I store a lot of stuff in Evernote. Too much. My Evernote library has become a graveyard. Sadly, Evernote doesn’t produce a Linux client, which leads to one severe user experience problem: deleting notes.

On a desktop client, one can select many notes then delete them with a single command. One can’t do this on Android nor the web client.

On Android, one can select 20 notes at a time—I can’t begin to imagine the reason for this limitation—which doesn’t suffice when I have 210 notes to delete. Why not at least let me delete all the notes that match the current search criteria?!

On the web, one can delete a single note at a time by clicking multiple times. No.

What could possibly help here?

What Could Possibly Help Here

I search the web for delete all notes evernote linux. This leads me to http://www.linuxandubuntu.com/home/3-best-evernote-alternatives-with-official-linux-clients, which suggests NixNote. NixNote threatens to synchronize with Evernote, and this threatens to meet my immediate needs.

I learned about two versions of NixNote, and as of 2018-09-17, when I write these words, I recommend that you try the NixNote fork maintained by Github user robert7. https://github.com/robert7/nixnote2/ There, you’ll find an AppImage release. Read https://github.com/robert7/nixnote2/wiki/HowTo---Run-AppImage to install the AppImage.

The Log

I strongly recommend monitoring the NixNote logs to get an idea what’s going on, especially when you synchronize notes for the first time. I know that I prefer to see what’s happening in some detail when I use software for the first time, since I typically don’t trust it to work at all.

I found logs in $HOME/.nixnote/logs-*, where it looks like the directory name reflects some kind of account number internal to NixNote. My NixNote account (not the same as my Everote account) appears to be number 2, so that means that I’ll find the logs in the subdirectory logs-2.

This helps me see that NixNote is making progress on long-running jobs. Once it finishes synchronizing with Evernote the first time, NixNote becomes much more responsive and behaves the way one would expect such an application to behave.

Synchronize

In order to connect NixNote to Evernote, I learn that I need to synchronize notes.

  1. Tools > Synchronize (F9).
  2. Log in to Evernote in order to authorize NixNote to talk to Evernote.
  3. Wait. Monitor the logs.

Sadly, apart from a spinning icon, NixNote doesn’t appear to report much in the way of status. At least, I don’t notice it right away. (If one can’t find the feature, then it doesn’t exist.) I learn that I can also check on how many notes NixNote has processed with Tools > Database Status. This seems to update the number of notes that NixNote has synchronized, but in batches of 50.

After a while, I notice a status update in the bottom-left corner. I don’t know why it sometimes appears and sometimes disappears, but it reports progress as “Download 12% complete”. You can follow an open issue at https://github.com/baumgarr/nixnote2/issues/457. (It’s not clear to me whether I should have opened that issue at baumgarr’s version or robert7’s version, but robert7 has commented on it, so I think it’ll be fine.)

Backup and Restore

I want to keep my data safe, so I always look for some kind of export or backup feature. NixNote has it.

File > Backup Database. Then choose a directory and a file name for your NixNote Export file, of type .nnex. Prepare yourself for a large file: mine was 7.6 GiB.

CLI?

NixNote appears to have some kind of command-line query interface, which I haven’t explored yet. It gives me the idea that I could do some interesting things with my notes. I don’t yet know how to use the command-line interface with the AppImage version of the application, so if you know how to do that, then please let me know.

Move Your Data Directory

If you’d like to store your NixNote data elsewhere, then can do that. https://github.com/robert7/nixnote2/wiki/Relocation-of-config-and-data-directory

I Deleted 3000 Notes

I managed to delete over 3000 notes and several old notebooks. I had to go to the web application to empty the trash, but I don’t mind doing that every so often.

What If You Installed NixNote 2 and not 2.1?

When I first started, I installed NixNote from my package manager. Fortunately, if you did the same, then you can move from it to the more updated AppImage version relatively easily.

First, I had found the package and installed it.

Next, I’d launched NixNote and synchronized notes.

  1. Tools > Synchronize (F9).
  2. Log in to Evernote in order to authorize NixNote to talk to Evernote.
  3. Wait.

After moving notes around and generally exploring what NixNote could do, I migrated it to NixNote 2.1.

Migrating To NixNote 2.1

  1. In NixNote 2 (installed by apt), backup the database, just to be safe.
  2. Download the NixNote 2.1 (the AppImage version).
  3. Move NixNote 2.1 to an Applications directory, which I call $APPLICATIONS.
  4. Create a .desktop file in $HOME/.local/share/applications to launch the AppImage. See https://stackoverflow.com/questions/12964512/creating-an-application-launcher-for-gnome-3-in-ubuntu for details.
  5. Launch NixNote 2.1. Verify that I can see my notes and synchronize them.
  6. $ sudo apt-get remove nixnote2 && sudo apt-get autoremove to uninstall NixNote 2.

Win!