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Export (Backup) Notes in Mountain Lion?

15722 Views 26 Replies Latest reply: Oct 27, 2013 11:34 PM by ShahKevin RSS
  • Kenneth Nielsen Level 2 Level 2 (205 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 25, 2013 6:38 PM (in response to swriviera)

    The day that Notes are backed up to iTunes like everything else is the day that the iPhone will be perfect. Notes is the only basic app that is still 'never developed.'

  • Kenneth Nielsen Level 2 Level 2 (205 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 25, 2013 6:42 PM (in response to LambdaEnt)

    LambdaEnt wrote:

     

    Sorry, akiraabe, you go the path wrong. Missing the Data folder:

    ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.Notes/Data/Library/Notes/

     

    Close though! Thanks

     

     

    Honestly?

     

    There is nothing there that opens or shows notes using any application. Just gobeldegook data pointer files, not notes.

     

    This is the worst thing from Apple. Makes you want to go back to MS DOS.

  • ancientscream Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 8, 2013 5:41 AM (in response to etresoft)

    urgh cough, thats all lots of time copying and pasting, if you have lots of notes each containing multi thousand word bits of information, and exporting my data for backup from the programs I use is an essential thing, why would i trust that a company or a service or software would be there indefinately ? data is portable and should remain portable and use open source agreed formats and standards, exportable by the user into data formats relevant for them, notes should export ino a series of plaintext documents at minimum in one hit, so that we are covered if something bad happens. in a future war data centers might be a prime target at that point, just as television and radio stations were in the past.

  • Gadget-Guy Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 14, 2013 4:24 PM (in response to ancientscream)

    I am *stuck* as well.

     

    I have just over 2,000 notes on my Mac that only exist on my Mac. I started with an iPod touch (prob. the first year they came out), because I thought I'd "drink the Kool-Ade" and go down the Apple path.

     

    Now, I've been having some iPhone problems and we're finding out my notes are now on the Mac-only.

     

    There doesn't seem to be a way to get them into the cloud and 3rd party apps say the old iPhone backups are corrupted.

     

    So, how do I get them out of this closed system?

     

    Having the same prob. in that my contacts are mostly not on the phone, nor in the cloud (on an exchange server that isn't export-friendly).

     

    My data is slowly getting boxed into closed systems - How do I get it out and into things that I can import/export from and are somewhat "future-proof"?

     

    Biggest issue at the moment is getting the notes out of "Notes" and into something else.

     

    Any thoughts?

  • Kenneth Nielsen Level 2 Level 2 (205 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 14, 2013 10:12 PM (in response to Gadget-Guy)

    After posting here numerous times in a fit of frustration with the notes app that comes with the iPhone, last time it lost 2/3rds of my notes after I upgraded to the iPhone 5. I had had enough already. Someone here recommended an app called Evernote, and that was the end of my troubles. Rather than going on raving about Evernote, i'll let you do that on your own, I'll simply say 'It Works!'

     

    I was able to save all of the 'lost notes' which were still on my iPad. Yipee, years of work and notetaking saved! Yes, you'lll have to copy and paste notes over from the old to the new, but remember, you are getting rid of the biggest headache Apple ever produced - the stupid notes app.

     

    Once you start reading about Evernote you will see that it backs up, transfers notes instantly to all of your devices. It's one of the greatest discoveries I've made since I bought my first Mac in 1984.

     

    Oh yeah, one more thing, It's free! The advanced version you can pay for does nothing that I need as a business individual. The free version is now one of my most valuable apps.

  • American_Greenz Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 23, 2013 11:21 AM (in response to Stema001)

    Ok Folks, I've research this subject fairly extensively and even tried to write some Applescripts to export notes. First some political comments. It appears that Apple made it extremely difficult to get your notes out of Mac envirnoment. They clearly have removed functionality that was available in earlier releases both in Notes and Mail apps. My guess is that it is an attempt to fight off the Android growing market share. Clearly, many people use notes as an important and strategic part of their computing lives. If it it's really easy to move your things, the migration is less painful. At least that's what I make of this situation. Shame on Apple here!

