What’s Your Apple Notes Exit Strategy?

If you’re like me, you may have jumped ship from Evernote to Apple Notes. Unfortunately, with 10K worth of notes, Apple Notes moves like molasses. (Sorry, David Pogue, Apple Notes isn’t a good enough replacement for Evernote when you’re dealing with that many notes…I suppose I should have guessed that).

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So, what’s your exit strategy? Since I archive old emails, it’s important for them to be searchable…saving them all in Evernote or Apple Notes wasn’t a good idea, as I discovered.

One approach I’ve decided to revisit is exporting all the notes to text format (TXT). This makes them readable by any word processor or app. But, with over 5K of these notes in Apple Notes, I wondered how I might be able to get them OUT of Apple Notes? Thankfully, someone else already thought of that.

Step 1 – Export Your Apple Notes to Text Files
The Write app folks have come up with Notes’ Exporter, a utility that runs on your Mac OS X computer (I’m running El Capitan) and it’s now slogging (successfully!) it’s way through the export.

The export simply has you point to a folder where you want to dump your files (more on that in a minute):

Notice the Notes Exporter on the left side of the screenshot above, and exported notes on the right.

Step 2 – Setup a Dropbox folder to place your TXT files
If you store these text files on Dropbox–they don’t take up a lot of room, so you’re not losing much space out of your free account–then you can access them from anywhere…and, you can organize them quite easily.

Step 3 – Install a Text Editing App on Your Mobile Device
Since I will be accessing these text files across various mobile devices, I am taking advantage of Byword app (iOS), although there are plenty of text friendly apps (check the chart) you can use to get the job done such as Draft (available on iOS and Android), IAWriter, or NOCS (free).

If I was doing this again, I’d probably following this sequence:
1) Select the app you want because it will create a folder on Dropbox where your files will be stored, although with the right text editor, you can just point it at any directory you want.
2) Run the Exporter and save the files to the appropriate Dropbox directory.

Over all, a straightforward process.


Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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One thought on “What’s Your Apple Notes Exit Strategy?

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  1. You could just go back to evernote and recreate the missing documents that were created in apple notes since you started with apple notes. That would be a small subset. From there you could easily start using onenote, there is a evernote2onenote script out there that works great. It'll keep all your formatting too.

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