Standard Notes. Making the switch from Evernote.

What I have found is that it’s not a simple task to transfer data from Evernote to Standard Notes as is. The apps are not close to being like for like. Standard Notes does not pretend to be an EN clone. This has turned out to be a good thing for me. Evernote led me to hoarding a lot of crap I have never gone back to.

The big issue on making the jump was not being able to automatically transfer attachments with notes. As a lot of my notes had some kind of attachment. This put me off making the move for a time. I’d been looking to dump Evernote for at least the last couple of years though and Standard Notes offering as FOSS and with end to end encryption was what I wanted. I decided to bite the bullet with Standard Notes cyber Monday offer and see how I got on.

I started off then with notes that did not have attachments. That was pretty effortless and worked using the import tool without a hitch. Turns out that these notes had the most value for me as they were original content as opposed to stuff I’d snagged with the Evernote web clipper or had been created simply as a result of using Evernote to store files. Once I realised that (notes I had with attachments were just in fact attachments without any note) things quickly became easier. I decided to simply batch download the attachments using note books and/or tags to help order content. I don’t use Standard Notes to store these files. They’re now on an e2e encrypted cloud which I can access on desktop/mobile (pretty standard I know).

That still left a lot of notes on Evernote. Reviewing these revealed again what a lot of hoarding I’d done. It prompted me to have a digital tidy up and a lot of notes were deleted. I simply did not need them. The review process took a lot of time and I’ve still some to go. I am not though adding anything else to Evernote so the list is going down slowly.

There is no web clipper with Standard Notes. This had reduced my hoarding and led me to being more selective about what I snag from the web. What I do now is use a clear read extension on my browser, copy the content I want and paste it to a new note in Standard Notes. With the extended editors this works fine for me.

The Android app for Standard Notes simply does not work in a way that makes it a viable option for me. I don’t know why and neither does it seem anyone else. Check out the Github issues page for more detail on this. I’m choosing to believe the bugs will eventually be found and resolved. It’s not having a big impact on me right now but I would of course like it to work.

So of now I still have an Evernote account with stuff in it. I have downloaded all the content. My plan is to delete my Evernote account and manage these files using an unsynced install of NixNote (a desktop app that provides for Evernote’s failure to provide a Linux desktop client). This will give me as much time as I like to sort through and transfer what I have left to Standard Notes as needs require.

As an aside moving to Standard Notes has led to a positive change in the way I create, gather, store and protect my data. I’m a good way down the road to using FOSS solutions for all my day to day computing needs. Standard Notes fits with this ethos. I have been able to adapt my work flow such that this has become perfectly workable for me. Yes it takes a bit more time and effort to find my way and what works for me rather than going with ‘mainstream’ provision but if I was happy with that I’d not be making the investment I am.

What about you? How you getting on with it? Any tips / advice from going through the process? 

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