still dithering on Obsidian and Evernote

Well, I’m still dithering back and forth on whether or not to give up on Evernote. I guess that’s a solid month of dithering now. I’m fairly certain, at least, that if I do give up on Evernote, I’m most likely to migrate to Obsidian.

I’ve been doing a lot of experimentation with Obsidian. And I’ve done a lot of exports from Evernote with Yarle, trying to find the right settings for the smoothest migration. I think now might be a good time to write up some notes on all that.

I’ve got a few issues with the simple fact that Obsidian’s files are plain-text Markdown, while Evernote’s are rich text. Yarle does a good job of converting most of the rich-text stuff to equivalent Markdown, assuming the formatting isn’t too fancy. But I’ve hit on a couple of gotchas. The biggest is that I frequently use pound signs (#) is my notes for things like comic book issue runs, like “Spider-Man #1-6”. That’s fine in Evernote, but Obsidian interprets the “#1-6” as a tag named “1-6”. So I’d have to  clean a bunch of that up, either before or after the export. I’d either have to remove the pound signs, or escape them with a backslash.

I’ve also found that Yarle doesn’t always get cross-notebook links right. So I’d have a bunch of those to clean up (unless I can figure out why Yarle is doing that, and fix it at the source). And Obsidian doesn’t see a link that doesn’t go anywhere as an error; it’s really more of a feature. When you click a link that doesn’t point to an exiting file, Obsidian goes ahead and creates the file. So there’s no way to get a good list of all the broken links.

On the plus side, I think I’ve figured out a workable way to include my note reminders in the export as Dataview inline fields, which I can then summarize with a Dataview query. I’m not sure if that’s what I’d want to do long-term, but it would at least allow me to have a list of the notes with reminders on them, so I can go from there.

Searching for text in images isn’t a built-in feature with Obsidian, but you can get it with the Omnisearch plugin, paired with the Text Extractor plugin. In my experiments, it’s not nearly as good as Evernote’s OCR and image search, but it’s something.

Overall, I’m now at a point where I feel like Obsidian would be workable for me, but there would be some trade-offs, compared to Evernote. If Evernote truly seemed to be circling the drain, I’d go ahead and jump ship. But, while there’s been a lot of negative talk about Evernote recently, they honestly seem to be doing fine, as far as I can see. I haven’t had any hiccups with the client software recently, on Mac, Windows, or iOS. And I haven’t had any sync problems either. So it’s hard to talk myself into dropping something that’s working reasonably well for me.

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