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A better way to export and take backup of Evernote notebooks?

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Dear Evernote!

 

I love your service, and am actively promoting it to acquaintances. However, there are two backup-related features I am missing. If you fix these, my Evernote experience would increase significantly.

 

Situation:

 

In becoming a heavy user of Evernote, I am more and more dependent on the safety and security of all my files stored in the service. If I, or other users of shared notebooks, accidentally delete files, I do not want to risk losing them forever. Therefore, I now export my notebooks manually once a week. Still, this kind of backup is cumbersome, and at the mercy of human memory of remembering to do it. Furthermore, all backed up notes from many different notebooks are all squeezed into one backup notebook, making my Evernote backup files messy and unorganized. I therefore have two suggestions for you, which I hope you will consider.

 

Suggestions:

 

1. Adding an integrated scheduled / automated backup option that would automatically take backup of all, or selected, notebooks daily or weekly.

 

2. Allowing users to export Evernote notebooks in an organized manner that includes one's initial Evernote structure, i.e. keeping one's distinguished notebooks, with accompanying notes, in the Evernote backup file. 

 

Would you consider these suggestions?

 

Best regards, a passionate Evernote user from Norway.

 

 

Ps! With regards to scheduled backup, I tried third-party app "Evernote Exporter" (http://evernoteexporter.codeplex.com/releases/view/79142), but could not make this work. A solution to suggestion 1 could be similar to this.

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Hi.  Not sure whether Evernote think

  1. a backup on the server should be enough
  2. you should upgrade to premium and use Note History instead
  3. the commercial return from supplying a backup process is insufficient, 
  4. providing a backup option sends some sort of negative vibe for the software
  5. that add-on apps should provide this feature

-but for whatever reason it doesn't seem to be a priority.  If you're a Windows user,  you are lucky that copying the Databases folder provides a quick and easy backup of the current state of all your accounts (if you have more than one) - including any local notebooks.  (Make sure you exit Evernote first!)

 

Purists will point out that if you restore that backup after more than a few minutes,  some or all of the notes are liable to be overwritten by the more recent,  though possibly corrupt,  notes on the server.  That's true - if you are connected to the internet.  Using this method though it's possible to find and export the content of one missing or corrupted note in the whole database,  or export one notebook,  while offline,  then resume connected operations (having renamed or replaced database folders again in the meantime) to restore the notes or notebooks affected.

 

There are 'batch' ENEX export processors like Backupery,  which may be an acceptable option,  or you could set up a regular backup process for the databases folder with a little work.  I also would like Evernote to include a 'backup database' scheduled operation so I - as well as they - have ownership of my data.  (Not suggesting that Evernote actually gain some sort of title,  but they're holding my stuff!)

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However, there are two backup-related features I am missing. If you fix these, my Evernote experience would increase significantly.

. . .

 

Suggestions:

 

1. Adding an integrated scheduled / automated backup option that would automatically take backup of all, or selected, notebooks daily or weekly.

 

All of the data-related apps i have ever used do not provide a robust, scheduled backup system.  All of them rely upon, and allow the user to select a third party backup system.  Evernote does provide limited backup service in the form of export to ENEX files.

 

For more info, See Evernote Backup and Restore Options

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I really would like the ability to backup my notes to another format besides ENEX or HTML.

Ideally, I would like the option to export them to .TXT.

I love EN and have suggested it to countless people ... but I do feel nervous that EN is holding my notes and notebooks "hostage" and I that makes me feel uneasy and sometimes it makes me feel reluctant to suggest it to people.

 

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On April 27, 2016 at 1:06 PM, mettasong said:

I really would like the ability to backup my notes to another format besides ENEX or HTML.

Ideally, I would like the option to export them to .TXT.

I love EN and have suggested it to countless people ... but I do feel nervous that EN is holding my notes and notebooks "hostage" and I that makes me feel uneasy and sometimes it makes me feel reluctant to suggest it to people.

