Export Evernote to Markdown

Export Evernote to Markdown

A few key strokes to migrate away


3 min read

Here is a quick solution to migrate away from Evernote.

Export to DB

I use vzhd1701/evernote-backup . The key commands are:

$ evernote-backup init-db
$ evernote-backup sync
$ evernote-backup export output_dir/
$ evernote-backup export --single-notes output_dir_single/

You get a bunch of .enex files in output_dir_single after this.

Btw, the author of this project also compiled a decent list of adjancent projects just in case the current tool does not work / outdates. Highly recommend to take a look.

Convert to markdown

I use wormi4ok/evernote2md to convert *.enex into markdown notes. We can use xargs to operate on all the output files. Example commdn is below:

%\ls -1 output_dir_single | xargs -INOTEBOOK evernote2md 'output_dir_single/NOTEBOOK' 'md/NOTEBOOK'

This tool was last updated in 2021 and worked in late 2022 as I tested then.


  • There are 11029 notes in total. Since I only actively used it from 2014 to 2017, that means 11029 / 4 / 365 = 7 new notes per day.
  • Most notes are just web clips that I don't revisit. This collection is 2.3G. When I looked back, most are just technology news / troubleshooting tips that were outdated for years.
  • Next big collection is freehand, i.e. my random notes, which is 1G. There are still some useful information, some precious memories, and mostly noise. The initial intention to have a "freehand" collection is to drop down quick notes/ thoughts so that I could organize later. It turned out that I never had the luxury time to organize them properly. I think the mostly destination of this collection is a searchable index, e.g. Google Drive, so that I can passively use the content.
  • Web clips are convenient to generate but hard to re-use. I almost never re used those notes. A lot of the pages clipped are not very legible due to complex HTML/ CSS in original website.
  • When I look back, the most visited items turn out to be my own documents like passport/ ID... Many people have a mobile phone album for this purpose now and I kind of bought in the practice now. Back to that time, I worked mainly on desktop and used Evernote to ensure the files are at hand when I needed them.

More background regarding the last point:

  • I rejected using iPhone until 2017 because I don't like the idea that "someone has already designed it all for you" -- Result: I changed a few Android phones and my data was not properly migrated, so I relied on desktop for important working files.
  • I did not like the idea that cell phone could be a working platform (so as a serious programmer I used desktops) -- Result: Due to intensive business travels later on, I ended up wasting much would-be-productive time.

The more we are good at old crafts the more difficult for us to migrate. However,

Stillness is what creates love. Movement is what creates life. To be still and still moving -- this is everything.

-- Do Hyun Choe

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