How To Export Your Data Out Of Evernote

sadelephantI’ve written quite a bit about the stuff that you can put into Evernote, but what about when you want to take data out?

Any time you are using a “cloud based” service, it’s a legitimate concern: what if the company goes away or if you want to leave the service?  Or what if you just want to have a backup somewhere?

Fortunately Evernote makes this pretty easy to do.   The screenshots for this post are for the Mac version of Evernote, but the Windows concept is the same.

Use The Local Client

You can definitely use Evernote as an exclusively web or mobile based system, but chances are you are using what is called a “local client”.  This means either the Mac or Windows program that runs on your computer.  This is what you’re going to need to use to export your notes.

When you export, you can either export all your notes, a specific notebook, or a specific note.

Exporting All Notes

  • In the Notebooks section, right click on All notebooks
  • Choose Export Notes…

1-rtclickexport

  • When the popup appears, in the Save As field give the export a name.  That will be the name of the folder (if you choose HTML) or the file (if you choose Evernote XML)
  • Choose the folder you want to save your export in
  • Decide whether you want to export as HTML or Evernote XML (read on to find out which one you want to choose)

2-savenotes

Exporting A Specific Notebook

  • In the Notebooks section, right click on the notebook you want to export
  • Choose Export Notes…
  • When the popup appears, in the Save As field give the export a name.  That will be the name of the folder (if you choose HTML) or the file (if you choose Evernote XML)
  • Choose the folder you want to save your export in
  • Decide whether you want to export as HTML or Evernote XML (read on to find out which one you want to choose)

Exporting A Specific Note

  • In the notes section, right click on the note you want to export
  • Choose Export Notes…

3-exportnote

  • When the popup appears, in the Save As field give the export a name.  That will be the name of the folder (if you choose HTML) or the file (if you choose Evernote XML)
  • Choose the folder you want to save your export in
  • Decide whether you want to export as HTML or Evernote XML (read on to find out which one you want to choose)

When you export, you have two options for exporting:  Export as HTML, or as “Evernote XML” (.enex).  I’ll explain both below, but start with exporting as HTML since that’s what most normal humans will want to do.

Export As HTML

If you choose that option, Evernote will create an HTML file (basically a web page you can view on your computer) for each note.  If your note has images, the HTML file will display them.  If it has other attachments like PDFs or MP3s, it will link to them.  Here is how it works.  In this example I will export a notebook.

1) Export Your Notebook.  Since my wife and I love Portland, I have a notebook with Portland tips.

4-exportnotebook

2) I am going to save it to my Desktop in a folder called Portland Notes as HTML

5-savenotes

3) Now when I go to my Desktop, there is a folder called Portland Notes, and inside it is a bunch of .html files, one for each note.  If the note has attachments, there is a “.resources” folder too where the attachments live.

6-foldercontents

You’ll also notice there is a file called index.html.  Let’s click that, shall we?

4) When we open index.html, it is a handy list of all the notes that we have exported with links to each one.

7-index

5) When we open a note that had an image, you can see that the image displays inside the note

8-notewithimage

6) If we open a note that had a PDF, there is a link to the PDF file that we can then open

9-notewithpdf

Export As Evernote XML

If all you want is a backup, or if you want to move your Evernote data to some other system, it may make more sense to export as an Evernote XML file (.enex).

The concept of exporting it is the same, but if you choose Evernote XML, instead of a bunch of HTML files that get exported, you instead just get one big XML file.  Here’s what it looks like if we export that same Portland notebook.

10-portlandxml

As you can see, if you don’t speak XML this isn’t going to help you much, but it preserves all your notes, tags, and data for importing into Evernote or another application.

So there you go, there is how you export your information out of Evernote.  Any other ways I didn’t mention?  Has anyone used the .enex files for anything interesting? Leave a note in the comments.

Photo: BinaryApe

Want More Help With Going Paperless?

4waystotame-3d-png

Want More? Get your FREE guide: 4 Ways To Tame Your Documents.

Tags:

45 Responses to “How To Export Your Data Out Of Evernote”

  1. wee June 23, 2010 at 4:18 am #

    Few things I've noted:-

    When we export the PDFs, we will lose the tags and the "OCR" done by EN on all the documents. So it could be painful still for those who relied on EN's tagging system, or for those who did not properly name their PDF files and relied on the search capabilities.

