Evernote Create Note Fails


I have created an action with 1 Evernote step.

When I save to the Notebook Drafts (which does exist) I get an error message which is logged as Notebook does not exist.

When I remove the Notebook name it fails because it says there is an ENML error. (I have chosen the MMD option.)

When I change the option to ENML it does work ( as long as the Notebook is blank (default).

What can I do to get the Notebook specification to work?


There are a few discussions about ENML errors on the forum.

Have a read of these and see if they help. They should at least provide more info on diagnosing the issue.

  1. Markdown to ENML conversion
  2. Evernote actions not working [Solved]

Brackets and parentheses may be why MMD fails but it works with ENML.

No mention of why it fails if a Notebook is specified.


No, but from reading those I assume you now have a good idea about the sorts of details to post here to get additional support with that. Currently we can’t see exactly what you are doing if anyone else was attempting to reproduce the issue you are experiencing. We could guess… but then it might work for us and we miss the nuance of something you have in place or are doing.


If you have having ENML errors, it would be helpful to post and example of text that causes the error. As far as the notebook, make sure you have an exact, case-sensitive matching name specified with no extra spaces or anything…


The ENML error was solved by changing the format from MMD to ENML. Counterintuitive but it works.

Still researching the Notebook issue. It looks correct to me.


Indeed. What I notice in reading the issues is that details become clearer with dialog.

I think my four steps were a reasonable start.


So here is what happened. It is not at all a Drafts issue so you can stop here if you like.

I had an old dormant Evernote account with a login that was just a variation on my iCloud.com account. When I got Drafts 5 I mistakenly connected to it.

What confused me was that when I tested with no Notebook I could see it in the Inbox folder on my Evernote App on my iPad. I haven’t logged on to the web based one for years.

This is where the voodoo starts and this is my best explanation: I had an old iPad that drowned. I restored it from a backup to a new iPad.

When I go to the web Evernote I can see that both devices are still registered so I suspect that it is still syncing. But that is voodoo.

I was not until I tried running he action from my iPhone (where it worked) that I could diagnose the problem.

That is my implausible story.


The Notebook existence issue is solved.

I think that the Markdown conversion issue is partly something broken and partly expectations.

Most often Markdown actions take a markdown formatted document and turn it in to rich text.

That is not what I see happening

Here are my results starting with a document that is in markdown
Tag |Option |Result
[[body]] |text |No change
[[body]] |markdown |error message
[[body]] |ENML |No change
%%[[body]]%% |text |Text with html tags
%%[[body]]%% |markdown |error message
%%[[body]]%% |ENML |Text with html tags

The Text with html tags did sort out footnotes etc.

In order to get rich text that looks like other MD actions I ran a script I downloaded that creates rich text and puts it on the clipboard then ran the The Evernote action with the option text and the template [[clipboard]]

Evernote resizes the superscript for footnote references to be normal size but otherwise it is rich Text.

The best option is to use the Markdown to Mail function and send it to the evernote email account. You can direct it to a Notebook with the addition of @notebook in the subject line.


Just to clarify, Markdown in general, and the Markdown related actions in Drafts specifically, usually convert to HTML not rich text. Only when the HTML is passed through a rendering engine could it be considered as having converted to rich text.

Also ENML whilst being HTML-like, is not HTML. That can cause confusion/issues when trying to deal with Evernote sometimes.


Please provide a sample text that cause the invalid ENML error. Most likely you have Markdown that is generating HTML which has tags Evernote will not accept.

Please also review the Evernote step documentation regarding template output format. If you select “Markdown”, you do not also need to use %% %%, Drafts will do the Markdown conversion.


I don’t know how to reply here with Markdown that does not get interpreted so I send an email.


The mail failed but just create a small draft with a footnote markdown [^] element and the footnote as well as a link using the [] followed by parentheses syntax.

Everything I try with the Markdown option fails if it has these markdown elements.


If you use three back-ticks to delimit your Markdown:

## I am a heading

I am some text with some *italic* and **bold** words.

It will look like this when posted:

## I am a heading

I am some text with some *italic* and **bold** words.

And it will stop it turning into this:

I am a heading

I am some text with some italic and bold words.


This fails with the Evernote create action with the option set to markdown

Evernote Markup Failure

Here is a sentence with a footnote[^1]

[^1]: here is the footnote

Here is a sentence with a [link](https://forums.getdrafts.com/t/evernote-create-note-fails/4579/13). 


Footnotes generate id attributes, which are valid HTML but not allowed in ENML. If you run into ENML errors, you can check the HTML generated (use Copy as HTML action or similar) and look for tags and attributes that are likely causing the problem against the Evernote ENML reference.

It’s a handy tool to use Markdown to get rich-text in Evernote because ENML is mostly HTML, but it only allows a subset of HTML’s tags and there will always be some cases where the output is not supported by Evernote.

As long as you stick to basic markup like emphasis, bold, lists, it works fine.

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Why do I get an ENML error when I choose the option Markdown in my Evernote step?

I don’t get an ENML error when I choose the ENML option but I don’t get rich text either.

There is an action called copy to rich text that you wrote and I downloaded that has promise but I think that the html in the script needs to be extended for styles.

I wonder if there are any folks who would take this on. It’s out of my competency zone entirely (so much so that I may be entirely misunderstanding the script).


Can you share both the action and the draft content? Without those anything we come up with is just a stab in the dark.

Again, this would come back to understanding what you have.

Searching for “copy to rich text” in the Action Directory doesn’t yield any results for me. Once we know what action it is you are referring to, perhaps you could explain your statement on styles a bit further?

Styles are usually managed through CSS and shouldn’t, generally at least, change the underlying HTML structure. At the same time, as has been indicated a few times above, HTML and ENML are not directly equivalent, so it may yet come back to the inherent constraints of trying to convert between the two.

The community in my experience is really helpful, but I think without the specific details, it’s hard to get a handle on whatever the one, or more, issues are that you are encountering. Which makes it more difficult an time consuming to identify an appropriate solution.


Have you read over the Evernote step documentation?

I don’t think you are quite following what the template output format setting does and how Evernote stores notes. Let me see if I can clarify…

Evernote notes are in a format called ENML, which is HTML-like. When it display them in it’s own apps, it renders this as rich text - but it is not under the hood. It’s is ENML, much like editing in a website rich-text editor that is actually creating HTML tags underneath.

If you set the template output format to ENML, you are saying that the output of that template is already creating valid ENML with tags, etc. Just like HTML, if you want bold text, you would have to be outputting My <b>bold</b> text - just like you were writing HTML. This is an advanced feature and only suitable if you are familiar with HTML/ENML and are generating that content in scripts, etc.

If you select Markdown, you are saying the output of the template is Markdown, and Drafts runs it through the Markdown engine to convert it to HTML for you, replacing **bold** with <b>bold</b>, etc. This is generally your best option if you want to get rich-text in Evernote…there just may be cases with advanced Markdown that you are generating HTML which is not compatible with ENML…like you ran into with footnotes.


I have indeed read the Evernote step documentation. I am clearly not making myself clear.

Evernote will store rich text with footnotes and links. I can send a markdown–>email to my evernote email address and it shows up beautifully in Evernote. Here is an example:

But no combination of options in the Evernote step will yield footnotes or links.

Not %%[[body]]%% with the Text option
Not [[body]] with the markdown option (it fails with an ENML error
Not [[body]]. With the ENML option (the text stored is not RichText).

So my takeaway is that the Evernote step in Drafts is not able to send a rich text document with footnotes and links to Evernote.

Evernote steps in Shortcuts can also do it.