Exporting all data should be way easier

To me this topic seems like a matter of priorities. You could add features and fix bug which benefits existing users or you could add export functions only useful to people leaving Joplin (maybe be a turnoff for some people considering Joplin too).

Sure, it would be good to have it all but there's only 24 hours in a day.

Yes, you are right. Json is not the best solution for everyone, but more my personal favorite because it is so easy to parse. I actually converted joplin raw to markdown with yaml frontmatter, so this could be the cover the most use cases for most people. In this regard laurent is absolutly right, there is no standard format for notes, and it is likely that there never will be one. So there is no "one size fits all" solution for this problem.

That makes sense. Dumping a flat folder of JSON files wouldn't be much of an improvement over RAW, but Markdown files in structured directories with some extra metadata would be a good solution for people who want their notes in a user-friendly format.

So yes, if you can create a spec for it or implement it that would be great. As I understand, one standard for this type of YML metadata is called "YAML Front Matter".


I have to second this. As a non-programmer, the only solution for me would be a direct converter from one app to another. I'm also really dubious as to the importance of being able to get ones data out of Joplin as a major deciding factor to choose Joplin, although no doubt it is for some. It also seems that as Joplin grows, more features are being added so that even converted data won't always work in different software as it did in Joplin.

I'm also not keen on this argument that the data is somehow "not really yours" just because you can't convert it to be used in different software. I don't feel that a project in Audacity is any less mine because I can't convert it to an Audition file.

Ten years ago I built a huge TiddlyWiki that is kind of frozen as-is. I wish I could get that data out and into Joplin, but I just can't. Them's the breaks. I certainly can't blame either platform for this.


Funny enough, it was for me. After Evernote I never wanted to be in a situation where my data was held hostage, because they simultaneously doubled the price of premium and crippled their free version. Premium no longer made sense for my use case (hobby projects) and moving back to free was not an option either.

After that I vowed to only pick a solution with full portability. It was one of the reasons why for example Zoho Notebooks was a no go right from the get go.

So yes I fully support any improvements of Joplin's export feature. I just don't feel it's right to start demanding stuff and accusing the developers of attitudes they clearly do not have.

As I said before, I have absolutely no issue with you, @anhofmann or your ideas :slightly_smiling_face:


Spec can be found on github. I plan to work on an implementation next week, but it will be great to see if anyone has feedback first.


What is the meaning of this kind of export? If only markdown+yaml is included, the joplin-blog I created before should support it (except for no recursive directory creation), but it will not be useful for importing into other applications What help. If you want to be able to backup or restore, I planned to create a plugin before. . .(But I haven't implemented it yet, if you plan to finish it, it would be best) @CalebJohn

Better backup


A better export and import plug-in, mainly used for complete backup of all content.

the goal

  • Export as a human readable file
  • Git traceability and comparison
  • Export the contents of the notes as as is
  • Keep all metadata fields



The main reason is that the official export of jex will actually lose some metadata. Due to this problem, we lost all the ids of the notes, which caused all the articles of the exported blog to be considered brand new, please refer to: https://discourse.joplinapp.org/t/17806

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Most apps don't give the best exit experience because the users leaving more than likely will never come back and it's higher priority to take care of the existing and new user base, hence why most software touts how easy it is to get into. I've used Evernote, Google Notes, Apple Notes and OneNote. The only one remotely easy to leave was Evernote and that's only because so many people import from Evernote. The rest were copy/paste moves. OneNote allows exports to PDF and a OneNote Package file to import into another OneNote instance. When I found Joplin, I did a lot of research to find as much of a standard format as possible. Markdown format is widely used and seems like a pretty good standard because it allows a whole bunch of rich text that other formats just can't. Obviously with no standard, each software vendor makes proprietary decisions that make their product unique and better than the competition. These unique features don't always translate well to other software vendors. As it currently stands, if I were to look at exporting my data from Joplin to another vendor, I'd be much better off because the note format isn't a proprietary format.


The purpose is to provide a built-in method of export that preserves important metadata in a way that is hopefully friendly for most users. It will be very similar to your joplin-blog tool. And this export mode will not preserve note IDs (just like jex). It will be suitable for version control backups, but a RAW export will be even better for that.

The main benefits will be having a format that is obvious to parse for other note taking apps (and might coincidentally need minimal adjustments to import into other apps), and having an export/import format that users are comfortable using if they decide to leave Joplin in favour of manually curating their own notes.

If you get the chance @rxliuli, I'd appreciate your input on the spec


It's entirely false that users leaving never come back. People are naturally curious and want to try new things. Not only that, but users leaving with a good taste in their mouth will recommend the software to others.

I'm more in favor of YAML than JSON, because I want my exportable data to be openable in a text editor. Text editors have existed on computers for as long as I have been alive and they are the only piece of software that I trust will continue to exist until I die / until electricity becomes too expensive for home computers. JSON is "technically" openable in a text editor but you'll never have any fun that way. :smile:


I open both JSON and YAML in VSCode all the time. Granted I'm a developer and comfortable in both, but I find JSON less error-prone than YAML due to the braces instead of the spaces. That's just personal preference. Exports could go to multiple formats to allow easier exporting of data for the user's needs, but that still brings up the point that an export except for a backup purpose is to allow users to leave the software platform easier and will take a lesser priority than features for existing users. If you look at in in the "squeaky wheel gets the grease", the existing user is going to squeak a lot more than someone leaving. I was fussing about OneNote for a couple weeks while trying to export my data, and now I could care less. I've got my data and I'm never going back. Just like I'm never going back to Google, Apple or Evernote.


Unrelated to the rest of the post, but AFAIK TiddlyWiki can export to CSV/JSON, and perhaps a tool like this one can get you the rest of the way to a Joplin-importable markdown.

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Thanks for that. I think the last time I tried the issue was that I was using such an old version of TW that this was not possible. As well, I had used many features that went beyond simple test files. It does kind of relate to the whole thread in that the more specialized ones notes become, the more linked you are to the platform. Not much you can do about that.

This is why JSON/CSV is potentially the better export format than Markdown with YAML front matter. Even if CSV is an ugly data representation, almost everything can read and make sense out of that. So this looks like the best fitting format for a universal export. Markdown with YAML front matter make the most sense in a world where data are notes. But we never know which tools will come in the future or what use cases users will create with the exported data.

Well, as far as the TW, there is a TW plugin that allows you to define parts of a note that you can embed in other notes. So a feature like that makes you fairly platform dependent.

I think sharing notes is really the main drawback for me. I have to copy and paste to something else.

Sharing notes is possible in the new paid Joplin Cloud service. I believe it's possible on certain self hosted platforms as well for free.

If you need to share notes, you can consider using joplin-blog

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It is. Ta-daa.


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