  <date> <origin> <source> <keyword1 keyword2> - note the spaces.

 

An "intitle:<term>" search usually works quite well.  If I have too many 'hits' I'll refine the search until I'm satisfied and consider adding a tag so I can get to the same list much more quickly in future.  My tags list grows only very slowly now...

 

Short term you could consider just using another account for current work.  A Premium account can switch between itself and any number of additional basic accounts.  You could add a new Premium account to take care of current work,  and downgrade your other account(s) to Basic.  Share your existing notebooks with the new account if you wish to have full visibility,  but you may find it viable to add all new notes to the new account and switch to your 'archive' as and when you conduct searches.

 

It would be possible to move notes from one account to the other,  either by exporting them to ENEX files (check that export of tags is enabled),  or by sharing the notebook and simply copying notes from the old account into the new.

 

If you:

  • are moving notes from a premium account to basic or plus,  beware that there's a monthly Upload Limit for new material added.
  • downgrade a big account to basic or plus,  beware that you may not be able to edit some notes that are bigger than the new tier limits,  though you can copy and paste from there into a new note.  Beware also that searches inside PDF files and Office files may no longer be available.

Hope that helps.  Please beware also that I don't have any personal experience of working with a big secondary account - I have around 21000 notes in one premium primary account (mostly in one notebook) with a few thousand in a couple of other basic accounts for various sharing and testing purposes.  There may be other drawbacks I haven't thought of.  Other commenters here might be able to point out any of those - but if it all proves impractical,  you could always up- or downgrade one or other accounts and try another options.  One of the attractions of Evernote is:  if one process doesn't work - it's easy and quick to try another way...

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Gaz offers some very valid points about two accounts. Be especially aware of his comment on the monthly Upload Limit. It might take several months to gradually move your notes to the 2nd account.

 

Some other users have moved away from Evernote when they reached the 50,000 to 60,000 note region. Some people, myself included, believe there is a scalability problem with Evernote. The upper limit is 100,000 notes. I have not seen any solid information from Evernote on their testing / verifying large quantities of notes in one account. 

 

When I hit 30,000 notes last year and ran into data problems, Evernote Support suggested I create a 2nd account to split up my notes. Half of my notes were political / news clippings, so it was easy to make the transfer. I bought a 2nd Premium account to speed up the transfer process. For safety reasons, I moved small quantities of notes, cleaned the trash, sync'd both accounts before moving more notes. I also kept many backups just in case something when wrong.

 

Keep in mind that Evernote search only works on a single account at a time.  If you want to search the 2nd account, you have to log off the first one and sign-on to the 2nd one. 

 

Another issue I ran into with a 2nd account is:

Exporting from account #1 and importing into account #2 will strip the tag hierarchy (parent / child) and move them all to the same level. 

 

My current workaround solution is to use other cloud storage services along with Evernote - WorkFlowy, DropBox, OneNote, Google Drive, Flickr.

Share this post


Link to post

If it is just search woes that you have, instead of splitting the database another option, and what I've done, is to create stacks and search uniquely in them.  In my case I have two, work and home.  For your example use three.  I then create a saved search for each stack and save it as a shortcut in the tool bar.  The query is just stack:work and stack:home for the other.  In the search bar drop down menu select "Search Current Content." Then when I just want to search work stuff I first click the work shortcut in the tool bar and then I click in the search field and type what I want.  This will then search only in the work stack.  Once set up it only requires an extra click to search the unique stack.  You can use notebooks instead, but I have several work notebooks and collect them into a work stack

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Ilja

 

 

The answer to your question, "would it be possible to split the database in two" is "yes". - - - As a matter of fact, with EN's "Export" and "Imports" features, it is easy and fast. However, it does lead to creating a second account, which may cost more, depending on the specifics of your needs.

 

Also, there is the chance that you will have to spend a fair amount of time (hours?) identifying and marking which of your Notes should be in your EN Database A and which in EN Database B.

 

Once you do identify and mark the Notes, in the same time that would take you to "split" your database, you could move one set of Notes into a Notebook that could be named "Research" and the other set into a Notebook named "Research & Admin". Then, before you do a search in EN, select the Notebook that has the relevant information that you are looking for. S2sailor offers some details above as to how this approach works for him.

 

Just some additional information to help you decide how to proceed.  

Share this post


Link to post

For one, I have two jobs: one as curator of a museum (paleontology/minerology), and another one in which I divide my time between doing (historical) research and more administrative tasks.

 

Particularly that last combination causes problems. I find that from both perspectives, my search results are perpetually being polluted by information I don't need, and it is getting mightily irritating. I have always used Evernote as a sort of storage attic and in hindsight, I should've taken tagging more seriously. Too late now, I'm afraid.

 

The question: would it be possible to split the database in two, so to speak, and use one portion when I'm working on a research project and another portion for admin tasks? I would rather not shell out more money than I need to, but if there's no alternative, that's what I'll do. Another option would be to combine Evernote with an app such as DevonThink. Any suggestions?

 

Unless you are running into performance issues with your current account, I would suggest that the best way to "split" your database is to use a combination of Notebooks and Tags.  I would NOT create a new Evernote account, except as a last resort.

