On how to solve the two problems with Kindle highlights

If, like me, you are becoming increasingly comfortable reading on your Kindle – however difficult that journey has been – there are still two problems that arise:

  1. How can I easily access and review the notes I’ve highlighted?
  2. how can I get these notes out of my Kindle and into other applications without re-keying the content?

If you are still wondering why these are problems, here’s what I would do with a physical book:

  1. Highlight a passage of interest
  2. Type it out into Evernote (years ago this step involved hand writing quotes onto 6″x4″ index cards)
  3. Copy and paste into written materials such as reports, essays, blogs.

It seemed to me that I was reading an electronic version of a book, surely it was possible to do some sort of a copy and paste to avoid this long-winded approach? The good news is that this is possible and that it solves both problems. Here’s what you need to do.

First, you have your own kindle notes page online. Go to http://kindle.amazon.com and log in with your amazon credentials. At the top of the page click on my highlights. And there they are. That’s the first problem solved.

kindle

Next you need to get these notes into a suitable editor or note-taker. I use Evernote and it is possible to import these notes as follows. Go to https://www.clippings.io/ and sign up, then add the chrome browser extension (this will cost just over a pound a month) via the google app store. Once you’re logged in, click on the browser extension button and it will import your notes to Clippings:

clippings

Now all you need to do is link your Clippings account to Evernote in settings and voila! It automatically creates a new Notebook called Clippings and drops the notes in. Not only that, it creates a new note for each book that you have notes on. This is what it looks like in Evernote:

evernote

Why all the fuss? Well, now you are free to copy and paste and otherwise work with the text to your hearts content. It provides a great summary of your key learning points from each book you read and makes it much easier to review your learning at a later date. Because it’s in Evernote you can pull relevant quotes up with a quick search. And as with all Evernote content it becomes accessible content across all your devices.

What more do you need?

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