     

    The best way I found to make a local backup of all your notes in text files running 10.8.5 is to connect your iphone and use a program called iExplorer. It will make a backup of the notes on the iPhone to text files.

     

    You can write applescripts to import notes back into the notes app, but they have crippled the applescript from being able to read notes that exist. You can move them and delete them, you just can't copy them. There are two scripts available that are useful. One wil allow you to insert a record into the notes app. The second will allow you move files from one notes folder to another. However, to my knowledge, there is no way to read the contents or export the notes.

     

    One last editorial, you may want to check your Library/containers/com.apple.notes cloud directory. I found that mine had alias's of my documents and download folders. Clearly, these should not have been there and may have been some type of hacker back door and may have sent my personal data to the cloud under the notes synch.

  • SMRS Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 23, 2013 12:17 PM (in response to American_Greenz)

    Wow, thanks for reporting back!

  • Eric Root Level 6 Level 6 (13,850 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 23, 2013 1:46 PM (in response to Stema001)

    Send Apple feedback. They won't answer, but at least will know there is a problem. If enough people send feedback, it may get the problem solved sooner.


    Feedback

  • Kenneth Nielsen Level 2 Level 2 (205 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 23, 2013 11:08 PM (in response to Eric Root)

    I must reiterate one more time, please excuse if not wanted, but Evernote more than solves the problem and gives you a solid note-taking application that will have you forgetting about the lame Apple app. I've been using Evernote (it's free) for several months now and all I can say is WOW, where have you been all my life.

     

    Give it a shot if you want serious no nonsense note taking capability.

     

    Stepping off of soap box,

     

    Ken

  • resdgsgsrdg Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 20, 2013 3:40 PM (in response to Kenneth Nielsen)

    I also wanted to get my data out of Notes. It's clear Apple isn't intending to develop this into a serious note-taking app, no matter how minimal your expectations.

     

    I've moved to nvAlt (free) which allows me to store all my notes in individual RTF files, and even to store them in Dropbox and thus sync them to other Macs, and sync via Simplenote to iOS devices. A great solution, especially if you think Evernote is too heavy-handed and/or have privacy issues with them.

     

    Therefore, I needed a solution to get all my notes out of notes.app. I found the following app which exported all my notes as HTML.

     

    https://github.com/pmatiello/notes-export/releases

     

    (If you get the unknown developer warning, right-click the app and choose open)

     

    After this, I ran the following command in the terminal which converted all the exported notes from HTML to RTF.

     

    ** PLEASE ONLY DO THIS IF YOU ARE COMFORTABLE IN THE COMMANDLINE! **

     

        textutil -convert rtf <directory where your exported files are>/*

     

    Replace <directory where your exported files are> with the path to your files. eg something like

     

        textutil -convert rtf /Users/jeff/Desktop/notes-export/*


    Unfortunately I wanted all my exported notes to maintain their metadata eg creation dates, but that's probably asking too much.

  • American_Greenz Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 20, 2013 5:37 PM (in response to resdgsgsrdg)

    Hey Red,

     

    That's awesome info! This solution is awesome!! Perhaps they added the ability to read the notes in the latest OS release? I didn't see these commands in there last time I looked.

     

    I was getting a 1401 error with that script when I first ran it. It turns out if you don't have a "note name" in the first line of the note, it will crash when trying to create the file. I simply went into those notes and created a short description on the first line and the script ran flawless. There's probably a limit on how long a filename can be or I had an illegal character such as a quote.

     

    Appreciate the feedback. I will check out that alternative note program. I do like Apple's cloud for notes since everything synchs across devices.

  • ShahKevin Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 27, 2013 11:34 PM (in response to akiraabe)

    Thanks

     

    This saved my day.

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