Problems transferring from Evernote to Devonthink

I am trying to upload my notes in Evernote to Devonthink, about 5000 notes. I was doing it in sections and had one more set of folders in Evernote (maybe 1000-1500 notes in those folders). After 24 hours, it was still seeming to work on it. I’m not sure it finished and I or someone else might have quit it in the middle.

The situation now is that there are actually more notes in DT than in my original Evernote account (which I don’t understand how that could be), but when I search for some notes in DT that I know are in Evernote (same search terms), they aren’t in DT. What should I do? I looked at the manual and the Taking Control of Devonthink ebook, and I can’t even figure out how to delete what seem to be lots of duplicates (though I know DT uses that in a specific way).

I’m really frustrated and am even thinking of quitting using DT. I really, really hope I can make this all work, but when I face these challenges getting set up and I can’t even figure out how to delete duplicates. Plus, if it is taking 24 hours to upload all the data, I wonder if having all this extra data on my computer will slow my computer down. I don’t have a fancy computer (MacBook Air, 10.13.8, 8GB).

So, how do I get all my notes from Evernote into DT and how do I delete the duplicates? And if anyone has any suggestions for more helpful videos or books on how to learn DT, please let me know.


I just switched a 2500-entry Evernote database to DT. It is not a completely automatic process and takes some housekeeping, but it is well worth the effort in the flexibility you will get to manipulate your entries. Some findings and recommendations:

1.Depending on how you captured your Evernote (EN) entries, you will end up with multiple DT records for each EN entry. My experience was that most EN entries ended up as a DT group with a text file containing the original URL, and either a PDF, web archive, or a “Formatted note”. You will want to get the individual entries out of these groups and in to the appropriate place in your DT hierarchy.

  1. PDFs are the easiest - just drag them to the right place.
  2. Same for web archives, but I reviewed them for readability and currency.
  3. URL files turned out to be mostly redundant, as the URL was also in the metadata of the PDF, web archive, or Formatted note. Just leave these in the group for now.
  4. Formatted note files were a mixed bag. Some were rich text and directly viewable, but some turned out to be un-viewable binary blobs. I dragged the former into the right place in my DT hierarchy, and re-created the unreadable ones from the URL as web archives.
  5. Finally, when the group content was in the right place in my DT hierarchy, I right-clicked on the group and moved it to the trash.

Some other points: I took the opportunity to clean house - a lot of my EN entries were obsolete. Also, I found that not all formatted notes that rendered well in DT on the Mac worked as well in DT To Go on my iPad. If this is important to you, it’s worth checking these.

Anyway, hope this helps. Stick with it - DTs organizational abilities are definitely worth the time investment.


Plus, if it is taking 24 hours to upload all the data,

I’m not sure what you’re referring to here. Importing notes from Evernote doesn’t cause DEVONthink to upload anything, except if you’re syncing. However that is unrelated to the Evernote import itself as any changes made in a database would also be synced.

You can export from Evernote itself, then import those exported files. And yes, you can get duplicates if you imported the same notebook more than once.

I would suggest removing the imported notes - and @dmlounsbury is correct, they would be imported into an Evernote group - and empty the database’s Trash. Then do the import afresh.

Okay, just to check my understanding, I should delete the Evernote import folders/groups, then empty the trash. Then try to Import Notes From Evernote again (I’m not sure what you mean by “export from EN itself, then import those exported files.” All I know how to do is use the File/Import Notes from EN function.)

Also, in the duplicates smart rule, it has several hundred strange-looking files. I don’t know what these are. Is it okay to delete them?

Thank you.

Please open a support ticket and include a screen capture of the ”strange files”.