Friday I made another step towards ditching Evernote, which has been my green elephant in the room for quite a while. Whenever I start a new project I run a little Applescript that sets up a few standard folders, note files and tasks, depending on the type of project (client project, internal, etc.). Folders and template files would be in the file system, tasks in Things, and note files in a specific notebook and with tags in Evernote. The note files are now being created as markdown text files on my filesystem, with the right links and tags put into the files.

The toughest thing to crack will be how to deal with existing notes. Not adding new stuff to Evernote is one thing, but dealing with archives another. I took a few samples and a lot isn’t of much use anymore obviously, but other things might be of interest. Finding those is the challenge.

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  1. You should consider moving your archives to Joplin. It has a near perfect importer for Evernote .enex files. Once they are in Joplin you can get rid of Evernote completely (if you like). You can use your local or synced archive directly in Joplin or export it as Markdown files for use with your newly created system.

    I have moved my notes from Evernote to Joplin but kept clipped web pages in Evernote for now.

    • Thanks! yes, I saw mentioned that Joplin does a good ENEX import, and I could then export again to MD. I tried Joplin a while ago, but I prefer working with standard textfiles whereas Joplin uses a sqlite database.

      The biggest issue is more about how to select those things I’d like to export from Evernote, and what can be deleted.

      For clipping webpage snapshots I’ve started using Zotero, although it means I am learning to be more selective in what I clip.

  2. I too am slowly freeing myself from Evernote. I have used it primarily as a document store, and less as a note taking repository: I’ve accreted 1,847 notes over the last decade, an assortment of receipts, documentation, reference material, travel plans, service dog health reports; essentially everything that I couldn’t fine a place for otherwise (“Grade Six Graduation Receipts”, “Ton Zylstra Website Migration,” etc.)

    Using the suggestion here, I exported from Evernote as an ENEX archive and imported into Joplin, which resulted in 1,837 notes in Joplin (I’m not sure where the other 10 went). The conversion to Markdown was solid; all the tags rode along into Joplin, but the Evernote “notebooks” structure went missing in the export-import (there’s a discussion about how to address this here:

    Looking at the result, I think what I’m going to do now is to be more selective in my migration, exporting from Evernote on a notebook-by-notebook level only those notebooks that I want to preserve; there’s much more chaff than wheat in Evernote, and my goal is simply to not lose the nuclear launch codes in the process.

    • I’ve gone through the Evernote -> Joplin -> Obsidian process for a few notebooks now, and it’s working well. Here’s my process:

      1. In Evernote, highlight the notes to be exported (usually this will be all the notes in a single notebook).

      2. Export the notes from Evernote to an EXEX file.

      3. Create a new folder in Obsidian, and create an “images” folder inside it.

      4. In Joplin, import the notes from the EXEX file as Markdown.

      5. Copy the contents of the “_resources” directory to the “images” directory inside an Obsidian folder, then search-and-replace the Markdown files in a text editor, searching for: (../_resources/ and replacing with (Folder/images/).

      6. Copy all of the Markdown files into the new Obsidian folder and edit as required.

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