Get your Raindrop.io bookmarks into Obsidian using Pandoc

It’s no secret I’ve been a fan of Obsidian and Zettelkasten for a little while. In the spirit of Personal Knowledge Management, I’m trying to centralize all my notes and knowledge into something cohesive. This is how I came up with the idea of importing my Raindrop.io bookmarks directly (and automatically) into my knowledge base in Obsidian using Pandoc.

Some caveats

If you don’t mind spending some time on the parsing (or use the Raindrop API), you can skip the following remarks:

  • Tags are not imported.
  • The parsing is not perfect, and some weird markup remains sometimes.
  • All the bookmarks are imported (you can’t pick a specific collection).

What you’ll need

  • Raindrop’s Automatic Backups feature activated (requires a Pro plan subscription)
  • A Dropbox or Google Drive account.
  • Pandoc installed on your computer.
  • Mac OS (or any Linux / Unix-based operating system).

How it works

Well, it’s much easier than you’d expect!

  • Raindrops’ Automatic Backups exports an HTML file in your Dropbox (or Google Drive) shortly after adding or modifying any link.
  • Your computer then runs a cron job that runs a Pandoc command to convert the HTML file into a Markdown file, and saves it in your Obsidian vault directory.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Activate Raindrop’s Automatic Backups (on Dropbox your file typically goes to /Apps/Raindrop.io/).
  2. Install Pandoc.
  3. Modify your crontab (in your terminal, type: crontab -e) to execute the Pandoc command (mine runs every day at 5 PM).
  4. Add the following line to the file (don’t forget to update the paths to fit your folders structure):

0 17 * * * pandoc -s -r html /Dropbox/Apps/Raindrop.io/Export.html -o /Dropbox/path-to/yourvault/Raindrop-Bookmarks.md

That’s it. You’re all set! You’ll now find in your Obsidian Vault a file called Raindrop-Bookmarks.md that has a markdown version of all your Raindrop bookmarks.