Hostage is a harsh word, and I don't think it apples to Evernote.

Is there a reason you've rejected html format?  You're really crippling yourself if you restrict your backups to text.

Personally, I'm very satisfied with my html backups, and I'm grateful that Evernote allows us that export feature.

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Yes, hostage is a harsh word.... but I have invested a lot of time and energy into the information I have uploaded to Evernote - so it makes me feel very uncomfortable and vulnerable not having more control over extracting and storing my information outside the confines and control of EN.

I was a big fan of the software program Life Balance - and suddenly they stopped updating and supporting that program - and I lost all my info connected to it with no way to export it from the program. That unnerved me - and I don't want that to happen again.

I would like the additional option of TXT, in addition to HTML... because some of my notes are very simple, and I don't want or need the unnecessary clutter of HTML code.

I also find it cumbersome to have to export each note individually. (Please correct me if I am wrong and there is another way to do this differently). I would find it highly more efficient if there was a bulk backup system.

I have a Mac and regularly use Time Machine to backup my computer. But I mean something where I export the raw files as notebooks. 

Don't get me wrong - I love EN. You really have no idea how many people I have suggested EN to. People often joke that I am a paid employee of EN because on my continuous references to it.

I only mention this because I want to improve the service and make it the best it can be for everyone.

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3 minutes ago, mettasong said:

I have a Mac and regularly use Time Machine to backup my computer. But I mean something where I export the raw files as notebooks. 

It is easy to do bulk backups on the Mac.
You can do Edit > Select All and then export.
I have this automated with Applescript; running daily for changed notes, and weekly for a full backup.

I don't think you'll get much support for implementing a txt export.
If I needed this, I would implement it with Applescript.

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On 4/27/2016 at 3:46 PM, mettasong said:

Yes, hostage is a harsh word.... but I have invested a lot of time and energy into the information I have uploaded to Evernote - so it makes me feel very uncomfortable and vulnerable not having more control over extracting and storing my information outside the confines and control of EN.

In no way is Evernote holding our data hostage.  They have a long-standing policy that our data is ours to take with us, and have provided at least one export option to a universal standard format:  HTML.

It is NOT the responsibility of any software manufacturer to provide for a multitude of export formats.  As long as they provide at least one format that is in very common use (like HTML), then they have done their job.  There are lots of tools to convert HTML to plain text, and many other formats.

See Evernote's 3 Laws of Data Protection 

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1 minute ago, zotje said:

You could always use Microsoft's tool to export all your files into Onenote.

Seriously! - you're proposing MS Onenote as a backup solution to a user considering TXT format
Why not also mention the import tool to Apple Notes.

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8 minutes ago, DTLow said:

Seriously! - you're proposing MS Onenote as a backup solution to a user considering TXT format
Why not also mention the import tool to Apple Notes.

I didn't realize there was one for Apple Notes.  The user didn't mention TXT in the original post.  I thought it was a viable option.  Onenote can also export to pdf, doc, webpages.  But you're right, not TXT

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On April 27, 2016 at 4:53 PM, DTLow said:

It is easy to do bulk backups on the Mac.
You can do Edit > Select All and then export.
I have this automated with Applescript; running daily for changed notes, and weekly for a full backup.

I don't think you'll get much support for implementing a txt export.
If I needed this, I would implement it with Applescript.

I'm wondering if you could share that Applescript with me.  I've been adding a ton of stuff to Evernote...!

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I think that backing up to HTML, whether automatically via API/IFTTT or manually is superb. It does maintain some of the metadata such as tags, created/updated, etc.

What I really want is for the data transmitted to/fro the Evernote servers to be encrypted/decrypted on my local devices. I may deal in the future with some sensitive data that really should not be out there in the cloud.

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Export to PDF would be make me a happy camper too! I never said I wanted TXT to be the only export option, but I think a universal export format beyond HTML would be helpful. 

