Jump to content
RockOn365

Is it a good idea to move all documents to EverNote?

Recommended Posts

Is it a good idea to move all documents from my entire lifetime to EverNote? I have organized folders from all the way back when I was in grade school, high school, college, my first jobs, etc. I have typed letters, diary entries, and creative writing as well. I am tired of having to live out of multiple places to find my stuff, such as my laptop for some folders versus Google Drive for others versus EverNote for others. I want everything is one place, period. Is it a good idea to place *all* of my documents I ever had into EverNote? I could easily organize them and such, but I am wondering if it's good for the long haul. Maybe putting the eggs in one basket is a bad idea, or maybe it will save me a lot of frustration and time as long as I backup my EverNote account. Thoughts?

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
On May 16, 2016 at 7:05 AM, RockOn365 said:

Is it a good idea to move all documents from my entire lifetime to EverNote?..
I am tired of having to live out of multiple places to find my stuff, such as my laptop for some folders versus Google Drive for others versus EverNote for others.
I want everything is one place, period. 

These were my feelings as well.  I wanted my all my records in one place.

>>Is it a good idea to move all documents from my entire lifetime to EverNote?

I choose Evernote for the following reasons

  1. Sync to multiple devices/platforms (I currently use a Mac, Ipad and Web)
  2. Easy input; editor, email, web clipper ....
  3. The editor is basic; not suitable for extensive word processing,
    but it allows me to create a note, add attachments, add links to other notes etc
  4. Organization (tags); I'm tired of the folder concept
    and the Evernote Search is exceptional
  5. Backup; as well as the sync'd multiple platforms, I'm able to address this with data exports
  6. Exit Strategy.  If/When Evernote shuts down. I own my data and will be able to move on
  7. Easy scripting on my Mac with Applescript 
  8. I'm not expecting Evernote to be an app for word processing, spreadsheets, calendar serious note talking.  If I need this, I use dedicated apps that do the function.
  9. Edited: I'm also making use of the sharing feature, and publishing my notes via public links.

If you do decide to move your documents into Evernote, be aware of the limits (documented here https://help.evernote.com/hc/en-us/articles/209005247-What-are-the-system-limits-of-Evernote-)

You may need to stagger your import.

You will also need to think about how to organize your dcuments.  It's another subject, but you shouldn't jump on the notebook strategy and try to duplicate your folder model.    The tag hierarchy would be a better solution and give you time to work out a strategy.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Simple answer for me was yes.  I went paperless a few years back with EN to remove the clutter, and, to amplify one thing on @DTLow's list, the ability to find things with remarkable ease.  Very glad I made the decision.  Stuff can happen for sure, but until/if anything untoward should occur I am in a good place.

You have to decide what you want online (synced notebook) and what you don't (local notebook) and set your personal backup strategies accordingly.  FYI, I am currently at 77% synced notes and 23% local notes.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
On 5/16/2016 at 9:05 AM, RockOn365 said:

Is it a good idea to move all documents from my entire lifetime to EverNote?

Short answer:  Yes.

BUT, you want to make sure that after you have everything in Evernote, that you make an archive backup to an external source.  Google Drive might be a good option for this archive.  I would also buy a high-quality external USB drive, and archive all of the files and folders you currently have, and then do not use this drive for anything other than to add more archive material.  Search for "evernote backup" for more details, but here is a good starting point:  Evernote Backup and Restore Options

Once you are sure you have everything in both Evernote and your archive, then you can delete (or at least convert to zip files) your existing documents.  I would probably go with zip, unless you are critical for storage space.

However, I do NOT include ALL files in Evernote.  I still exclude:

  1. Highly sensitive documents (I have very few of these).  These I keep in highly encrypted (256 AES) PDFs on an external USB drive.
  2. Files I use in a routine matter for running my Mac and apps.  These I keep in DropBox.

Organizing your documents in Evernote is a separate topic, worthy of its own discussion.  We have had many discussions on that topic in these forums, and there are many blogs published.  Do some searching here and elsewhere on "Evernote organization" and you will find plenty of resources.

With a decent organization I'm sure you will be able to quickly find what you need, and also be able to browse your documents in a logical manner.

Good luck, and let us know how it goes.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

@RockOn365 - Short Answer: Depends.

If you've got 10,000 documents, then "No".

If you've got less than 100 documents, then move everything to Evernote before you go to bed tonight.

