November 22, 2012

Backing up your Evernote notes on your Mac

by stef
Categories: 3. For Students
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All my PhD work is organised in Evernote, so even though every note is already on my own computer, I want to be able to back this up again.  I posted the information below in the Evernote forums.  It is a basic summary of how to ensure you have a backup of your EN notes on your Mac.

There are two main ways to back up your notes.

  • The first is backing up the raw data which already exists on your computer hard drive.  If you ever need to rely on this backup, you will need Evernote to present them to you in a useable form.  The raw data comprises of files which are distinguishable by a number only, each containing your note.  The note and notebook names are not immediately apparent.
  • The second is using the export function which Evernote makes very easy.  You can export as an HTML or XML file.

I will describe each below.  The export function is the best way if you want to easy access your notes from your export.

 

1. BACKING UP EVERNOTE RAW DATA

1. Evernote keeps all your stuff on their servers.  If you have the desktop version, all your stuff is also placed on your own hard drive.

2. Every time you add a note, it goes to the hard drive and also to the EN servers.

3. If you choose to make a local notebook, your additions only go to your hard drive.

4. Your stuff is kept on your ‘Library’ folder on your Mac.  This is hidden in Finder.  To find it open Finder, then click on ‘Go’ in the information bar at the top.  At the same time press and hold down the Option key.  Click on the Library folder.

5. Follow the path User/Library/Application Support/Evernote.  All your stuff is in there.  (To continue go accounts/Evernote/username/content.  All your notes are here.)

6. Copy and paste this folder (Evernote) onto a USB external drive to back up.

7. If you have time machine running, it is already being backed up.

(Please note, that the file path may differ slightly depending on the age and OS of your Mac.)

Again, please note that the back-up is not in the format you would see in Evernote, just the raw information in numbered files.

2. EXPORTING EVERNOTE NOTES OR NOTEBOOKS

There are two options for exporting: HTML and XML.  Choose HTML.  This creates an HTML file (a web page you can view on your computer) with each note, and it provides an index so you can find them.  If you note has attachments such as MP3s or PDFs it will link to them, and it will display the note’s images.

1. Open Evernote.  Click on the notebook you want to export.  There are ways to export all your notes at once, but I suggest you do one notebook at a time to preserve that notebook as one entity.  If you have a notebook stack, then all notes within the stack are exported.

2. Click on File, then ‘export note’.  Choose HTML.  Choose where you want to save it, then click Save.

3. You will have a folder containing all the notes within that notebook or stack.  You can arrange by title which is easiest

3. SUMMARY

Use Evernote’s export function to create a back-up file which allows easy access to your notes.  For more information you can check out this explanation with screen shots.

If you use Evernote regularly I suggest you export regularly, as a back up.  You can have say 5 backups, just deleting the oldest one as you go, to save space.

Your note titles are important because that is what you see in your backup.  If you need to use your back-up, the resulting chaos would be avoided by smart organisation and naming of your notes in the first place.  My system is to put the notebook name as the first word of the note name.  If you ever need your backup then your notes are much easier to find!

For a great resource on a minimalist way of organising your notes try Christopher Mayo’s website.

I hope this is clear.  If you have a PC, the same principles apply, it just has a different file path.  Go to it!

 

 

 


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