Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Getting bookmarks out of Delicious and Diigo and into Evernote

I have pretty much settled on Evernote as my electronic notebook tool, allowing me to build up a collection of useful notes and web clippings that's both searchable and accessible.

However in my search for solutions to make me more efficient I've stuff in Mendeley and Zotero, not to mention bookmarks in Diigo and Delicious.

Mendeley and Zotero I can dismiss - I never really took to them, in the end they didn't work for me. Delicious and Diigo are something else, with about three hundred bookmarks between them, some of which are relevant, and some of which are probably crap, dead links or whatever, and some of which date back to the days of Furl.

So how to get them into Evernote?

The first step is easy - consolidating them into one place - both Diigo and Delicious provide tools to export bookmarks for import.

Googling for 'export delicious to evernote' produced more results than 'export diigo to evernote', probably as a result of last year's stoush over Yahoo's rumoured closure of Delicious, so I decided to consolidate on Delicious, reckoning if there were more google results someone else must have cracked the problem.

Well, while the consolidation went well, it became clear that most people hadn't solved the 'import to evernote' problem, suggesting instead that you export your bookmarks as an html file and import that into Evernote. Now that creates a searchable document, but isn't really what I wanted, which was to import each bookmark into a separate note with tags and to work through them to kill the dead and unwanted bookmarks, and capture the text of the bookmarks I want to keep. (Yes, possibly I don't get out enough, but that's me)

Evernote uses an XML based data format for import and export so it should be possible to parse the bookmarks export file, and then rewrite it as an Evernote XML file, with one note per database.

I ended not having to do this - I found this truly awsome recipe that uses to download your bookmarks in an xml based format and then execute some code on to transform it into a Evernote enex format archive, which imports as a new notebook, making it easy to work through the imported links.

And the recipe just worked. My thanks to Dr.Palaniraja for making this available.

I now need to do the anal retentive thing of working through the notes, but given I'm anal enough to find librarything fun I don't think that's going to be a problem for me ... although one problem is the sheer number of dead links uncovered in tracing back posts anytime much before 2009.


Today's Guardian reports that Yahoo has finally sold Delicious to the original owners of YouTube - If you've been thinking about moving your data across, this might be the moment ...

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