Between 100 and 10,000 - If you can easily move 10-25 documents in a batch all at once, then move all such batches to Evernote. For all the rest, don't approach it as a project that has to be worked on, in and of itself. Instead, move a document when you find that you want to reference or modify it. When you search for one in its current location, look around for other documents that are nearby and move a bunch all at one time. - - - 6 months from now, you may find that you never looked at 60%-70% of your documents again. That's the way it typically works with documents, whether they are paper or electronic. 

Finally, always remember that when you move a document into Evernote, a copy is actually made and put into the Evernote database and the original remains intact in its oriinal location. (At least that is the case with the Windows version of Evernote.) So, to avoid the chance that you move a document into Evernote, forget that you did, and then modify the original one, move the originals into a folder somewhere that will make it clear to you not to modify it. 

Don't worry about the risk of having all your eggs in one basket. You already been assuming such a risk in that the hard drive on your laptop might have died some day.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
3 hours ago, Analyst444 said:

Finally, always remember that when you move a document into Evernote, a copy is actually made and put into the Evernote database and the original remains intact in its oriinal location. (At least that is the case with the Windows version of Evernote.) So, to avoid the chance that you move a document into Evernote, forget that you did, and then modify the original one, move the originals into a folder somewhere that will make it clear to you not to modify it. 

@Analyst444 brings up a good point here.  If you don't want to keep the originals (I didn't), a "quick" method can be to use the Import Folders function in EN, particularly if your existing folders have context.  Use the Tools - Import Folders option to create a folder - notebook relationship.  Then move the files in existing folders to the import folder and EN will automatically import them into your import notebook.  Then for each import you can then tag the notes if you want (based upon the original folder I suppose) and move them to their target notebook.  That is, If you want to remove the originals.  You can also use this method if you want to get to the power of EN search by copying versus moving the notes to the import folder.  FWIW.

Share this post


Link to post
4 hours ago, Analyst444 said:

Between 100 and 10,000 - If you can easily move 10-25 documents in a batch all at once, then move all such batches to Evernote. For all the rest, don't approach it as a project that has to be worked on, in and of itself. Instead, move a document when you find that you want to reference or modify it. When you search for one in its current location, look around for other documents that are nearby and move a bunch all at one time. - - - 6 months from now, you may find that you never looked at 60%-70% of your documents again.

Each of us have our own methods and preferences.  Sorry @Analyst444, but your method would NOT work for me, for these reasons:

  1. Movement is too random and haphazard -- it would be too easy to forget which docs have been moved, and which have not.
  2. It defeats the OP's original purpose:  have only one place to search for your documents

@RockOn365, I prefer a more systematic approach:

  1. Copy documents into Evernote in good-size, logical blocks
    1. This probably means copy a folder at a time.  Folder could have sub-folders.  I'd probably target to around a 100 documents at a time, but you may want to start with a smaller number, say 10 documents.  See how that works, then try 25, then maybe step up to 100 if all is going well.
    2. Copy the files to an Evernote Import folder, set to delete the files as they are imported.  CHANGE:  Use EN Win ENScript to import files (see below).
    3. Zip the source folder (and all sub-folders), and mark (use a PC/Mac tag) the folder to indicate they have been copied to Evernote 
    4. I would also keep a log of this process as an EN Note.
    5. Copy the source folder to an external USB drive to archive.
    6. When you are comfortable ALL of the  documents are properly in Evernote then you can delete the source documents (BUT keeping the Zip and the external USB drive).

IMO, you want something easy to follow, to process, so at any time you can easily see which documents have been copied to Evernote, and you can easily copy another block as you have time available.

I just thought of one issue if you are doing this with EN Win:  The EN Win Import folder does NOT use the file/document dates.  As it imports each file, the EN Note Creation Date is set to the current date.  This is NOT an issue with EN Mac, since we use a custom AppleScript to do the import folder, and it sets EN Note Creation Date to File Creation Date.

However, you can use Evernote Windows ENScript to import files and assign the Note Creation date to the File date, but it will take a bit of scripting to do so.  IMO, if you have more than 20 documents to import into Evernote, it will be well worth it.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Using EN Win ENScript.exe To Import Documents to Evernote 

I just wanted to share this excerpt from the above web page to show the cool capability of ENScript.exe 

Quote

createNote

Create a new note with the following options:

  • /s filename - Specifies a file containing the note's plain text contents. If omitted, the note contents are read from standard input.
  • /n notebook - Specifies the name of the notebook to create the note in. If the notebook does not exist, it is created.
  • /i title - Specifies the title of the note.
  • /t tag - Specifies the name of a tag to apply to the note. If the tag does not exist, it is created. You can repeat this flag to add multiple tags.
  • /a filename - Specifies a file to attach to the note. You can repeat this flag to attach multiple files.
  • /c date - Specifies the note creation date and time using the format "YYYY/MM/DD hh:mm:ss". If omitted, the current time is used.

