Switching to nvUltra from…

Notational Velocity/nvALT

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:

  1. Open Preferences
  2. Go to Notes->Storage
  3. Find the option “Store and read notes on disk as:” and select Plain Text Files
  4. 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.

Notes.app

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.

Ulysses

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:

  1. 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).

  2. 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).

  3. 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.

Bear

Moving notes from Bear to nvUltra is easy.

  1. In Bear, select all of the notes you want to move to nvUltra. You can use A to select everything in the current view.
  2. Select File->Export Notes from the menu bar
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. Hit Export. Done.

Just open the folder you exported to with nvUltra and you’re ready to get cracking!

Evernote

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.

Next up: Tagging and Metadata


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