 

Whether you choose to MOVE some of your Notes to a different account, or assign different tags, or move to a different Notebook, the first step is the same:  Do one or more searches to identify/select these Notes.

 

From what you have written, it would appear that you have 3 primary areas of interest:

  1. Museum
  2. Research
  3. Admin

One approach is to create 3 tags by those names (or other names that you would prefer), and then assign at least one of those tags to each Note.  

 

One of the great benefits of using tags is that you can assign multiple tags to the same Note.  So while in general you will segregate your Notes with those tags, there may be some notes that relate to more than one tag (area of interest).

You would not be able to do this using either Notebooks or separate accounts.

 

So you could begin by searching for keywords in the Title that would clearly identify the Notes as falling in one of the 3 areas of interest.  Then select the results of this search, and apply the tag(s).  Repeat this for each area of interest.

 

If you still have notes without any of these three tags, then you could do searches of the Note contents using the same or similar keywords you use for the Title search, and exclude any note already that have the desired tag.

For example in the Search box:  museum -tag:museum

will find all Notes that have the word "museum" in the Note body or title, BUT do NOT have the tag "museum"

 

After you finish tagging all your Notes with one or more of these tags, then you can do Searches that exclude and/or include any/all of these tags.

 

For example:

tag:museum -- returns all notes that have the tag museum

tag:museum -tag:research -- returns all notes that have the tag museum  but do NOT have the tag research

 

Of course, you can also create/assign tags for each of your research projects.

For this use, I like to use a prefix like "PRJ." plus a short project name or number.

So, you would have "PRJ.2015-01" or "PRJ.NAFossils"

 

This should make it very easy for you to focus on just one area of interest when you desire to do so, while also being able to find all Notes about a particular subject across all areas of interest (Museum, Research, Admin).

 

For more info on using tags,

See The Benefit of Using Tags  

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

All of you, lots of thanks for coming up with a bunch of possible solutions, but also deepening my understanding of Evernote. For now, I'm going to see where group tags and stacks are going to get me.

 

Thanks!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
On 14/10/2015 at 8:37 AM, Ilja said:

Hi all,

 

I saw there have been several discussions regarding similar questions as mine, but none that addressed it specifically, so I hope you forgive me for posting this.

 

Once upon a time, when life was simple, I started my Evernote account and put pretty much everything into it. Gave it little thought, to be honest. Several further though, I find that that approach is getting to be problematic. For one, I have two jobs: one as curator of a museum (paleontology/minerology), and another one in which I divide my time between doing (historical) research and more administrative tasks.

 

Particularly that last combination causes problems. I find that from both perspectives, my search results are perpetually being polluted by information I don't need, and it is getting mightily irritating. I have always used Evernote as a sort of storage attic and in hindsight, I should've taken tagging more seriously. Too late now, I'm afraid.

 

The question: would it be possible to split the database in two, so to speak, and use one portion when I'm working on a research project and another portion for admin tasks? I would rather not shell out more money than I need to, but if there's no alternative, that's what I'll do. Another option would be to combine Evernote with an app such as DevonThink. Any suggestions?

One catch here: AFAIK, if you export notes & then re-import them, shortcut links between notes get broken (I think this has been a known issue for some time).

Share this post


Link to post
33 minutes ago, Alan Rew said:

One catch here: AFAIK, if you export notes & then re-import them, shortcut links between notes get broken (I think this has been a known issue for some time).

That's a good point. I prefer to use shared notebooks when I need my notes viewable in multiple accounts.  The links are preserved

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Alan Rew said:

would it be possible to split the database in two, so to speak, and use one portion when I'm working on a research project and another portion for admin tasks?

Hi.  From the sound of it,  your notes are mixed together fairly randomly,  so that a search for one topic generates hits that are relevant to both your fields of interest.  So while yes,  it is possible to split your database in various ways,  how practical would it be to do that task in one go?  It sounds as if you have an ongoing admin job which will take some time to work through.  My suggestion would be to carry on as you are,  making your searches routinely - but add one refinement.  If your search turns up notes that are museum-,  history-,  or research-related,  add the appropriate tag to the notes in your list of search hits. 

Then next time you search,  add the standard extra terms "-tag:museum -tag:history" (for instance) to exclude those subjects.  After a while you'll be able to pro-actively search for "tag:museum <search term>" to only find notes that relate to that subject.  But it may take a while if you have lots of notes! 

Remember that you can keep an 'admin' note with your tag combinations and search phrases to avoid repetitive typing - or you could use a text-expander to convert a keystroke into a complicated term.  And if you're presented with a long lost of hits,  just tag the notes you actually use,  rather than trying to go through 50 notes to tag them all.

It may take some while,  but you'll be doing something concrete to avoid your searches being polluted by false hits in the future,  and you can add new notes with an appropriate tag so they'll be quick to find.

You could do the same thing by moving notes into appropriate notebooks,  but that would break links that I gather you're using.  Tagging won't have that effect.  Hope you find that helpful.

 

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, DTLow said:

That's a good point. I prefer to use shared notebooks when I need my notes viewable in multiple accounts.  The links are preserved

Ah, thanks for the info! In that case, I'd definitely want to look at shared notebooks if splitting one account into 2.

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...