10k notes in Evernote...How to start?

Thanks, for relating your experiences with Joplin. I had never heard of it and was just curious. As a command line junky, I was intrigued by its command line client.

One of the first short-cuts I mastered was Cmd-E (on macOS), for toggling between editor and render mode. I hit that as much as several times a minute if I’m creating an entry with rendering concerns. It’s not quite realtime WYSIWYG, but it’s very close.

When I write and want to see the preview at the same time, I open the same note (per Ctrl-Click) in a parallel pane in preview mode. Every formatting you do and every image immediately is visible.

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You can use Joplin to import your notes, then export markdown that can be opened by Obsidian. it works well.

I still use Joplin to gather stuff from the Web.


You may want to check out yarle from @akos0215.


Hi. I also want to get out of Evernote. But after 12 years Evernote I have around 100.000 notes and 1000 notebooks in Evernote. I tested Bear (ipad) and Joplin (Windows 10) and Joplin is giving the best result. But I have to export every notebook to a enex file and then import in Joplin and export to Markdown. Did you try Yarle ? I think that if a developper would make a good Evernote exporter to Markdown that a lot of people would pay for that tool. The latest Evernote 10 is so slow that I can not use it anymore. Thats why I decided that I never would put my notes in the hands of a company format. Obsidian and Markdown is not perfect but it is the best that I ever have found. In the summer I tested more then 50 replacements for Evernote including MS VScode. That one I did liked the most but there was no filemanagent and linking. Obsidian is the best of VScode and so much more. I did go very deep in Obsidian and I start my day with it and keep it open all day.

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I did this as well, but am struggling to find my attachments? I am going to go look for the _resources folder. Thank you!

Wow man! you do have a lot of notes!

My humble notebooks have a couple thousands more or less. As others, I’ve installed Joplin just to convert enex files - one by one for each Evernote notebook - to a folder with notes in md (and the _resources folder too). That folder is just a vault that can be opened with Obsidian.

I use VS Code to edit as well because of the markdownlint plugin that keeps me in line with the md format.

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I tested and compared 4 different methods for converting an Evernote .enex export into markdown for Obsidian, on MacOS.

  1. Import into Joplin (as markdown), export as markdown.
  2. Import into Bear, export as markdown.
  3. evernote2md - https://github.com/wormi4ok/evernote2md
  4. yarle - https://github.com/akosbalasko/yarle

Joplin and Yarle were the best at properly converting formatting, including tables and web clips. Their markdown output is nearly identical. The other two were fine, but didn’t output markdown quite as cleanly. Bear didn’t handle tables and evernote2md included some HTML if I recall.

PROs for Joplin:

  • Much easier than Yarle because it’s an app.
  • Slightly superior markdown. (Yarle added some extra \ characters but they don’t show up in the rendered Preview.)


  • Exported files don’t retain tags.
  • Exported files don’t retain their Evernote last-modified timestamp.

PROs for Yarle:

  • Exported files do retain their last-modified timestamp.
  • Template feature for including metadata in the final markdown, including created-at and modified-at timestamps, tags, and lat/lon location. I used this to generate a front-matter section (see below), though the tags don’t conform to Obsidian’s standard format for frontmatter tags. And the rest of the metadata might need some post-processing if you want a different format.

CONs for Yarle:

  • It’s a command-line utility so much more advanced. Took me a good hour to troubleshoot to get it working and work around an apparent bug in how the script finds my template file. Use the ‘npx / no install’ method if you go this route. I’ll inform the creator of the bug.
  • Converts your note titles to lowercase - an annoyance since Obsidian filenames are used directly in text and lettercase can be meaningful.
  • Bug: includes a blank location tag when there’s no location metadata attached to a note.

(I’ve submitted all of these issues to the creator so hopefully they’ll get resolved in the near future.)

Conclusion: Joplin is the quick and easy solution if you don’t mind losing metadata like tags and timestamps. Yarle is better if you want to keep metadata.

