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Dear Aunt TUAW: Help me transfer Evernote data without the internet


Dear Aunt TUAW,

I love Evernote and use it regularly on my MacBook Pro and my iPhone. Lately, though, I'm finding myself in places with both devices, but the MacBook doesn't have an internet connection and is therefore unable to transfer data from one device to the other without attaching a cable. Since both devices have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities, it seems like there should be an easy solution to wirelessly transfer files that I would typically use Evernote for. Do you have any suggestions?

Your loving nephew,

Bill G.

Dear Bill,

If all you want to do is get readable notes and documents onto your iPhone while you're on the road, give GoodReader a shot. This venerable app supports Wi-Fi for transfers, and you can use it with an ad-hoc network (see below). You can easily store most any sort of document in GoodReader for mobile access.

If you're inclined to stay in an all-Evernote workflow, TUAW's Evernote experts Uncle Mike & Uncle Brett tell Auntie (who is not an Evernote user) that the application normally requires internet access on both ends for typical syncing of data. Fortunately, there's another (less convenient) approach that you can use.

If you're not on an unlimited iPhone plan, it's not all that hard to add tethering so that you can share your 'net between your iPhone and your MacBook, but Auntie sees where you're going here. Yes, you can create and share an ad-hoc connection between the two and use that connection to transfer data, without having to add tethering to your plan.

You can create that ad-hoc connection by enabling AirPort on your MacBook and choosing Create Network from the Finder AirPort menu. Then enter a name for your ad-hoc network, optionally require a password, and click OK. Auntie leaves the Channel set to Automatic. Then join the new network from your iPhone.

Evernote allows you to export notes to an external file on your Mac: select a note or notes and choose File > Export. Alternatively, Command-click either an individual or selection of notes for the same option. This lets you save notes to a format that can be used by your iPhone client.

You can then use an iPhone-based document utility, like Air Sharing Pro from Avatron, to transfer files to and from your Mac. The easiest way to do this is to enable Remote Access from your MacBook's Sharing preferences pane.

Avatron CEO Dave Howell provided these instructions: "Launch Air Sharing Pro on your iPhone after enabling Remote Access. When you look at the servers list in ASPro, you'll see your Mac, which is found automatically via Bonjour. Find and select the file you want to transfer (select with tap-hold), and then tap Copy. Finally, go to My Documents and Paste."

Once you've transferred your exported notes, you can send those notes over to Evernote, which supports the iOS document interaction controller.

Got a better way to do this? Let Auntie know in the comments.


Auntie T, and the T-party

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