Hi all, this is not a feature request. Instead, I’m thinking about writing a plugin and I’d like to understand market demand and the parameter space a little better.
TL; DR: If you think it’d be good to import large amounts of Evernote data incl metadata, give this thread a like. Reply with more thoughts.
The new Evernote version is annoying me so much that I’m considering a complete migration. This is not quite trivial since, as of today, I have 4762 notes spread across 122 notebooks and 53 tags.
It is particularly important to me that metadata (creation/modification date, source url, tags, …) is preserved, since I’m storing important information in metadata.
As far as I’m aware, the current route via HTML does not preserve that metadata. This is not Inkdrop’s fault but rather, it’s because Evernote stores that in a format that’s easily readable for humans, but less so for machines.
Unrelatedly, the HTML importer also has a tendency to crash on me and I’m wondering about performance when one imports are huge number of files.
Evernote’s native ENEX format is an XML format that is specifically made to export Evernote data to other applications, including machine-readable metadata. An arbitrary number of notes can be stored in one file, and this can be done very quickly.
The content of an Evernote note is basically HTML spiced up with some Evernote-specific tags.
I’m wondering if ENEX would provide a viable route to import from Evernote including metadata. It would basically go like this:
- Iterate the ENEX file and for each note (
- Extract the metadata from tags and…
- Convert the note content to markdown, extracting and linking all images (this is nontrivial as images are stored using a combination of
- Ignore whatever can’t be converted (file attachments, too weird embedded HTML etc.)
There are already two projects that appear to have already done much of the heavy lifting for part 3 and 4 (I haven’t tested these yet):
- https://github.com/wormi4ok/evernote2md, written in Go.
- https://github.com/exomut/evernote-dump, written in Python.
ENEX does not store each note’s notebook for some reason, so we’d have to export notebook-by-notebook.
For me personally this is not a big issue since I wanted to streamline my notebook system anyways.
Request for Comment
Perhaps you have a comment on:
- Is this going to be useful for many people? I might just do it for myself if it’s not too hard, but it’s even better when many people benefit.
- Any pitfalls I’m overlooking? Have you worked before with the ENEX format? Is it a terrible mess? You think it’s worth it?
- An alternative route might be to use Evernote’s API. Any experience with this?
- Any suggestions how I might go about this are appreciated. Can you point me to any hard/easy sub-problems?