Switching from Evernote using YARLE, problem with metadata

Hey everyone,

hope someone can help me out.

What I’m trying to do

I want to move my Evernote archive (about 2,000 notes in 30 notebooks) to Obsidian and I want the markdown files to keep the creation date and modification date metadata as well as the tags of the original notes in Evernote. The attachments should be extracted and collected in a folder of their own. If possible I’d like to replicate the organizational structure of notes being assigned to notebooks and notebooks being assigned to stacks as well, through a corresponding folder tree in the vault. Though the latter is neither difficult to achieve nor all-too important to me.

What I’ve tried so far

I have sucessfully exported all my notebooks as enex files. No information is lost at this stage as far as I can tell. The problems pertain to the conversion to markdown. I’ve messed around with a few tools, among them Joplin and Notable, but the output couldn’t satisfy me. I think @akos0215’s YARLE is the most promising tool, so I spend lots of time in YARLE’s GUI trying different settings and modifying the template. I really like the amount of options and the Zettelkasten-ID prefixer.

What workes and what doesn’t

In general, the conversion has already worked really fine. Tags, attachments, formatting, all fine. However, some md files—but not all—will show the time of conversion as their time of creation. Their date of last modification, on the other hand, is always correct (i.e. the same as the source note’s in Evernote).
I really don’t understand why this happens, especially since the creation date must be extracted correctly from the enex file at first, which I know because it shows up fine in the Zettelkasten ID prefix as well as in the YAML frontmatter of every note.

Musings on diagnosis and treatment

I suspect that the issue could be due to Windows. (Correct me if I’m wrong. Teach me if you know more.) I’m still on Windows unfortunately, but I’m going to get an Apple silicon Mac some time not too far from now. Can you run YARLE on Linux? I’d be happy to if someone can assist me…
Well, I know that Windows’s file explorer messes around with files’ timestamps: when copying a file, the newly created copy in the target directory will show the time of the copying process as its time of creation metadata, not the original file’s one. This is a severe annoyance, to say the least. Can’t believe I’ve just learned about that today. So I need extra software for copying in oder to even backup my vault properly. Anyways, could this behavior of Windows have anything to do with the inconsistent metadata of YARLE’s markdown output?

As to a possible solution, while I’m not tech-savvy enough (yet) to implement this idea myself, I think it should be possible to write a script or something to correct the creation date after the faulty conversion. As I mentioned before, the correct date of creation is right in the file name thanks to the Zettelkasten ID. Plus, in the file’s frontmatter the time is even specified by the second, since I chose the date format in YARLE’s settings accordingly. I wish I could automate the process of parsing the frontmatter of each file to retrieve the right creation time and then changing its timestamp to match the latter. If someone reading this is competent and willing to do this, I’ll be very grateful.

Take care, y’all!

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I’ve been corresponding with @akos0215, who has just released a patch for YARLE. Seems the problem is fixed now :+1:

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