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How to Switch from Evernote

May 3, 2023 — Jim Neumann
Image showing an elephant walking away and a DEVONthink icon in the foreground.

Over the years, we have had many people migrate to DEVONthink for one reason or another. One application people have switched from is Evernote. If you are considering making such a move, here is how to switch and what to expect.

There are basically two methods for importing notes from Evernote:

Import in DEVONthink

DEVONthink has the feature to import notes directly from Evernote. However, due to changes in the underlying technology in the recent versions of Evernote, the inter-application communication no longer works, so you need a legacy version of Evernote to use this import. If there is no download available, contact Evernote’s support and request it.

Launch the legacy version of Evernote, then choose File > Import > Notes from Evernote in DEVONthink. Choose the desired notebooks to import. This will create an Evernote group at the root of the current database containing the imported notebooks and their notes.

Export from Evernote

This a bit more manual option can be used with the recent version of Evernote. Control-click the desired notebook in the Notebooks section in Evernote’s sidebar and choose Export notebook. Choose .enex as the format. Drag and drop the exported file onto DEVONthink’s dock icon to import it. The notebook will be imported as a group bearing the name of the notebook. As of this writing, you can export more than 50 notes at a time.


  • Notes are imported as formatted notes, a type of HTML file similar to Evernote’s format. Evernote utilizes its own particular styling in the application, so there will be variation in the appearance in DEVONthink.
  • Notes with images have the image data embedded in them. This increases the file size of the imported documents.
  • Notes with PDFs will be placed into groups with the PDF imported as a separate document. This is technically accurate as the PDF isn’t embedded in Evernote, only linked.
  • If you import Evernote’s task notes as .enex files into DEVONthink, DEVONthink may not be able to display the note correctly. If exported to .html instead of .enex, it will display correctly though it’s only cosmetic and can’t be used like in Evernote.
  • There is no connection between DEVONthink and Evernote’s notebooks, so if you continue using their application, changes will not propagate between the two. And reimporting a notebook will result in duplicate documents in DEVONthink.

We hope this helps make the transition to DEVONthink as easy as possible.