NetNewsWire to Evernote — The Batch Send Applescript

Using a Mac and want to get a bunch of your NetNewsWire feed items into Evernote?



Despite it’s recent hiccups, NetNewsWire continues to be one of my primary web browsers. In both my consulting practice and as a writer, I’m probably spending more time reading feeds than doing any traditional browsing around the web. For me — and I expect for you as well — it’s important to be able to have a way to keep track of items I read and want to reference later.

Once Evernote enabled Applescript support, I realized that I could “file away” the feed items that were useful to me. Evernote is a real life-saver: It’s accessible from practically every type of computing platform short of an abacus. If you have a Mac, your notes become part of your Spotlight index. Fewer ideas and articles get lost. For someone like me who is working on a dozen different projects simultaneously this is a real “quality of life” improvement, reclaiming precious brainspace that I can devote towards writing coherent blog posts.

In the year since I cobbled together the “Single Item NetNewsWire / Evernote Exporter”, I’ve revised it several times. It has become my “bread-and-butter script” and I use it all day long to quickly tag and file things as I read them.

At the same time as I first wrote that script, I realized that (due to some limitations with NNW’s current AppleScript implementation) it wouldn’t be the right tool to archive a bunch of notes at once. Luckily, I remembered that Dan Byler had written a superb script to archive a bunch of feed items into DEVONThink (another part of my workflow). I adapted it to work with Evernote — but over the past year, I haven’t shown it the same amount of updating attention as the Single Item script.

Until now!

Features and Updates

With this script, you can do a batch archive from NetNewsWire of:

  • All Items in a selected Folder;
  • The Unread Items in a selected Folder;
  • The contents of the Flagged Items Folder;
  • **NEW** Export a List of the URLs of your Open Tabs

I have updated the dialog boxes for tag support (which lets you tag items on the way into Evernote) and also for the alphabetized list of your current Evernote Notebooks that allows you to select which notebook to archive the feed items into. Want to make a new notebook? No problem — the script has a “Create New Notebook” button which will let you do that on the fly!

The script automatically detects if Growl is running, which will save you a trip to the Script Editor to enable/disable it.

For this revision, I’ve disabled some of the confirmation/warning boxes because I felt that they slowed things down. The AppleScript “plumbing” for it still remains in the script so, if you want it back, you can edit out the comment marks around those portions and turn it back on.

Current Limitations and Open Issues

  1. Errors that will surely arise when you do something that I didn’t think of or test for! 😉

How to Install and Use

Just drop it into the NetNewsWire Script Folder!

If you’re importing a lot of items, I’d recommend that you change a few settings inside Evernote before beginning the import. In the “Clipping” tab of the Preferences menu, uncheck the boxes in the section called “After a clip:”
disable windows
If the boxes are checked while importing a large number of items, Evernote will fill your screen with open windows and sound like it is repeatedly shooting you with a laser from a 70’s Sci-Fi movie. Trust me — uncheck the boxes first and you’ll be much happier! 😉

FastScript link and support

Do yourself a favor and download and install FastScripts from Red Sweater. Triggering the script from the keyboard really supercharges the process — you’ll watch your news items practically fly into Evernote with a few keystrokes! Here’s how you set it up:

  • Copy script or an Alias to ~/Library/Scripts/Applications/NetNewsWire
  • Set up your keyboard shortcut

For my workflow, I am using ⌘ E (as in Evernote) for the quick single post script shortcut and ⌘ SHIFT E for the batch script.

Source code and download link on the next page!

22 Responses to “NetNewsWire to Evernote — The Batch Send Applescript”

  1. Dan Byler October 26, 2008 at 11:54 am #


    You beat me to it! And very glad you did – Evernote badly needed some extensibility. Also, I love the Growl detection – I may have to add that to my DEVONthink script.

    All the best,

  2. Justin October 26, 2008 at 2:14 pm #

    Thanks Dan!

    Play around with it for a bit and let me know what you think — your input would be especially appreciated.

    And be sure to try the FastScripts shortcuts…makes things a little more fast and, dare I say it, fun!

