Evernote migration

It is high time to get out of Evernote. The clients are slow and there are endless horror stories of failed syncs resulting in catastrophic loss of data.

Recent motivations:

The ideal "second brain"

  • Self-hosted with local copies in each device, synchronized via Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, SparkleShare, SpiderOak etc.
  • Easy migration and export of content.
    • Basic notes should be in MarkDown format with attachments (images, etc) stored in a folder named after the note (e.g. My_Note.md + My_Note.resource/).
    • Export and print also in PDF/A and HTML.
  • Powerful search, including OCR of images and PDFs
  • Cross-platform (Windows and Linux will suffice for now)
  • Note / NoteBook level encryption, seamless integration with VeraCrypt (aka TrueCrypt) and Jetico encrypted containers (automatic mount/unmount)
  • One-click creation of a new note (e.g. WIN+n)
  • Tag support as inline MarkDown

What do I store and how do I acquire it?

  • All bills, receipts, warranty cards etc. are scanned (Canon P-150) to PDFs
    • PDFs need to be converted to searchable PDF/As (hidden text)
  • Web clipping is the biggest source of notes. Results would be stored in HTML or rich text format (or mark down)
    • Probably most of the material could be sufficiently captured as plain text - but sometimes there will be images you want to carry over.
    • One idea is to “print to PDF” from the browser and use a PDF automation tool to do OCR if not automatically provided otherwise.
  • Downloaded PDFs, ePUBs etc. stored in the same place to enable search (maybe tagging too?)
  • Easy sync with Dropbox, Spideroak, OneDrive or SparkleShare
  • Encryption - with containers or build in support? This can affect searching..

Open questions

  • All-in-one (self-contained) application or “do one thing well” applications with well structured file/folder setup
    • closed database is probably a pain when it comes to migration
  • The best tools cost money (budget? can these be purchased over time, do I still have something useful in the meantime?)
  • Some of the windows-only software (e.g. OneNote) may run with Wine using PlayOnLinux (http://wiki.playonlinux.com/index.php/Main_Page)

Software and services to check out

PDF OCR, Scanning and document management

Search and synchronization tools

Miscellaneous tools

Markdown Editors

Note taking

Research library tools

For other files: audio: http://www.subsonic.org/pages/index.jsp

See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_reference_management_software

Current Setup Plan

(yet to be implemented)

  • Sync via DropBox (Also test the setup on OneDrive; Spideroak's Android app is so bad that it's not a viable option at this time)
  • Encrypt in BestCrypt container
  • Search with FileLocator and text editor's built in “Project Search” (Atom.io)
  • OCR PDFs with ABBYY PDF tools
    • Carefully named PDF file titles to ease search
  • Create notes with Atom text editor
    • All note attachments (e.g. images) are located in a folder named after the text file
      • For example: *vim_reference_cheat_sheet.md* + *vim_reference_cheat_sheet.resource/image.png*
    • Folders in NOTES root are considered NoteBook names
  • Android Dropbox + BestCrypt to access notes in containers
    • Note editing in JotterPad


  • Microsoft Surface Pro 4 (+ eventually a Surface Book)
  • VMWare Workstation for Linux
  • Portable LTE-module with its own battery for connectivity
Last modified: le 2020/04/12 09:28