A simple three-step process for creating an off-site backup for Evernote using DropBox in OS X

Standard

Like iftt.com but don’t want to hand out the credentials to your accounts for Dropbox and Evernote to another service?  The use of Dropbox in this set of instructions automates the process of backing up Evernote for you (set it and forget it).  This is also a cloud (off-site) solution.  To use this three-step process you MUST (as in do NOT do this if you have not) exit Evernote before doing ANY of it.  Here’s how:

  1. Move ~/Library/Containers/com.evernote.Evernote/Data/Library/Application Support/Evernote to /Users/my_user_on_the_system/Dropbox.
  2. Create an alias of /Users/my_user_on_the_system/Dropbox/Evernote.
  3. Move the alias of Evernote back to ~/Library/Containers/com.evernote.Evernote/Data/Library/Application Support/

What this does:
All Evernote files now exist in Dropbox AND on the computer.  If anything goes wrong (HD fails and Evernote servers are down), recover Evernote files by reinstalling Dropbox (on the new HD/OS/Computer), syncing Dropbox, and repeat step 3 (above).  As it is just a symlink, you do not have to wait for files to move.  They will have already moved from the cloud (Dropbox) back to the computer.

Some notes:
Consider creating an automator task to copy/zip the directory /Users/my_user_on_the_system/Dropbox/Evernote and then move the zipped directory to iCloud.  That would be triple offsite redundancy.  This is bordering on insane as your computer, Evernote, AND Dropbox will have all had to fail to not be able to get to your Evernote files.  However, the observation that Evernote is the kind of service that only becomes more valuable the more you use it, is correct, and might call for this level of paranoia.

As an example the home network uses a MacMini as a server.  OpenDirectory is running.  Users on the Laptops in use are local network users.  This means that a copy of each users /User folder (and Libraries among other things) are on the server.  This way any user can log in to the same account on the desktop, server, and the other laptops in the house.  Evernote and Dropbox are running on each machine (with the same configuration).  At this time there is a copy of the Evernote directory (for each user) on each Laptop, on the server, on the Win7 part of any Laptop, in the cloud in Evernote, and in the cloud in Dropbox.That means it’s spread across 3 different computers, 2 different OS’s, and 2 different cloud services.

The advantage of using this solution is that you maintain control and security.  This also removes iftt.com as a point of failure.

**Locate the equivalent directory in Win7 and do the same thing (erase the Evernote directory and make an alias from the DropBox directory to where the erased Evernote directory existed).  YMMV

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7 thoughts on “A simple three-step process for creating an off-site backup for Evernote using DropBox in OS X

  1. dan

    I can’t find Library/Containers/com.evernote.Evernote/Data/Library/Application Support/Evernote on my mac, not showing up in finder when searching, where is this?

  2. One question on this. If I’m using Evernote and DropBox on multiple computers (all OS X), should I do this for all machines? Or just rely on one computer to do the sync/backup? And I’m assuming there’s no point in replicating this in iOS or Chromebook.

    • I set up the symbolic link on one laptop (my main one). Conceivably, if I made a change on my iOS device, and didn’t sink the Evernote client on my laptop with the changes, they’d never show up in DropBox. My laptop is the only device acting as a bridge between the two services. I may add this to my explanation and credit you with mentioning it.

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