Create An Evernote Mac Import Folder Using Automator

Create An Evernote Mac Import Folder Using Automator

AutomatorFor some reason that I will never understand, the Windows version of Evernote has included the ability to define an import folder for years, but that functionality has never made its way to the Mac version.

The easiest way on the Mac is to import to Evernote using Hazel, but if you don’t use Hazel you can do it using built-in technologies such as Automator and Applescript (don’t worry, it’s not that hard!)

The video below shows how to set it up. At one point you will need to paste in some code, so here you go:

repeat with this_item in the input
set the item_info to info for this_item
tell application id "com.evernote.evernote"
activate
create note from file this_item
end tell
end repeat
return input

Make sure you paste that that between the on run… and end run sections. Leave those intact.

I set this up on OS X 10.9 Mavericks. I’d love to hear how it works for you if you are on a different version of the Operating System.

View the video below, or click here to watch it on YouTube. If you are able to, I recommend that you watch it with HD turned on.

This video on setting up an Import Folder in Evernote for Mac is part of a series of quick videos on paperless tips and topics. View more in the series here.

About the Author

Brooks Duncan helps individuals and small businesses go paperless. He's been an accountant, a software developer, a manager in a very large corporation, and has run DocumentSnap since 2008. You can find Brooks on Twitter at @documentsnap or @brooksduncan. Thanks for stopping by.

Leave a Reply 27 comments

algoet - January 15, 2019 Reply

Hello,
new docs added to the folder, were moved to the correct evernote file, as we programmed with the automater, BUT then the file was immediately moved to the first notebook, where new notes are automatically stored.
Do you know how we can change this? So that the automater’s input is overruling the fact that evernote is automatically storing new notes in the first notebook?
Thanks a million for checking this out!
best regards,
Mia Algoet

Hank Remschel - October 30, 2018 Reply

Thank you for your information! Is there a way to specify the Evernote Notebook where the document is imported?

Valentin - October 24, 2018 Reply

Hey ! This looks awesome but I’m getting a “Error on line 2: SyntaxError: Unexpected keyword ‘with'” from the “repeat with this_item in the input” line… Do you know how I can fix this ?
Thank you !

Nancy grube - September 26, 2018 Reply

Help. I’ve tried to set this up but I get an error when I hit the hammer. It says “Can’t get application id “com.evernote.evernote”. What am I doing wrong?

Victor - December 15, 2016 Reply

Thanks, Brooks,

Took me some time to find this . I previously did not see the need as I could use Ctrl + Cmd + N to create an Evernote note from a file in Finder easily. The nuisance is I need to remember to go back the Finder to delete the imported files.

This automation works great if I scan single sheets using ScanSnap (I use S1300). However, it does not work well if I am scanning a multi-page document.
– the scanner creates an unfinished pdf document in the import folder as it scans
– Automator detects the new pdf and sends it to Evernote in a hurry and deletes the pdf
– Evernote complains “PDF indexing failed”
– ScanSnap Manager complains “unable to access the specified destination”…

Do you experience the same? Any thoughts? Can the AppleScript be delayed for some time before it kicks in?

Thanks,

Victor

    Victor - December 15, 2016 Reply

    I did a quick search on AppleScript and found there is a “delay” command. I added “delay 60” at the beginning of your script. and it seems to work well now. I can now click on the “Finish Scanning” button, or load additional pages in leisure. Still need to test how it works with a 100 page scan…

    on run {input, parameters}
    delay 60
    repeat with this_item in the input
    set the item_info to info for this_item
    tell application id “com.evernote.evernote”
    activate
    create note from file this_item
    end tell
    end repeat
    return input

    return input
    end run

Carlos - October 27, 2016 Reply

Brooks, this is fantastic! Thanks a million! FYI, I built it in El Capitan and it works flawlessly. (I even included the “move to trash option”). I just have one question that’s nagging me.

How the heck does Evernote KNOW to import it? What action tells it to fetch from the folder? Nowhere in the process did we tell Automator anything about EN. Is it simply the folder name?

