Switching to nvUltra from…
To switch to nvUltra from Notational Velocity or nvALT, you just need to make sure your files are stored as plain text rather than in the database. (Note: RTF files will not be readable in nvUltra.)
If your notes are already stored as Plain Text Files, all you have to do is open your notes folder in nvUltra. You can copy them to a new folder if you like, or you can just start using nvUltra instead of NV/nvALT without any fuss.
If your notes are currently only stored in the database:
- Open Preferences
- Go to Notes->Storage
- Find the option “Store and read notes on disk as:” and select Plain Text Files
- Find the option labeled “Read notes from folder:” and choose the folder where you want your notes stored
Now, open the folder you selected in nvUltra and all of your notes are ported, ready to use. You can also move those notes anywhere you like. Once you’re set up in nvUltra, you can (optionally) delete the “Notes & Settings” file contained in your notes folder.
If your notes are in Simplenote but not already synced through something like Notational Velocity/nvALT, you can use Simplenote’s export features to download a zip file of all of your notes. Unzip the file and copy the contents to a new folder, then open that folder with nvUltra. All of your notes will be present, but nvUltra does not currently read the JSON file with your tags, so your notes will not be tagged in nvUltra. An import script may become available in the future, so hang on to the JSON file in the archive.
Notes app stores your notes in a Rich Text format, and it keeps them all in a database. To get them out, you need to use an exporter app. The best one we’ve found is Exporter, available on the Mac App Store. Once you’ve exported all of your notes to plain text, you can put them in any folder you like and open it in nvUltra to index it and start working.
Be aware that because of Notes.app’s proprietary format, many elements of your notes won’t make the transition. Tables will be lost, images will be removed, fonts will be stripped, etc. But most, if not all, of the information will be there, free from the restrictions of a proprietary database, and in a portable format that won’t suffer the same fate in the future.
If you store your notes in Ulysses, you’re in great shape to port them to nvUltra. They’re already plain text files, you just have to get them out:
Add an External Folder in the sidebar
Select the plus symbol next to the External Notes header. This will ask you to choose a folder. Create a new folder (it can be anywhere, but you might make a folder called “nvUltra Notes” in your Documents folder).
Now open a folder containing notes you want to port to nvUltra, select all, and drag them to your new folder. They’ll be copied there (your original sheets will remain).
Your notes will show up in the folder you created. It’s that easy.
Now just open that folder using nvUltra to index it and start working.
Moving notes from Bear to nvUltra is easy.
- In Bear, select all of the notes you want to move to nvUltra. You can use ⌘A to select everything in the current view.
- Select File->Export Notes from the menu bar
- In the export dialog, change “Export as:” to Markdown
- If you leave Export attachments checked, any embedded images will be exported into subfolders and the notes will contain links that will display them properly in nvUltra’s preview
- Make sure “Merge notes in single file” is not checked
- Now choose a folder on your Mac to export to. Any folder will work, but you can always create a new “nvUltra Notes” folder in Documents.
- Hit Export. Done.
Just open the folder you exported to with nvUltra and you’re ready to get cracking!
Evernote is difficult. It stores your notes in a proprietary database, and the only export options it offers are HTML and it’s own proprietary file format. Getting a large collection of notes from Evernote to any plain text is an undertaking. You can export as HTML and then run through scripts like html2text or try scripts that use the API, but ultimately we recommend copying and pasting what you need directly and starting a new notebook.
- Create a new folder on your system to hold the exported files
- In Notion, for each root-level page, repeat the following:
- Go to the upper right menu and select “Export”
- Set the “Export format” to Markdown/CSV
- Turn “Include subpages” on
- Export to the folder you created in the first step
- After repeating this for all pages, go to your notion export folder and select all
- Command-O to Open/Unarchive
- Rename the folders to the original names of their pages
(credit Justin Maxwell)