  3. wow March 25, 2009 at 1:14 pm #

    Thanks .Really awesome .God bless ya

  4. Rob Roach October 6, 2009 at 1:26 pm #

    I keep getting an error Evernote got an error: Operation would exceed monthly upload allowance. But I signed up for premium, and evernote web and evernote mac desktop know now that I am premium and am nowhere near upload limit. Your script is a lifesaver, if I can only get it to work around this problem. Any ideas where to look?



    • Justin October 6, 2009 at 5:31 pm #

      Hi Rob,

      Glad you’re enjoying the script!

      Let’s try to eliminate a few things so we can find out what’s going on:

      1.) Be sure to empty the trash in Evernote; I believe that it also counts against the monthly quota, so let’s eliminate it as a cause of the message.

      2.) Try moving the NNW items into a Local (not Synchronized) notebook with the script and then moving the items into a synchronized folder. Does doing it this way also give you an error message?

      Let me know what happens after you’ve tried these two things and we’ll take it from there.

      • David October 11, 2009 at 2:26 am #

        Oops, I’m in the same boat: premium acct and same error msg. Emptying Evernote’s trash and moving NNW items into a Local notebook didn’t make any difference.

        I’m using Evernote 1.4.9 and NNW 3.2

        Any help would be appreciated.

        And thanks for all your Evernote applescript work! You’re helping a ton of people, I’m sure.

        • Justin October 11, 2009 at 3:08 am #

          Hi David,

          I am just finishing up some revisions to the DEVONthink/Evernote scripts, but I will tackle this next!

          Check back later this week for updates and, in the interim, let me know if you discover any other “common denominator” associated with this error.

          • David October 11, 2009 at 4:17 am #

            Hi Justin,

            I just tried the script two more times and had partial success. Both attempts got about half way through my 125 flagged items before getting “Error number: -1712 Message: Evernote got an error: AppleEvent timed out.”

            I don’t have good ideas on why I didn’t get the “exceed allowance” error I had earlier. Hard to tell since I changed a number of things including quitting many open applications. I also disconnected from the internet for one attempt (and ended up with no images in the newly created notes).

            Your “single” script has worked fine throughout, so I may end up using that instead of the “batch” one. Nice to have a fallback.

            BTW, I may contact you later to ask about a script to change the creation year on a notebook’s worth of notes (long story).

            Thanks again for all your efforts!

  5. Justin October 11, 2009 at 11:06 am #

    I am definitely going to spend some time on this script this week — it’s been a year since I posted it and I have learned a few things about AppleScript since then. 😀

    Also, thanks for your detective work… I think I *may* have identified the cause, but will test over the next few days to be sure.

    If and when you (or anyone else) would like to talk about commissioning a custom script, just use the Contact page!

    • Rob Roach October 11, 2009 at 3:09 pm #

      thanks Justin,

      I tried, still stuck. An email when/if you have a new script would be mighty kind–thanks for looking at this.
      Rob [email protected]

  6. Joe Chiarelli October 15, 2009 at 9:03 am #

    Great script! Make my life so much easier.
    The only thing i need to NNW to sync with Starred items or get a script to export my InstaPaper stuff to Evernote!

    Ether way would make memory clippings easier on the iphone!

    • Justin October 15, 2009 at 10:59 am #


      From the NNW Website:
      “Flagged items should now be in sync with starred items (both directions). One limitation, however — in NetNewsWire it only shows flagged items if the item appears in a feed you’re subscribed to.”

      Tried it out with my iPhone — works fine!

  7. Tommy November 1, 2009 at 5:17 pm #

    Great script! I’ve been trying to use it with my starred items in Google Reader to get them into evernote. It worked well for a little bit, but it seems that it’s taking google a while to update my starred items public feed so I guess I’ll have to do a little bit each day.

  8. Jim Shook November 29, 2010 at 12:36 pm #

    Hi, awesome script! I would like to tell the script to only pull in text (no images). Any thoughts on how to achieve this in the script? Would be super helpful. Thanks!

  9. Matthew Bennett June 3, 2013 at 4:56 am #

    This is great, thanks, especially when you change ‘unread’ to ‘read’. Then you can just scroll down NNW, click on the headlines and send all the ones you’ve read to Evernote. A very powerful script. Thanks.

  10. Justin F April 11, 2014 at 1:16 am #

    Thank you so much for this. For ages it seems, I’ve been looking for a way to move from WordPress to Evernote. Now, if only I could transfer categories, tags and dates from WordPress to Evernote.