Bear will also output tags (at the bottom) and preserve file timestamp. Here’s a detailed blog post outlining Evernote conversion using Bear, that might also be helpful when using other methods. http://www.markwk.com/migrate-evernote-plaintext.html

Here is my Yarle template file, producing a frontmatter block followed by title and content:

{metadata-block}{notebook-block}evernote-notebook: {notebook}{end-notebook-block}
{created-at-block}created-at: {created-at}{end-created-at-block}
{updated-at-block}modified-at: {updated-at}{end-updated-at-block}
{location-block}location: {location}{end-location-block}{end-metadata-block}
{tags-block}tags: {tags}{end-tags-block}

{title-block}# {title}{end-title-block}


This produces something like this:

evernote-notebook: test-notebook
created-at: 2020-03-12T01:36:22-07:00
modified-at: 2020-03-23T00:57:58-07:00
location: -122.672119189073,38.44120077906999
tags: #test #test2

# Title of the note

Content of the note....

I found a decent solution for this by utilizing Notion (I never got into notion due to too much point-click interface which doesn’t float my boat);

However, Notion provided good functionality to

  • a) import all of notes from EN into Notion and
  • b) Export from Notion to MD
  • c) Lastly, import or copy MD’s into my vaults folder.

And voilah! Except now I have been tediously processing these notes into something manageable and have finally come close to the light at the end of the tunnel!

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Hi Jimmy. Can I ask you a few questions because this sounds very interesting?
When You import Evernote to Notion and Export to MD what happens to:

  • Stacks?
  • 1 Evernote note = 1 Mardown file?
  • Pictures ?
  • Tags
  • Tables
  • Webclipping
  • Last modifies Time stamps
  • Filenames

Did you also test with Joplin, Bear or Yarle ?
How many notes did you convert? I have to around 100.000 :slight_smile:
Any help would be very welcome.

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Your reply encouraged me to share my own experience. I haven’t processed so many notes (just 2k) but hope this helps somehow!

From Evernote to Obsidian

Hi, thanks for contributions to this thread.
All my stuff is in Evernote too, only 34 Notebooks and 861 notes.
I haven’t played with any of the tools noted.
GitHub - akosbalasko/yarle: Yarle - The ultimate converter of Evernote notes to Markdown has big claims.
Has anyone tried it to move from Evernote to Obsidian?

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I’ve created an app to help export from Evernote to Obsidian - I specifically wanted something that preserved my Evernote tag hierarchy (I have 12,000 notes, with a deep tag hierarchy).

If you’d like to try it out I’d welcome feedback on what I can do to improve it: …Obsidian | ExportNote: Your Evernote content continuously saved locally

I can already see from the above comments that I should include the Evernote note attributes such as lon/lat, location, author, etc in the front matter (I currently just have the tags). That will be next.

Hi @dmehers !

May I ask what was wrong with my app which has the same goal (as I see), what is the feature you missed?

Here is mine: GitHub - akosbalasko/yarle: Yarle - The ultimate converter of Evernote notes to Markdown


Hi Akos,

To be honest I didn’t look deeply into what was already there, I just wanted to create the perfect app for me (that might be useful for other people).

I wanted my complete tag hierarchy, which last time I checked wasn’t in the exported enex, which is why I talk to Evernote’s servers to download metadata (and optionally the content). I liked the idea of using symbolic links for tagged notes, so that the content wasn’t duplicated.

I also wanted something that was an app rather than a command line tool.

Finally I wanted to exercise my Swift and SwiftUI skills to build the app from scratch, although when I created my Windows version of the app I then converted my Swift code to C#.

I’m sorry if I upset you by creating something that is similar to your tool.



I’ve browsed yarle and it seems I did look at using it last year - maybe that is what gave me the idea to create my own app as a side-project Nested tags -> folders? · Discussion #267 · akosbalasko/yarle · GitHub

One other thing: ExportNote maintains a sqlite database of what has already been synced, meaning if you subsequently create or update a note in Evernote and re-run the sync, only those changes are regenerated as markdown or HTML, which will be almost instant.

The idea is that you can continue using Evernote, and ExportNote will continuously keep your markdown and/or html files up to date.

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This seems like an excellent tool for my applications too. The synching would be helpful.
What I need is the meta information of Evernote notes with the tags and the note. I think older apps were around to do this, but I like your use of sqlite. When do you see including note meta information in the export?

Hi, the latest update includes the Evernote metadata in the markdown frontmatter, and it’s been there from day one for HTML.

Don’t hesitate to let me know if it isn’t what you are looking for exactly, and I can update it.

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Hi @dmehers ,

aham, okok, I get the point. No problem at all, I was just surprised a bit.


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