Evernote and Joplin migration with many notebook stacks: opinions on YARLE vs Obsidian importer plugin circa early 2024

Evernote Legacy 7.14.1 macOS and Joplin migration questions with many notebook stacks / folders.

I’ve searched around on here, reddit, and Discord and am finding general info. on YARLE on importing from 2022 but nothing newer.

Import from Evernote - Obsidian Help seems to suggest one has to go notebook-by-notebook (export 1 notebook, import 1 notebook; export 1 notebook, import 1 notebook). It also doesn’t say what happens to Shortcuts/Note Links that are cross-notebook.

Appreciate answers from those who’ve recently tried YARLE and/or Obsidian importer, and especially who’ve tried both, for import from Evernote and also for import from Joplin.

A. Evernote → Obsidian questions (8700 old archived notes in 178 notebooks in 13 stacks) (Evernote Legacy macOS 7.14.1)

  1. intra-Evernote links (shortcuts / Note Links) that are across-notebooks, across stacks - which is better? What are respective shortcomings of YARLE vs. Obsidian importer plugin for these Note Links? Tips?

  2. Notebook stacks - which is better, respective pros/cons of YARLE vs. Obsidian importer plugin? Can either handle importing entire stack structure in one-go without having to export all notes in each notebook in each stack manually and if so how?

  3. Preserving local computer file macOS Shortcuts (links) in Evernote Legacy - can either import method preserve these?

  4. YARLE help pages are a bit confusing, do I have to export each notebook’s notes one notebook at a time? Or if YARLE runs on an M1 macOS Evernote Legacy v7.14.1 app’s local database all-at-once, how to do this?

B. Joplin → Obsidian (65 notebooks in 11 main notebook groups, 4000 notes)

  1. What is the best way of importing all these from Joplin into Obsidian, preserving Markdown links and External links to local macOS files?

  2. Any “one and done” or other tips rather than notebook-by-notebook?

  3. Can I also copy over favorites or do I have to manually re-create favorites?

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Hi @m2927ae ,
I’m akos, I’m the developer of Yarle, so I can answer your Yarle-related questions. I’m sorry for the confusing help page. Here are my answers:

  1. In Yarle you can select more notebooks, not just one, to be converted. It is exactly because of keeping the inter-notebook links. But it requires an extra manual step: A Table of Contents note must exist in every notebook that is converted.
  2. I’m not sure if Notebook Stacks can be exported from Evernote at all, just single notebooks, or not? So, currently, conversion of Notebook Stacks is not supported yet.
  3. I don’t really understand this question. Do you mean that a shortcut pointing to your local machine is stored within a note in Evernote?
  4. Yarle converts the exported Enex files, so it has no access to any internal DB of Evernote.
    Hope it is a bit clearer now, but feel free to raise issues on github (Issues · akosbalasko/yarle · GitHub) if you’re struggling with anything, I used to check that more often.
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Thank you for your detailed reply, and for your open-source Yarle creation!

For #1, I don’t have table of contents notes and so that would be quite labor intensive to create on for each notebook, even though it would let me preserve inter-notebook links. #2 - right, Stacks are something in the internal Evernote database structure. I could add tags manually (selecting all the notes in a Notebook) for the stack name. I also looked at Filterize.net to help automate this but limits on the notes processed each day make it a less than automatic process.

#3, yes, the old Evernote legacy let me create a shortcut / link to a locally stored file on that machine. I had a lot of these pointing to Outlook and Apple Mail files (back when older Outlook and older Apple Mail made it easier to locate / link to a specific email message file), PDFs stored locally rather than within the Evernote database/note, etc.

As these are archive notes I rarely access it may be easier for me to manually add custom tags unique for each notebook name within Evernote legacy macOS client, and simply export all the notes into a single Enex to import into an “Archive” folder in Osididian. I long ago canceled Evernote and did not upgrade the legacy client so I have full access within Evernote offline to all my archived notes - but if a macOS update breaks Evernote legacy, I would lose that.

I have the same request as m2927ae, I am in the process of migrating comparable notebooks and notes to Obsidian. Yarle already helps me a lot, thank you!
I have a large amount of cross-notebook links, but I realized that unfortunately, creating TOC notes is not available in the current (new) Evernote version: https://help.evernote.com/hc/en-us/articles/209005667-Create-a-table-of-contents,
(end of page)
and legacy Evernote version is taken out of service today (Saying goodbye to legacy versions of the Evernote app)

Maybe there is another way to export notebook cross links without creation TOC notes? I built some Python pipeline for running the whole migration process faster, so I can enable some kind of workaround.

Thank you in advance!

As of today March 30, 2024, post-Evernote legacy being decommissioned, Evernote Legacy 7.14.1 still works on macOS Sonoma 14.3.1 provided you are disconnected (logged out) from your Evernote account. That was not the final version of Legacy, the final Legacy macOS version would not let me access my offline notes without being connected to Evernote.

I still haven’t had time to try Yarle or to convert by another means my Evernote archive rarely used to Obsidian. I’m also going to try someday to migrate active note taking from Joplin to Obsidian as I newly have some glitches in Joplin Cloud sync that I cannot easily resolve apparently due to the way the Joplin database is a single file, vs. Obsidian’s folder-and-file tree structure for notes. Since I accumulate a lot of notes I find interesting at the time but later never, ever access - it may be easier for me to start over with a new folder structure in Obsidian and manually export a few active notes / notebooks.

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