Moving to Keep It from Evernote (2023 Edition)

Whenever there is talk of Evernote layoffs, or price rises, or when that Electron rewrite happened for version 10 and Evernote lost things people relied on such as automation, I get an influx of people showing up interested in Keep It.

If you want to import your data from Evernote into Keep It, you’ll need to export an ENEX file first. Find full instructions on the Keep It support page.

As noted there, Keep It will import notes with single attachments as standalone files, web clippings as HTML files, and everything else as a Keep It note, preserving metadata such as tags, and creation and modification dates. 

And yes, Keep It will automatically perform text recognition (OCR) on images and PDFs, whether standalone files or attachments, so that you will still be able to find those.

Make Smart Choices

Whether or not you choose to move to Keep It, I’d urge anyone considering moving from Evernote to another app to make sure that the new app allows you to get your notes out again in a useable format. 

Apps cannot import data from another app if that data that cannot be exported.

For example, Apple’s Notes app can only export individual notes as PDFs or as text via the share sheet, and while you can get further with AppleScript (which Keep It’s Apple Notes importer uses), you can still lose things like clickable links and hashtags.

Exporting from Keep It

Keep It stores everything you put in it as files in standard formats that you can access in the Finder, and can export everything as files and folders, preserving folder hierarchies and tags, by selecting All Items in the sidebar and choosing File > Export All Files from the menu. Or on iOS, tap and hold on All Items and choose Export All Files to export a folder of the files and folders, or a zip file.

When exported, Keep It’s own notes format are converted to rich text files that you can open in TextEdit and many other Mac apps, and view in the iOS Files app. You can also manually convert Keep It notes to rich text files just by renaming them to have a .rtfd extension. Exported notes will lose note-specific features, such as horizontal dividers and interactive checklists, but you’ll see text equivalents instead.

Encrypted files in Keep It are zip files that, provided you know the password (which is stored in your Keychain), can be decrypted in the Finder by opening them with the Archive Utility app, in the Files app on iOS, or with apps such as The Unarchiver, which is free. Keep It always offers to decrypt your encrypted files when you export them from the app.

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