    • bylr October 9, 2011 at 4:36 pm #

      The reason Evernote won't export an OCR version is that there isn't one, properly speaking. Evernote is optimized for search, so it takes a very broad interpretation of image recognition. E.g., if Evernote encounters the word "boat", it may index it in your database as "boat", "boot", "bool", etc—words that are visually similar to what it thinks the real word is. The advantage is that it's really good at searching your images… but the drawback is that it doesn't actually create an OCR version.

      • BrooksD October 10, 2011 at 8:21 am #

        That's interesting. I didn't know that. So that's the case for PDFs as well as images?

  2. wee June 30, 2010 at 1:57 am #

    Brooks,

    I am sure its a deliberate business decision so I still think its pretty fair.

  3. Tomasz Stasiuk November 12, 2010 at 8:25 am #

    Great article! I was trying to do this, but if you select the export from the FILE menu, you just export the note that is selected. Rt clicking lets you export the entire folder.

  4. BennyB January 9, 2011 at 7:02 pm #

    Thank you. This was exactly what I was looking for and was explained very well.

    • BrooksD January 9, 2011 at 7:50 pm #

      Awesome BennyB, glad it helped!

  5. Aaron March 30, 2011 at 10:06 am #

    I have a lot of notebooks in Google Notebook and I have finally, after several years, decided to switch to EverNote. That being said, I am concerned about the Export options. Google was generous enough to provide an open standard Atom export option, one that could then be imported into EverNote. But if I ever decide to leave EverNote for a competitor, unless that competitor can import ENEX files, I'm kind of stuck.

    • ChristianK July 14, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

      The ENEX files are written in XML. XML is an open standard and a competitor is free to invest a few hours into writing a parser.

  6. cawas April 4, 2011 at 12:57 pm #

    Just wondering, any news on this?

  7. cawas April 4, 2011 at 1:30 pm #

    Thanks for the reply! I've had already searched the forums and the same subject is mostly unanswered there as well. Here are two good candidates to eventually find an answer: http://superuser.com/questions/261501/find-text-o… and http://forum.evernote.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=3

  8. Dubidub April 12, 2011 at 2:14 pm #

    Does anyone, beside Evernote, support the ENEX format?

    • BrooksD April 14, 2011 at 5:15 pm #

      Not that I'm aware of. I've seen sonme projects here and there online with people writing converters etc., but I don't know of any other applications.

  9. rachael July 23, 2011 at 4:03 pm #

    Where can I get an enex converter? Im want microsoft word processor to be able to open my notes. Or even wordpad or something like that. You can't even copy and paste. I am relatively new to evernote. I love it. It is perfect for story writing. BUT if i can't export to .wps or .rtf or some other standard there is no way I can send that data to anyone who doesn't have evernote. Any suggestions? (Other than using works or notepad to write)

    • Ronald Pottol July 28, 2011 at 4:52 pm #

      Well, you can share a link to the notebook or note, and if you are a premium customer, you can make it writeable (and you can revert to an older version if you need to).

      • BrooksD July 28, 2011 at 5:01 pm #

        That's clever Ronald, thanks for that.

    • BrooksD August 9, 2011 at 8:05 am #

      I am assuming you are not on a Mac, but just in case, this might help: http://www.documentsnap.com/export-evernote-rtf/

    • Dan November 8, 2011 at 10:31 am #

      FWIW, I write as well, but have moved my writing entirely out of Evernote. One thing I must have is complete freedom to easily move my writing from one app to another and Evernote does not make it easy. Now, I am not complaining so much as noting that Evernote is not the best tool, IMO, for my writing.

      Personally, I use a combination of tools. When I am out and about I use WriteUp for my IOS devices to take notes, jot down ideas, write dialogue or whatever. You could also use SimpleNote, etc. I just prefer WriteUps Markdown functionality and the dev is active in that area too. I sync that with Dropbox to my computer (and everywhere else). At home on my iMac I use nvALT to take notes and jot things down. Again, excellent Markdown support, blazing fast, great dev, and once I got it into my work flow I have never looked back. That is also synced with my WriteUp folder in Dropbox so everything I have written is always with me whatever I am writing on.