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks for these thoughts, I have just converted from being a casual Evernote user to a premium user who is trying to become more productive and I was going to ask the same question. Luckily RockOn365 beat me to it and I have some excellent food for thought. 

Share this post


Link to post
On 5/22/2016 at 4:15 PM, Analyst444 said:

@RockOn365 - Short Answer: Depends.

If you've got 10,000 documents, then "No".

If you've got less than 100 documents, then move everything to Evernote before you go to bed tonight.

Between 100 and 10,000 - If you can easily move 10-25 documents in a batch all at once, then move all such batches to Evernote. For all the rest, don't approach it as a project that has to be worked on, in and of itself. Instead, move a document when you find that you want to reference or modify it. When you search for one in its current location, look around for other documents that are nearby and move a bunch all at one time. - - - 6 months from now, you may find that you never looked at 60%-70% of your documents again. That's the way it typically works with documents, whether they are paper or electronic. 

Finally, always remember that when you move a document into Evernote, a copy is actually made and put into the Evernote database and the original remains intact in its oriinal location. (At least that is the case with the Windows version of Evernote.) So, to avoid the chance that you move a document into Evernote, forget that you did, and then modify the original one, move the originals into a folder somewhere that will make it clear to you not to modify it. 

Don't worry about the risk of having all your eggs in one basket. You already been assuming such a risk in that the hard drive on your laptop might have died some day.

YMMV but I like this approach. I find that having too many things in my Evernote account that I never reference is quite cumbersome - it completely removes my ability to easily browse. It also creates a whopper of a storage folder on your hard drive that you can't avoid. So if your stuff is going to take up a lot of digital space, I'd recommend putting stuff you interact with regularly in Evernote and long-term storage somewhere like Dropbox, where you can selectively sync what shows up on your computer and what's stashed in the cloud. I recently partitioned my MacBook Pro's hard drive (2012 retina version, when SSDs were still incredibly expensive so I have only 256GB of space) to install Windows 10, and my 7,000 Evernote notes take up 10GB of my harddrive. And it's documents from years ago that I'll rarely reference, receipts, etc. This really, really bothers me. My hard drive space is at a premium now and Evernote can be quite the hog if all of your eggs are in this particular basket. I am now at the stage of taking things OUT and sticking them in Dropbox, if I can. And let me tell you, that isn't fun. 

So, in short, unless you've got a ton of hard drive space to give up, I'd recommend being a bit more choosy about what you stick in EN. I find it amazing for research, a digital commonplace book, and archiving social media stuff. Anything I deem "actionable," in that I interact with it in a semi-regular basis, goes in Evernote (quotes I like, inspiring pictures, articles on current events, shopping lists, how-to articles, electronic manuals, etc.). Purely storage items, like photos, old school papers, files from completed projects, etc. I stick in Dropbox. 

Just my 2¢ - take or leave as you wish!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I recommend putting all of your documents on a server.  The server is always running and is easier to access over all devices.

Share this post


Link to post
12 hours ago, chirmer said:

So, in short, unless you've got a ton of hard drive space to give up, I'd recommend being a bit more choosy about what you stick in EN. 

You have 250GB on your Mac, I have 128GB on my iPad. I can't see either of us facing a storage space problem, and needing to be choosy.  I dump everything into Evernote, and don't see an impact to my ability to sort, browse, or organize (8000 notes, 5GB)

Edit: Exception is photos and music which are handled better by dedicated apps

If I was tight on space, I'd consider accessing my data from the Evernote web servers instead of storing it on my device

The newest feature for storage (Google Drive Integration) looks interesting and I'll be checking it out - it just landed on the web platform.  In the meantime, it's not an issue for me and I'll continue to have all my data in Evernote.

Share this post


Link to post
6 hours ago, chirmer said:

Anything I deem "actionable," in that I interact with it in a semi-regular basis, goes in Evernote (quotes I like, inspiring pictures, articles on current events, shopping lists, how-to articles, electronic manuals, etc.). Purely storage items, like photos, old school papers, files from completed projects, etc. I stick in Dropbox. 

I get your point, and in general agree.  However, I probably tend to put most of my documents in Evernote.  I don't put software project related files in Evernote -- those, like you, I keep in Dropbox.  If I still maintained large reference documents, like I did back in the day, I would *not* put those in Evernote.  Today there are a number of apps, local and online, for storing, sharing, searching, etc, reference documents. 

