This post is part 1 of a multi-part series. Part 2 is here.
In this blog post, I’m going to talk about why I moved 3,000 Evernotes from Evernote to Obsidian, and walk through the process of doing so with the help of a third-party open source tool, plus some code I wrote to drive that tool.
Breaking Up With Evernote
I used to love Evernote. I started using it back in 2012 or so, and before long I got the paid version! It met a lot of needs I had at the time, such as being able to take notes using a lightweight interface, letting me search through all of my notes, and letting me attach files and images to them. And I could even do all of those from my iPhone!
But it’s 2021, and things have changed. I don’t believe Evernote has grown as much as it could have as an app. Between the company trying unsuccessfully to launch over products, and the 2018 layoffs, Evernote is not in the best shape as a company.
But the real nail in the coffin for Evernote in my eyes was the “new” release of Evernote a few months ago. Gone was the feature that would let me export an entire note as HTML. Gone was the feature that would let me export all attachments from a note. These were features I had come to rely on when I needed to get to my data, and Evernote took them out of the product! Furthermore, there was one particularly nasty bug that had me fearing for the state of my notes:
That’s right–after the app being open for a few days, clicking on a note–any note–would show a blank screen where my content would be! The first time I saw this, I went into a near panic. I tried restarting Evernote and that fixed the problem for a few days until it came back. I filed a support request with Evernote about this, yet a few versions later this disturbing bug remains.
So I started looking around, and I found something I fell in love with: Obsidian.
Obsidian can best be described as “An IDE for Markdown documents“. Don’t know what Markdown is? No problem, it’s very simple syntax used to mark up documents (WAY simpler than HTML) that you can learn in no time at all!
And instead of using a database to store notes, Obsidian uses the filesystem to store them. What this means is that backing up your data is as a simple as zipping up the root folder, which Obsidian calls a “Vault”. And your vault can be sitting in a folder shared to Dropbox, OneDrive, any similar service. This separation of concerns makes Obsidian less complicated because it doesn’t have to sync its own notes, that’s a win!Continue reading “Migrating Your Notes from Evernote to Obsidian”