      Finally, when it is time to work on a specific project, I move those very portable text files into Scrivener. Scrivener also syncs with SimpleNote, FYI. I have Word ready for when I get an editor/publisher that demands it, but there is very little I can't do in Scrivener and almost nothing I would want to do in Word. One more thing to note: when I am at my desk and want to write, but am not in project mode in Scrivener yet, I almost always rely on ByWord. It is minimalist but functional and extremely elegant. I much prefer it to Word which is far too bloated and feature rich for about 98% of word processing done today.

      Anyways, sorry to go on but you said you were a writer and I know how important work flow can be for a writer. Just wanted to put out there what has worked for me after A LOT of trial and error. Also, sorry for the frantic typing and any typos. The iPad sucks for this. : )

      • BrooksD November 9, 2011 at 1:43 pm #

        Hi Dan, thanks for the great comment. I am a writing tool geek too. :)

        My writing workflow is pretty similar. I have my writing in plain text files that are on Dropbox. I have them all in nvAlt, and then from there launch ByWord. I do almost all my writing in Markdown too.

        On the iPad I access those same files using Notesy.

        I have tried Scrivener a bit, but haven't managed to pull the trigger on it. Great program though.

        • dhmorrow November 9, 2011 at 1:48 pm #

          It took me a long time to make the jump into Scrivener. My wife has used it for years for her books, but she writes fiction and I primarily write children's books and non-fiction. This last summer though I spent some time watching the tutorial videos, reading a few articles and actually putting some time into it (I tend to lose interest in things quickly). Anyways, shortly thereafter, something clicked and I was hooked. I think for me a lot of it had to do with understanding what it could do, and that I didn't need to use it for everything.

          I have not used Notesy in awhile. I will check it out again. I am always checking out apps – usually when I should be writing. nvALT and ByWord are beautiful, eh? : )

  10. jn122 January 27, 2012 at 4:10 am #

    Like previous three comments (rachael, Dubidub and Aaron) the question of export formats is crucial. Evernote provides all the functionality and more that I need for a research project I am involved with but I need an export format that will allow text to be imported into text analysis software. Unfortunately ENEX format is far from standard and html is even less useful. Any scheduled development taking place on expanding export formats.

  11. Karen January 29, 2012 at 1:58 am #

    Agreed! If Evernote can't allow export in any other standard formats, it will cease to exist pretty quickly.

  12. Towanda Glickson March 17, 2012 at 3:00 am #

    Its really a useful information for who worried about their data protection. hope you missed to review iDrive, carbonite and SOS online backup in this list.

  13. Jaclyn Van Den Berg April 17, 2012 at 3:15 pm #

    Hi There – I tried your suggested Exporting options and I am frustrated because when I right click like you said, I don't get any of the options you explained. Help!!? Should I be using a specific web browswer? Thanks in advance for your help!

    • BrooksD April 17, 2012 at 3:27 pm #

      Are you in the Mac or Windows client or logged in to the web? <p style=”color: #A0A0A8;”>

      • Jaclyn Van Den Berg April 18, 2012 at 10:41 am #

        Logged in to the web. But also wondered – I don't need the premium edition for this do it? It is really just for journal purposes, not a major project or anything – but just trying to figure out the best and easiest way to export if I wanted to print the actual journal into a book.

      • Jaclyn Van Den Berg April 20, 2012 at 12:44 pm #

        Downloaded the Windows version and NOW I see what you are saying. Knew I could figure it out. Thanks for your help – this helps me out a ton!
        Cheers,
        Jaclyn

        • BrooksD April 20, 2012 at 12:50 pm #

          Awesome Jaclyn! Glad it helped. <p style=”color: #A0A0A8;”>

          • lcopernic April 21, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

            Ha The difference between windows client and logged from a pC to the web !
            I was caught.
            thank you

  14. veteran rob December 8, 2012 at 10:38 am #

    For me this EverNote export Language is CRAP !!! All i want is a plain and simple TEXT format (the actually contents).

    Someone else had an article… Exporting Your Stuff From Evernote showing that everything inside any note can be seen found inside our finder Library Folder just like iTunes hidding everything inside the OS Finder Files. BUT ALL OF THIS NO SIMPLIFICATION FOR WANTING MY EVERNOTE TEXT hundreds of notes into my FileMaker database.

    i am on my 3 week trying to find simpiest way ? BUT whenever i import into FileMaker ONE EverNote file thats been exported to my desktop i get multi notes all in hyper language.