I also don't put many photos in Evernote, because it is a very poor photo/image manager compared with the other choices.

Having said all that, the new integration with Google Drive could prove interesting and compelling.  I don't know yet, still researching and evaluating.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
On June 24, 2016 at 10:12 AM, Psychwest said:

I recommend putting all of your documents on a server.  The server is always running and is easier to access over all devices.

What did you mean by server.  My notes are sync'd to the Evernote servers automatically

Share this post


Link to post
On 6/24/2016 at 1:31 PM, DTLow said:

You have 250GB on your Mac, I have 128GB on my iPad. I can't see either of us facing a storage space problem, and needing to be choosy. 

Please speak for yourself, DTLow. As I said, I already did begin to run out of space. We are not the same person, so your storage use does not compare to mine in any way. The more FILES you stick in Evernote, the bigger the database is going to be. I tend to find it a bit laggy and harder to navigate when I store a lot of files in there (besides the syncing issues that arise when trying to bulk sync files), so my advice is to keep Evernote for actionable stuff and pure back storage somewhere else. You're under no obligation to follow what I say - I'm just contributing my experience.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
7 hours ago, chirmer said:

I tend to find it a bit laggy and harder to navigate when I store a lot of files in there (besides the syncing issues that arise when trying to bulk sync files)

I'm thinking you may have other issues here, since you're no way near the max limits of Evernote.
Organization and Search issues are more of an indexing issue than database size.
Syncing time would be more of an issue with internet speed, and I'd expect the same issue with other internet services like Dropbox.

For myself, I'm estimating that Evernote can handle my capacity for the next 10 years of growth and beyond

Share this post


Link to post
On 6/25/2016 at 0:41 PM, DTLow said:

What did you mean by server.  My notes are sync'd to the Evernote servers automatically

Your Evernote does save to a server, but I am referring to an internal server which is always connected to the internet and can be accessed via the web anywhere.  It's much easier to access, edit, save, and move to different folders.  If you only have a few documents, and it's not difficult to manage, then go ahead and continue to use Evernote.  If you want access to all of your documents and you have a few hundred to thousands, saving them to a server (another computer which is primarily responsible for saving/housing all documents) would be the better option.

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, Psychwest said:

Your Evernote does save to a server, but I am referring to an internal server which is always connected to the internet and can be accessed via the web anywhere.  It's much easier to access, edit, save, and move to different folders.  If you only have a few documents, and it's not difficult to manage, then go ahead and continue to use Evernote.  If you want access to all of your documents and you have a few hundred to thousands, saving them to a server (another computer which is primarily responsible for saving/housing all documents) would be the better option.

I don't think you have a complete understanding of the Evernote servers
- they are always connected to the internet
- they can be accessed via the web anywhere; as well as a variety of client software on a various devices

>>It's much easier to access, edit, save, and move to different folders
The reason I use Evernote is because of the organization features.
I found it difficult finding documents with the folder model
I have no problem editing, either with the Evernote editor or the native applications

Share this post


Link to post
6 hours ago, DTLow said:

I'm thinking you may have other issues here, since you're no way near the max limits of Evernote.
Organization and Search issues are more of an indexing issue than database size.
Syncing time would be more of an issue with internet speed, and I'd expect the same issue with other internet services like Dropbox.

Nope. Many, many heavy EN users repeatedly say throughout these forums that a larger database doesn't perform super well. 100,000 text notes will perform vastly different than 100,000 notes containing files. Which is why I've moved most of my stored files to Dropbox and use Evernote for things I regularly engage in. 

I didn't mention anything about organization or search so I'll skip that bit.

Syncing, in this case, is not an issue with internet speed, it's with volume. Evernote runs into syncing errors when you try to sync too much at once. This is well-reported (especially after the "Premium users get unlimited storage!" drama llama). It's not meant to be a file storage device. I made the mistake once of saving 50+ stock photos to Evernote, because I wanted to organize by keyword. It took 6 separate syncs before I finally didn't get a syncing error. Dropbox is MEANT for this type of storage, and it had no issue.

I'm not advising you not store some files in Evernote. I'm suggesting not storing every single file used EVER in Evernote. If you're purely storing a bunch of a single type of item (like past photos, or old papers, or what have you), these are best stored elsewhere. Evernote will be most useful if you're not tripping over these. YMMV but I've both experienced this firsthand and heard it from enough power users to not dismiss it so easily.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
8 hours ago, DTLow said:

I'm thinking you may have other issues here, since you're no way near the max limits of Evernote.

