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Adding Evernote notes to a Scrivener project

Evernote invariably comes up in my Scrivener courses. Someone mentions how they use it for their research and asks how to integrate it with Scrivener. Someone else asks what it is, and off we go. 😉

Since Evernote is a web clipping tool at its core—and a fabulous way to keep track of all sorts of things, from recipes, all of the ISBNs related to a book, book release checklists, travel resources, and more—it often does a much nicer job of grabbing Internet content than Scrivener. Which is fine with me. I want Keith and the crew at Literature & Latte focusing on Scrivener’s core competencies anyway. Especially since it’s a cinch to import or link to research files stored in Evernote.

Here are a few ways to do bring your Evernote content into a Scrivener project. (Click any image for a larger view.)

Import an Evernote Note as a Web Page

Rather than import the web page directly, let Evernote clip and convert into a nice format, then import the Evernote note.

  1. Locate your note in Evernote.
  2. Right-click the Note (or select it and click the Note menu).
  3. Go to More Sharing—>Copy Public Link (Mac) or Share—>Copy Share URL (Windows).
    NOTE: The link is available publicly, but you’d pretty much have to tell someone where to look for it (via the link) for them to find it. Still, don’t link to any private or personal information this way. If you just copy the note link instead, it may not work properly when you try to view it in Scrivener.

    MacCopyLink

    Mac

    Windows

    Windows

  4. Switch to your Scrivener project.
  5. Select the folder (one outside of the Draft/Manuscript folder; Research is a good choice) where you’d like to import the web page.
  6. Go to File—>Import—>Web Page (or right-click the folder and go to Add—>Web Page).
    A dialogue box appears.
  7. If the web address (URL) is not already filled in with the link you copied, paste it into the Address box.
  8. In the Title box, add a title for the web page to remind you what it is.
    Mac

    Mac

    Windows

    Windows

  9. (Windows only) Choose how you want to import it. Webpage Complete (MHT) or one of the PDF options should work, but I’m currently having issues importing web pages—especially as PDFs—into Scrivener on my Windows 7 machine. See Windows Import Workaround below.
  10. Click OK.
    Scrivener imports the note and adds it to the folder as a web page. Select it in the Binder to view. All of the links are active and clickable. NOTE: The import process can take a-w-h-i-l-e.

MacImportedWebPage

Windows Import Workaround

  1. Locate the note in Evernote, right-click, and choose Export Note.
  2. Choose Export as a Single HTML Web Page (.html).
  3. Click Export and save the file to a location where you can find it again (Desktop, maybe?).
  4. If you get a message that the export succeeded, click Close.
  5. Switch to Scrivener and right-click the folder where you want to import the web page. Choose Add—>Files.
  6. Select the HTML file you just saved from Evernote, and click Open. If you get the Import Files dialogue box, click OK.
    The pictures may not import (they’re in a folder on your computer with the same name as the individual HTML file), but the links should work (if not, right-click the hyperlink and choose Copy Link, then paste into your browser).

Create a Reference to an Evernote Note

Don’t want to clutter up your Binder? Having issues importing notes as web pages? Or maybe you want to link to a note that you expect to update regularly so you always want the most current version.

Create a reference to it instead. We’re going to create a project reference, but the steps are the same if you want a document reference (just select the document in the Binder and choose Document References in step 3).

  1. Follow steps 1-4 above to copy the note URL.
  2. Click the References button in the Inspector pane (or go to View—>Inspect—>References).
  3. Make sure the References header says “Project References.” If not, click it to toggle to Project References.
  4. Click the + button and choose Create External Reference.MacRefMenu
  5. Enter the title and paste the URL into the appropriate text boxes.
    Mac

    Mac

    Windows

    Windows

  6. To view your note, double-click the paper icon to the left of the reference.

Create a TOC Note in Evernote

Want a references-like list of clickable links to your Evernote notes on a particular topic, stored as a web page in Scrivener? Follow these steps to create a Table of Contents (TOC) note. It’s a handy thing to have within Evernote too (e.g. as a link from one Evernote folder to notes in another).

  1. Select the desired notes in Evernote (the Expanded Card View didn’t work for me, but all others did).
    Mac

    Mac

    Windows

    Windows

  2. Click the Create Table of Contents Note button that appears on the right.
    Evernote creates a TOC note that you can move to any folder within your Evernote account.