    Still no answer? Unless i experiment more trying to extract them from the Finder Library locations ?

    ANYBODY found simply secret how to extract text (your notes) into FileMaker?

  15. John Smith January 4, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

    It's actually very easy to get all the HTML files exported as text, on OS X.

    1) Export everything as HTML files
    2) Use the built in OS X "textutil" command to convert them to the format you want.

    i.e. in the directory where you exported stuff, you would do

    textutil -convert rtf *.html

    Which will convert all the files to HTML format.

    You could also do textutil -convert txt *.html which would convert each of the files to plain text format. Note of course plain text will lose all graphics, and all formatting. So you'd not want to do this for web captures, most likely.

    A little work here can do tons. All you'll lose would be your creation and modification dates, which will be set to the time that textutil was run on the files

    • BrooksD January 4, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

      Interesting. Thanks John!

  16. CTS February 24, 2013 at 7:46 am #

    I found the comment that Evernote will cease to exist if it doesn't make a more universal export format ironic. In fact, they are hoping to lock in customers by making export hard. I bet more people will stick with Evernote, rather than deal with the hassle of exporting, over switching.

  17. Janice March 18, 2013 at 2:17 pm #

    CTS is right, except for me. I am going to look into Google Drive, I need my data to be easy to get out…

  18. bing March 28, 2013 at 6:11 am #

    ''if you don't speak xml"… cheeky.
    the author willfully ignores mentioning what possibilities if any exist for the exported file.
    or as a previous commenter has observed, that's Evernote's strategy, to lock users into its format so they can never quit.

  19. mikeboogie April 6, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

    Kinda hard to keep staying with Evernote when they have issues with updates on Windows 7 x64 machines which they're not addressing. Their apps keep on getting more and more bloated as well. Even if people have to save their notes to .MHT or HTML, they may resort to copy and pasting because Evernote sure has a devil may care attitude and they don't care about losing subscribers.

  20. Josh May 21, 2014 at 10:24 am #

    One thing that is missing from this discussion is the fact that, as far as I can tell, only the .ENEX format can currently be directly imported into evernote.

    So if your purpose is to backup your evernote in case it crashes or loses data and then reimport your notes, you need ENEX format. Granted, I think this is a minor concern. Probably most people are concerned about evernote no longer being offered and losing their notes.

    And of course XML being a generic data exchange format, with some work you won’t have to worry about the format becoming extinct. Also you can always open the enex file in regular text editor and at least read the text.

  21. Deborah June 8, 2014 at 12:03 pm #

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about unconcentrative. Regards

  22. directory listing services August 20, 2014 at 5:54 pm #

    Article Marketing I can’t write an article about web marketing strategies without including article marketing.
    One pal of ours even went so far as to create a weekly video show talking in regards to the completely different developments in his industry.

    If you’re not familiar with search operators you can learn more about them from
    Google here.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Evernote Tip: Export To Stay Under 100 Folder Limit | Planet10Tech - January 8, 2011

    [...] to Ben Stevens for bringing up exporting from Evernote at MILOfest and DocumentSnap for documenting the process of exporting [...]

  2. The electronic lab notebook blog » The Encyclopedia of Open Research and the data/publication problem - November 14, 2011

    [...] impossible to export data from most electronic lab notebooks, and even generic tools like Evernote do not support export very well.  Google is better, and is serving as a model.  Google has [...]

  3. How Can I Convert Evernote’s Notes To Standard TXT Files? | Click & Find Answer ! - April 20, 2013

    [...] Here’s a walkthrough. You’ll need the Evernote desktop app.from http://www.documentsnap.com/how-to-export-your-data-out-of-evernote/ [...]

  4. The Personal Analytics of My Evernotes | Jing Wang's Space - August 8, 2013

    [...] use the official clients. Both the windows and the Mac Evernote official client can export data in ENEX format. Unfortunately, the development team of Evernote decides not to develop any linux client in [...]

  5. Do you rely on Evernote? | Information Technology News - January 4, 2014

    […] might want to read this blog.  If you do, make sure to export and archive your notes on local storage […]

  6. A Guide to Evernote (Part 1) - Paul Ciano - June 2, 2014

    […] simply want to backup some notes or notebooks, you can select the desired entries, right click, and select the Export option. Here, you will have the option of exporting your content into two different formats, […]

Leave a Reply