@DTLow, could be @chirmer just has a use case different than yours, she sounds like she has a voice of experience.  No reason to suppose other issues.  My use case experience sounds like it is more like yours, I have all my stuff in EN (other than pictures in DropBox) and have pretty much instantaneous response time with a 15GB data base containing lots of PDFs.  But that doesn't mean it's right for everyone.

8 hours ago, DTLow said:

Organization and Search issues are more of an indexing issue than database size.

We shouldn't forget that in all likelihood the larger the size of the data base the larger the size of the index.

8 hours ago, DTLow said:

Syncing time would be more of an issue with internet speed

Typically a combination of internet speed and volume to be synced, not to mention any additional processes (other than data movement) invoked due to the sync.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

My 2c - 22,000 notes and 15GB - database contains everything from one-line reminders to 400-page PDFs.  There are shared in and out notebooks in there somewhere,  and (although not relevant to this) one 'offline searchable' for mobile devices.  I use Flickr for photos and am looking at Google Drive for bulk storage,  though the convenience of sorting through the content of all my attachments is matched only by the potential confusion caused by multiple keywords. 

It's a Terabyte hard drive with plenty of free space,  and -so far- no major hang-ups with syncs, data entry or searches.  I prefer to have the data in one place - it means I only have one archive to search.  But I think we should take for a slogan "YMMV".

Share this post


Link to post
On 5/16/2016 at 10:05 PM, RockOn365 said:

Is it a good idea to move all documents from my entire lifetime to EverNote? I have organized folders from all the way back when I was in grade school, high school, college, my first jobs, etc. I have typed letters, diary entries, and creative writing as well. I am tired of having to live out of multiple places to find my stuff, such as my laptop for some folders versus Google Drive for others versus EverNote for others. I want everything is one place, period. Is it a good idea to place *all* of my documents I ever had into EverNote? I could easily organize them and such, but I am wondering if it's good for the long haul. Maybe putting the eggs in one basket is a bad idea, or maybe it will save me a lot of frustration and time as long as I backup my EverNote account. Thoughts?

Yeah. Never put all eggs in one basket. 

Never know if Evernote will be there "forever", then you may have problem migrating. 

Cheers!

Share this post


Link to post
On June 29, 2016 at 7:36 AM, MosesGTC said:

Yeah. Never put all eggs in one basket. 
Never know if Evernote will be there "forever", then you may have problem migrating. 

As I pointed out way back, one of the reasons I chose Evernote because my data was not locked in.
I have an exit strategy, and my backup processes include access to my notes if Evernote is down

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

I don't store files in Evernote :) . I use the harddrive on my pc or laptop for that, and my NAS. I have a well-thought-out folder structure, and I keep hard drives of my PC and laptop synced with my NAS with Freefilesync. I also use cloud services like Dropbox and Onedrive once in a while if I need access to some documents and can't bring my own laptop with me. 

Finding what I need is easy with Spotlight or the search in Windows 8.1/10.

Share this post


Link to post
2 minutes ago, Historynerd said:

I don't store files in Evernote :) . 

Documents?

Share this post


Link to post
On July 10, 2016 at 10:14 AM, Historynerd said:

I don't store files in Evernote :) . I use the harddrive on my pc or laptop for that, and my NAS. I have a well-thought-out folder structure, and I keep hard drives of my PC and laptop synced with my NAS with Freefilesync. I also use cloud services like Dropbox and Onedrive once in a while if I need access to some documents and can't bring my own laptop with me. 

Finding what I need is easy with Spotlight or the search in Windows 8.1/10.

As part of my backup process, I maintain a copy of my notes outside of Evernote.
- I use Apple iCloud, and notes are available on all my devices.
- My EN tags are stored as keywords within the notes
No folders, that's not something I want to go back to.
- I can search my notes, but I am missing some EN features that I use.
- I would also need an editor app to create a note and reference attachments

Share this post


Link to post

More because of the 150k photographs I have in my system (only a few of which are in Evernote) I have both a large external drive and an automated cloud backup system. The side benefit of this is that every file in my import folder which is where all documents, saved or scanned, get backed up to multiple places. This process also captures my occasional export of my EN database. 

I've always been a folder user, but recently changed my photo storage and retrieval process to tags instead of folders, so may investigate doing the same in EN. The main difference is, all of my processed photos already had tags in them, whereas with EN, I will have to create them. So fare with 10K notes, my searches are very fast. 

 

 

 

 

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...