I don't think it is asking a company too much to provide a multitude of export formats if that is what the customers are asking for. And I am simple coming to the forum to say that is something that I would like to see added. If HTML works for you - super! I'm happy you are happy. But I don't want to (or think I should have to) take the extra time out of my day to create Apple Scripts and find 3rd Party providers to convert HTML to TXT or PDF.

I am a paying customer and these are functions that I am simply stating that for my needs would make a software program I love even better and more user friendly.

It is NOT the responsibility of any software manufacturer to provide for a multitude of export formats.

 

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23 hours ago, mettasong said:

Export to PDF would be make me a happy camper too!

I like using the pdf format for my notes.  It's ubiquous; makes them read-only, and can be encrypted.

On my Mac, Evernote has a convert-note-to-pdf feature
You can "save attachments" for a collection of notes; this would then be a pdf export

There's also a print-to-pdf feature that can be performed on a collection of notes.
Not a complete success because the note title is not preserved.

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I had the same question for years, and I ended up building my own solution. You may want to check it out: http://www.exportnote.com. ExportNote can export all your notes to HTML and PDF (including local notebooks) while preserving the organization in stacks, notebooks, and notes. Attachments are also exported. Please don't hesitate to contact me know if you have any question or request of new features!

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5 hours ago, Jerome S said:

I had the same question for years, and I ended up building my own solution. You may want to check it out: http://www.exportnote.com. ExportNote can export all your notes to HTML and PDF (including local notebooks) while preserving the organization in stacks, notebooks, and notes. Attachments are also exported. Please don't hesitate to contact me know if you have any question or request of new features!

 

That is a powerful and eye-opening statement on your website: 

"We started working on ExportNote in 2013 after realizing that losing years of note-taking would be a disaster. What if Evernote shutdowns its service? What if a bug erases all the data? We had to find a quick and easy way to export and backup all our notes in a safer format. Just in case..."

The premium version sounds great: 

"including note attributes such as creation dates, last update dates, and tags."

Suggestion: include brief examples of the Basic and Premium exports on your website.

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20 hours ago, Jerome S said:

ExportNote can export all your notes to HTML and PDF (including local notebooks) while preserving the organization in stacks, notebooks, and notes.

It is not clear how your system, "ExportNote", would be useful in restoring lost or changed Note in an Evernote account.

ENEX is the official format to import a Note that includes its tags and other metadata (but not Notebook).  How would your system address this?

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I would consider ExportNote to be useful for the very dark days when:  

"What if Evernote shutdowns its service? What if a bug erases all the data?" 

Hopefully, it won't happen to Evernote, but having a full PDF backup would be reassuring.

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On June 6, 2016 at 8:20 PM, JMichaelTX said:

It is not clear how your system, "ExportNote", would be useful in restoring lost or changed Note in an Evernote account.

In a similar manner, my backup process includes an HTML export on a cloud drive.
If anything happens to Evernote (company/server/app) or I've accidentally deleted a note, I can still access my notes in my backup.  It's about backup access to my notes, not database restore functionality.

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On 6/6/2016 at 8:20 PM, JMichaelTX said:

It is not clear how your system, "ExportNote", would be useful in restoring lost or changed Note in an Evernote account.

ENEX is the official format to import a Note that includes its tags and other metadata (but not Notebook).  How would your system address this?

ExportNote cannot and will never restore your notes. The application is read-only by design, and we will never make any change to your Evernote account. The reason is that Evernote does not provide any reliable way to update local notes (i.e.: not-synchronized) without altering the internal database. To keep your data safe and secure, we decided to never make any change to Evernote data.

You can still export the notes to HTML and use Evernote's import feature to import your notes back to your Evernote account, but I would only consider this option as a last resort.

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7 hours ago, Jerome S said:

ExportNote cannot and will never restore your notes. The application is read-only by design, and we will never make any change to your Evernote account.

OK, thanks for the clear reply.

So "ExportNote" is designed to do just what it says:  export.  It is not really a backup system, in the traditional sense of that term (backup implies a way to restore).

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