⨳ Simplenote to Vesper ⨳

2015 Mar 01, Sunday

⨳ 2 minute read ⨳ 450 words ⨳ app

It started with a tweet from @benjaminbrooks:

Has anyone written a tool to move your data somehow from Simplenote to Vesper, asking for me. I mean a friend, like someone else.

— Ben Brooks (@BenjaminBrooks) February 27, 2015

When Vesper first hit iOS last year, I had the same question. I wanted to give Vespre a fair chance, but without being able to import from my existing note-taking app (Simplenote), Vesper had an uphill battle. (Same goes for Drafts).

On OS X, Simplenote prefers to store notes in a SQLite database, so I figured Simplenote for iOS would do the same. I figured Vesper would be doing likewise. A quick check with iExplorer confirmed this.

I exported a copy of both databases and quickly created some basic SQL queries to get notes, unique tags, and note-tag combination data in reasonable format for exporting from Simplenote database and importing into Vesper database. (At this point, I force-quit Vesper on iOS.)

Creating these queries was quick work in SQLPro for SQLite. To actually transfer the content to the Vesper database, I simply exported the resulting tables from the Simplenote database as JSON files and then imported them in the Vesper database in this order:

  1. Notes
  2. Tags
  3. Note-Tag relations

Once that’s done, copy the modified Vesper database back to the Vesper Documents directory in iExplorer (it should ask about overwriting the existing file), say yes, wait a few seconds for iExplorer to complete the sync, fire up Vesper (you already force-quit it above, right?) and look at all the Simplenote data. They should all be properly tagged and the dates intact. I think.

If only there were a Vesper for OS X available, this would possibly have been easier?

Let’s see how well Vesper sticks for me now that everything is in it.

Apps Used:

Fair Warning: You should never, ever run code you don’t understand. Backup your data. This works for me, but my Simplenote notes are fairly…simple. your results may differ. if this breaks anything, it’s probably operator error. please email marco.

Simplenote to Vesper - March 1, 2015 - Richard Koopmann