    Mac

    Mac

    Windows

    Windows

  3. Follow the steps in the Import an Evernote Note as a Web Page section above to import the TOC note.

    MacTOCNoteImported

    Evernote TOC Note viewed in Scrivener

For more help, sign up for an online class, check out Scrivener For Dummies, read more Scrivener articles, or schedule a private training session.

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21 Comments

  1. S. J. Pajonas (spajonas)

    Reply

    Fantastic post! I think the TOC method might work well for me in this case. I’m going to give it a shot when I go in to revise the project I just finished. Thanks!

  2. Evan Pederick

    Reply

    Wow! Thank you Gwen. I’ve started by clipping your post into Evernote, now I’m going off to drag it into my Scrivener project …

  3. Reply

    Unfortunatly it does´t work here. In one case, i keep getting a loading symbol (the heading is there, but the content doesn´t follow), in the other I get an Evernote start screen (“sign up here”). Using method one. Do you have any advice?

    • Reply

      mesugarcube: I still sometimes have trouble importing web pages of any kind, even from Evernote. That’s why I mentioned using References. It works for the Mac too. For the second case, are you sure you copied the URL by going into the Share submenu? Usually I get the Evernote start screen when I just use Copy Note Link instead of grabbing the public link. HTH!

      • Reply

        Thanks! Yes, I´m pretty sure I did it the right way. I´ll will try it again later. It´s not that complicated to just look it up in Evernote on the other hand.

    • Reply

      m: Unfortunately, because the notes are not files that you can just grab and drag, I don’t know of a way to bring in more than one at a time. The TOC option might be better for you.

  4. Reply

    I just imported a bunch of Evernote notes into a Scrivener project in under two minutes. Here are the steps I followed:

    In Evernote:
    – select the notes I want to save
    – select Export Notes from the File menu
    – choose HTML as the format (not ENEX)
    – choose a target export folder

    In Scrivener:
    – with the Research folder selected, choose Import-Files
    – locate target folder and select all notes
    – wait a moment for the notes (and any attachments) to import

    And that’s it! The notes look like regular rich text notes.

    I’m new to Scrivener, so I may be missing something. But hopefully this is helpful to someone!

  5. Reply

    Thanks or this tip, Gwen! I didn’t have time to read it completely right now, so I used Evernote’s Web Clipper to clip it to my Evernote Scrivener notebook!

    BTW, you’re my new “go-to” resource for Scrivener!

  6. Marshall

    Reply

    I would have liked to bookmark you page but apparently the right click menu is disabled. Yours is the first page I have run across in FireFox that would not let me bookmark it. Seems kinda counterproductive to building readership.

    • Reply

      Marshall: I’m surprised Firefox requires you to use the right-click menu to bookmark pages. I’d expect there to be another option. Either way, I didn’t realize that setting was suppressing the right-click menu. You’re the first to mention it, so thanks for bringing it to my attention so I could fix it.

  7. Helga

    Reply

    Don’t get it. It took me a quarter of an hour just to find that you’re right and the import doesn’t work properly in Windows, then to get a reference that said “not found”. And why use Evernote if I just can copy the original URL (or the Webpage) into Scrivener (which took me ten seconds)? I just don’t get it.

    • Reply

      Hi, Helga. There are a few reasons people might want to use both Evernote and Scrivener.
      1. Not all web pages import into Scrivener well.
      2. Web pages can significantly increase the overall file size, which while it shouldn’t affect the project’s performance while you’re working in it, can affect the speed of backups, and your ability to move the project or store it on a cloud service.
      3. Evernote is a stellar web clipper that gives you multiple options for how the page is saved, which can mean cleaner results.
      4. If a lot of your research overlaps with research for other projects, it may make sense to keep the general stuff in Evernote where it can be easily organized/tagged/searched, and then only import specific pages that apply to a project.

      Obviously, if importing the web pages directly into Scrivener works for you, then great! But if you run into an issue at some point, and you’re already using Evernote, this is another option. 🙂 Thanks!

      • Helga

        Reply

        The issue I’m constantly running into is that neither importing the webpage nor creating a reference has worked, following your instructions. So the only way for me is to copy and paste just the content of the webpage into Scrivener and keep my good humour instead of banging the machine to pieces. It may be Evernote and me that don’t work properly together, but so it is. Thanks nevertheless!

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