Moving From Evernote To Apple Notes

I am a big fan of what Apple’s Notes has transformed into with the latest release of OS X 10.11 and iOS 9.0! I say transformed because it has truly become a new product with these latest releases. Prior to these updates, the app was barely worth mentioning, and certainly not reliable enough to be used for storing important note based data. I had been a long time Evernote user prior to using Notes.app and I have to say that although Evernote has some great features, the downsides outweighed the benefits. Overall Apple Notes fits me a lot better.

One of the biggest hurdles to making the jump from Evernote to Notes is also one of my biggest annoyances with Evernote; available export formats. You have two options for exporting notes out of Evernote: 1. “.ENEX” 2. “.HTML”. If you are simply making a backup, these may be ok, but if you need this data to move somewhere else, they are close to worthless. Even if your notes are simply text, you have no option to export as plain/rich text.

After a good bit of trial and error, I finally came up with a way to get my data mostly migrated from Evernote to Notes.app several months back. The method was not super streamlined, and did leave some text needing to be tweaked, but for the most part it got me most of the way there.

The only caveat to this method was that I used the beta version of the software that I used as the intermediary between Evernote and Notes, and this version has since been removed now that the software has launched for $9.99. The Write app is nice, but of course my end goal is to have everything in Notes. I am more than willing to spend $9.99 to save the time and hassle of manually getting all my notes moved over, but since I do not have the paid version, I am uncertain if my method will still work with the paid version of the app.


UPDATES TO POST

UPDATE 2015-10-18: It seems as though step 4 below is not possible if you updates Notes.app on your mac to the new El Capitan version. I will be looking for an alternate method for this step and update when found. If you find a way to import with the new version of Notes, please let me know! Thanks! See Below!

UPDATE 2015-10-19: I tried using the release version of Write over the weekend and it does not support the importing of Evernote archives. This whole process has really fallen apart! 😦

I found two scripts for importing .txt files into Notes.app. One is for single text files, and one if for a folder of notes. The scripts are working for me on El Cap.

Single File: http://d.pr/f/yjhj
Folder Import: http://d.pr/f/1aBrG (folder must contain at least 2 notes)

Update 2015-12-26: A new post by Larry Salibra with another script to aid in migration!


What was needed?

  • My Mac
  • Evernote installed and fully synced
  • A Mac app by the name “Write

These steps outlined below is what it took to get my Evernote data migrated over to Apple Notes.

  1. Export all your Evernote notes to an Evernote .ENEX export file.
  2. Open the Write App and import your .ENEX data into Write.
  3. Once all your notes are in Write, you can now export them all as individual plain text notes.
  4. Now take your plain text notes and drag them all into Apple Notes.
  5. This will import all the text files into Notes and you can begin organizing and fixing as necessary.

Like I said, this is not the most straightforward approach, but it did work for me. It was much better than manually copying over hundreds of notes.

As a side note, you can also get a great app from Write for free than can be used to keep a running backup of your Notes.app notes. It’s called “Notes Exporter” and is a quick way to export all your Notes.app notes into individual text files for a backup.


*It is important to say that Although Evernote’s format is very much a “Lock in”, it is fair to say that Notes.app is as well since it has no native Import/Export options built in. You will reply on third party tools at this point to get plain text in/out of Notes.app.

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