Just curious.

    Brooks Duncan
    Brooks Duncan - October 28, 2016 Reply

    It’s actually the other way around. Evernote doesn’t do any importing.

    What’s actually happening is the Mac is watching the folder, then when it sees a PDF in it it runs the AppleScript which pushes it to Evernote. So Evernote doesn’t know anything about it until the action says “hey do something with this file!”

    Glad it helped!

      Carlos - October 28, 2016 Reply

      Ohhhh … I see. (literally). When I set this up, I took your code and simply copy/pasted it. I never bothered to LOOK at the code. I “see” now the application ID.

      If I am ever going to be a tech geek, I need to pay more attention to the details. Right now, I’m just geek “wannabe”. 😉

      Thanks again!

      Best!

Oscar - May 12, 2016 Reply

Brilliant! I just discovered import folders and was bummed out when I found they don’t exist for OSX. But your tutorial was easy to follow, thanks!

Kingsley Bewley - May 9, 2016 Reply

Have you thought of developing an app for this?

Jay - March 24, 2016 Reply

Super useful Brooks. Thanks.

How do I set up separate folders on my mac to go to different notebooks? For example- 2016 taxes to my 2016 taxes notebook.

THanks

Jay

Matt - January 8, 2016 Reply

Works great, thanks for the post

Akshay - December 18, 2015 Reply

That’s a great tutorial, Brooks.

I was looking for this. As a blogger I use Evernote. It helped in getting import folder back.

Automator can do great things. It’s almost like that of tasker for Android. That’s the power of Linux based OSs.

Cheers.

Angus - February 20, 2015 Reply

Thanks – this is great.

I modified it a little to allow me to print anything on a mac to Evernote a sequence of images – which is great for handwriting recognition.

http://angusbradley.com/post/111569047864/handwriting-search-in-pdfs-for-evernote

Lisa - September 14, 2014 Reply

Works Great!

Thank You!

Joe - July 26, 2014 Reply

Hi I tried to modify the code to send the file to a particular notebook (called ‘screen’) but got nowhere, can you tell me what I might be doing wrong?

on run {input, parameters}

repeat with this_item in the input
set the item_info to info for this_item
tell application id “com.evernote.evernote”
activate
create note from file this_item notebook screen
end tell
end repeat
return input

return input
end run

Mseuda - May 1, 2014 Reply

Hi, thank for this tip
But is possible that don’t import .DS_store ?

    Brooks Duncan
    Brooks Duncan - May 1, 2014 Reply

    I haven’t tried this, but I suspect something like this would work:

    repeat with this_item in the input
    set the item_info to info for this_item
    if name of this_item does not contain “.DS_store” then
    tell application id “com.evernote.evernote”
    activate
    create note from file this_item
    end tell
    end if
    end repeat
    return input

    Give that a try.

J - January 25, 2014 Reply

I really appreciate this script and your video! Awesome. My question is: can you modify the script so that your imported items are directed right into a certain notebook or are assigned a particular tag?

Thanks for your help in this!

Olaf Klein [monkeytower] - January 24, 2014 Reply

Hi,

this works great!

I wonder if this can this be combined with the ScanSnap iX500 Background OCR For The Mac? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WCPssmYMTk)

If I set the output folder of the OCR tool to the Evernote Import Folder Evernote snatches the documents _before_ OCR, or during, wich results to an error message and/or unconverted documents.

Thanks in advance for any ideas.

regards.

.olaf

    Remco - August 9, 2016 Reply

    Hi Olaf,

    I have the same problem with the S510M and OCR software. The script grabs the file before it’s OCR’d.
    Did you find a solution for that problem?

    Kind regards

Fabrizio - December 13, 2013 Reply

Great and useful post! Thanks!! 🙂
This is what I was looking for!!

    Brooks Duncan
    Brooks Duncan - December 13, 2013 Reply

    Great! Glad it helped Fabrizio.

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