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I'm about to do a clean install on a new Mac. Is it advisable to transfer the Evernote preferences from the old to the new, and if so, is it just a matter of copying the old plist file? Or am I better off doing it manually?

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My personal preference is to do a clean install of all apps on a new computer.  IME, over time lots of garbage builds up for every app, possibly slowing it down, or even causing problems.  For me, the extra time to reconfigure the app is well worth it.  But if your current install of EN Mac is not that old (< 6-12 mo) and is working fine, then it is probably safe to just copy the Evernote top level folder to your new Mac.

 

Evernote doesn't have that many preferences, so it doesn't take long to set them.  If you like, you can take screen shots of each tab on the EN Preferences window to use as a reminder of how to setup in your new Mac.

 

A bigger issue, IMO, is moving the data from your old Mac to your new one.  Here again, I prefer to redownload all of my sync'd notes from the EN Cloud to a new Mac which automatically happens when you do a clean install of the EN app.

 

However, if you have Local Notebooks, or a large number (>10,000) notes, you may want to copy the top level Evernote folder from your old Mac to your new Mac.  To local the top level EN folder, See Location of Evernote Data Folder for EN Mac. 

 

Specially you must take some action to move your Local Notebooks, either by:

  1. Copy of the top level EN folder
    OR
  2. Export each Local NB to a separate ENEX file, then import them into your new Mac

Well, I hope this gives you some information that helps you make an informed decision on how to setup ENMac on  your new Mac.  Please post if you have any questions.

 

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I realize this is an old post however, I've been able to do this in the past but for some reason, can no longer simply move my "top-level folders" to my new installation without Evernote repeatedly crashing.  I just want to move my data from an old Mac to my new macOS/Sierra without having to go through the gyration of exporting to .enex files and importing them back.

I could really use some help with this.  Thanks!

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7 hours ago, JimN7 said:

I realize this is an old post however, I've been able to do this in the past but for some reason, can no longer simply move my "top-level folders" to my new installation without Evernote repeatedly crashing.  I just want to move my data from an old Mac to my new macOS/Sierra without having to go through the gyration of exporting to .enex files and importing them back.

My process would be to reinstall the Evernote app, and let the database be built from the servers.
Warning: the database build will not include local notebooks or unsynced notes

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5 hours ago, JimN7 said:

I just want to move my data from an old Mac to my new macOS/Sierra without having to go through the gyration of exporting to .enex files and importing them back

IMO, using ENEX files to move your Evernote notes to a new Mac would be an absolute last resort, unless, of course, the ENEX files are for Local Notebooks.  Everyone should be aware that you lose a lot of metadata, including Note Links, when you use ENEX files.

The best process would be to do a normal install of EN Mac on your new Mac, and allow it to sync/download all of your sync'd notes from the EN Cloud to your Mac.  Then, if you had any Local Notebooks, you could import the ENEX files for those Notes.

5 hours ago, JimN7 said:

I've been able to do this in the past but for some reason, can no longer simply move my "top-level folders" to my new installation without Evernote repeatedly crashing.

Without knowing the exact process you used, you, and everyone, should be aware that there are many other files and settings required by EN Mac other than what is contained in the "top-level folders".  So I would be surprised if that approach ever worked.

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I have to use local folders for company related items in Evernote because of our security policy constraints.  I do use the Evernote cloud for personal notes so those I'm not too worried about.  However, I recently did a fresh install on my Mac to upgrade from ElCap to Sierra bc my ElCap install was very old and sluggish and needed to be fresh installed anyway.  That said, I was going under the assumption I would be able to move my files over and Evernote would recognize them but it didn't.  As previously stated, I have the .enex files but at this point, I have no desire to go back to Evernote due to these reasons:

  1. Evernote's proprietary cloud isn't supported by my company's InfoSec Policy so I'm forced to work with local folders - there are better apps for that than Evernote.
  2. Managing local and cloud folders together is problematic because despite my best efforts to maintain both separately, confidential data still found its way onto Evernote's cloud somehow.
  3. The proprietary format of each note isn't friendly with other apps (as to import or export) so this too is a problem for me

Bottom line, I have become disillusioned with Evernote and think its time to cut ties and find another solution.

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5 minutes ago, JimN7 said:

The proprietary format of each note isn't friendly with other apps (as to import or export) so this too is a problem for me

Just wondering what you think the Evernote format is.

My understanding is the format is not proprietary - its mostly html
Also, Evernote has an export to html feature; giving you 100% html

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So you're saying that Evernote Markup Language (ENML) is HTML?  That the file structures nested deep within Mac's user Library folders are readable by any browser?  Hmmm.  If it were that simple, then I would expect dozens of import/export utilities would be available but I can't find one that works on Mac.  For that matter, I should be able to throw together a quick Python script and export all the files to PDF from HTML but I can't.  Hence my conclusion => proprietary.

What strikes me as odd is if I export my notes as HTML, none of the meta data is carried over and that should be simple if Evernote were based in HTML.

I'm locked in at the moment so I have to keep my Evernote app installed but even if I have to copy and paste note into another format just so I can get away from being locked into Evernote, I will.  This reminds me of the days of Lotus Notes when so many people were locked into one app then had trouble migrating when they discontinued it.

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20 hours ago, JimN7 said:

So you're saying that Evernote Markup Language (ENML) is HTML? 

Correct (mostly html) - They've added a few elements.  ENML is documented here

I prefer to export to HTML to make it compatible and include the metadata

>>What strikes me as odd is if I export my notes as HTML, none of the meta data is carried over and that should be simple if Evernote were based in HTML.

The metadata is stored in a database.  Screen Shot 2017-01-09 at 8.05.27 AM.png

The export includes some metadata (tags, dates...) as meta.  

The notebook is excluded in the export - its omission is curious

 

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3 hours ago, JimN7 said:

So you're saying that Evernote Markup Language (ENML) is HTML?

No.  ENML is a form of XML.

 

3 hours ago, JimN7 said:

 For that matter, I should be able to throw together a quick Python script and export all the files to PDF from HTML but I can't.

However, it is easy to write an AppleScript that will do any of the following:

  • Export to HTML
  • Export to ENEX
  • Export to Text
  • Export attachments
  • Export to PDF (more difficult, but possible)
3 hours ago, JimN7 said:

What strikes me as odd is if I export my notes as HTML, none of the meta data is carried over and that should be simple if Evernote were based in HTML.

All of the Note metadata except Notebook name is exported as HTML tags.  Using AppleScript, you could easily make these visible and add the Notebook name to the HTML file.  You can prove this to yourself by exporting a simple Note to HTML, and then examine the HTML file as text.

3 hours ago, JimN7 said:

I'm locked in at the moment so I have to keep my Evernote app installed

You are definitely not locked in to Evernote.  You can export as HTML, and using AppleScript, export to a number of other Mac apps (like DevonThink, Notes, etc (really any app that supports scripting or import of HTML or text files).

5 hours ago, JimN7 said:

Bottom line, I have become disillusioned with Evernote and think its time to cut ties and find another solution.

I understand your issue with security, and the lack of easy transfer of Local Notebooks from one Mac to another.  I think most of us want much better security (lots of topics/posts on this subject).  There are other apps that provide better security (like SpiderOak), but they lack some other features of Evernote that I consider essential.

One note on security:  My workaround is to put all sensitive information in a PDF with AES-256 encryption, and store the PDF in a Note with a good Title, Tags (and text summary if desired) in a sync'd Notebook.  I am the only one who has the decryption key.

Good luck if you actually try to find a good alternative to Evernote.

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