Apple Notes are an easy way to keep your thoughts organized and synced among all your Apple devices. And it is free. Notes can be synced via iCloud, or, if you are concerned about privacy, kept On My Mac only.
The Apple Notes app is my favorite note-taking app because it is fast, easy to use, and easy to sync.
If, like me, you use Apple Notes to organize your work and your life, you want to be sure that you do not risk to lose them accidentally, either because of your mistake or because of a bug.
Unfortunately, there is no backup function in Apple Notes. You can copy the notes database (try to look in the folder
~/Library/Group Containers/group.com.apple.notes/), but if you want to backup a readable format of your notes, you must export each single note as PDF from the File menu, and when you have hundreds of notes, that quickly becomes annoying.
Automator to the rescue
Given that Notes is scriptable -to learn what you can do via script, open Script Editor on macOS and File - Open dictionary... and then choose Notes.app- which means that you can use Automator to export every note one by one.
In fact, you can just copy this code and past it in a Run AppleScript step of a new workflow in Automator:
set exportFolder to (choose folder) as string -- Simple text replacing on replaceText(find, replace, subject) set prevTIDs to text item delimiters of AppleScript set text item delimiters of AppleScript to find set subject to text items of subject set text item delimiters of AppleScript to replace set subject to "" & subject set text item delimiters of AppleScript to prevTIDs return subject end replaceText -- Get an HTML file to save the note in. We have to escape -- the colons or AppleScript gets upset. on noteNameToFilePath(noteName) global exportFolder set strLength to the length of noteName if strLength > 250 then set noteName to text 1 thru 250 of noteName end if set fileName to (exportFolder & replaceText(":", "_", noteName) & ".html") return fileName end noteNameToFilePath tell application "Notes" repeat with theNote in notes of default account set noteLocked to password protected of theNote as boolean set modDate to modification date of theNote as date set creDate to creation date of theNote as date set noteID to id of theNote as string set oldDelimiters to AppleScript's text item delimiters set AppleScript's text item delimiters to "/" set theArray to every text item of noteID set AppleScript's text item delimiters to oldDelimiters if length of theArray > 4 then -- the last part of the string should contain the ID -- e.g. x-coredata://39376962-AA58-4676-9F0E-6376C665FDB6/ICNote/p599 set noteID to item 5 of theArray else set noteID to "" end if if not noteLocked then set fileName to ("[" & noteID & "] " & (name of theNote as string)) as string set filepath to noteNameToFilePath(fileName) of me set noteFile to open for access filepath with write permission set theText to body of theNote as string write theText to noteFile as Unicode text close access noteFile tell application "Finder" set modification date of file (filepath) to modDate end tell end if end repeat end tell
Then start the workflow. It will ask for the folder where to save your notes, and then it will (slowly) create an HTML file for each note in your app.
I am not the creator of this script, but I cannot find the original source anymore 🤷♂️.
Subscribe to a curated newsletter
Receive an email every week with curated content about Dart and Flutter.