If you already knew about Readwise and how it can help you manage your Kindle highlights, please excuse my enthusiasm! I can’t help it, I am thrilled. And hooked.
But let me start from the beginning.
When my life is in (relative) disarray (like it is now after having moved to New Zealand three months ago), I turn to organizing.
Typically, that would be physically organizing my space and I have done as much of that as possible for the moment. Now, that our new house is set up, whatever is left to do is largely dependent on waiting for other people to finish their job, so I turned to digital organizing.
Notion Enters My Life
A few months ago, through an awesome blogger I follow, I was introduced to Notion.
I first fell in love with the app, then I became obsessed with it.
Just a little while before that I wrote about my favorite organizing apps and Trello was pretty much the star. But enter Notion, and everything else faded in comparison. (for now at least, because I know that there is something better always lurking around the corner)
Notion is beautiful, seamless, and simple in design. The fact that I can make it into whatever I want, almost any way I want is what makes it my new number one organizing tool.
I obsessively moved my stuff from Trello to Notion. One by one.
When I become obsessed with something, I just keep on exploring it in detail, so by exploring all the features of Notion, I came across something absolutely FANTASTIC!
Which (finally) brings me to the point of this post.
My Kindle Highlights Before Readwise
Ever since I bought my first Kindle back in 2011, my reading life has transformed immensely.
I was always an avid reader of both fiction and non-fiction, but also an avid notetaker because that is how I both remember and implement (or try to) what I read.
With Kindle came Kindle Notes and Highlights which is one of the reasons I mostly read electronically now (although I still buy books in heaps, but more about that some other time)
So far, my system consisted of going into my Kindle Highlights page on Amazon, copying all my highlights from a particular book, and pasting them into a Word document.
Then, time permitting, I would go through these notes, delete the ones I didn’t need, make comments where I needed to and save the word file to my Evernote.
I even have a physical binder where I used to print my favorite highlights as I love going back to read them over and over. (I don’t print anymore, though, that was before the Cloud)
Anyway, as you can imagine, this process was quite cumbersome because there was so much manual labor involved.
And yes, I am aware of a few other apps I could have used to export the clippings, but they didn’t offer any more ease or value than my own system.
So, while organizing in Notion, and moving some of my notes, I thought: “Oh, this would be such an awesome platform for my Kindle Notes and Highlights.”
A short search later, trying to establish if anyone has already done something like that and perhaps created a template for it, I came face to face with an amazing app called Readwise.
My heart skipped a beat, yes, yes, these people understand me! They know exactly what I want to do with my Kindle highlights.
What Readwise can do for you?
Readwise will connect to your Kindle highlights and import them into your Notion!
It will also import them into your Evernote if you’d rather do that. I am a geek in that respect, so I did both.
It will also do other things like import your Pocket or your Medium highlights (and a few other apps as well) and it is still evolving so it may actually soon target your favorite platform.
At the moment, you have to pay 7.99 USD a month for the ability to import those highlights.
But for me, just having those notes in one usable, searchable and editable place is absolutely priceless.
You can also use their own platform to review and edit notes, and that’s great, too. It is just that I was additionally excited about having my Kindle Notes on the platform I am already crazy about!
And Notion is free so there is that!
So, here is a little overview of what I have now.
All my books are here, about 390 books I’ve read on Kindle alone.
The page automatically shows the book cover, which is awesome. The URL, full title, the total number of highlights and the highlight location.
Readwise will also send you daily reminders (that you can turn off or adjust according to your individual preferences) to randomly remind you of your highlights which you can delete or edit straight from your email or the Readwise app on your phone.
As I said above, I also imported everything into my Evernote and it looks like this:
Now, you can just imagine the endless possibilities for your blog, your writing, your articles, your conversations if you can easily be reminded of every book you have ever read (on Kindle, at least!)
I am now exploring with Pocket highlights for the articles I save. It seems like an awesome option, too.
I am sure I will write more about this later, but for now, I just wanted to share this, in case you didn’t know about it.
I would also love to know what you do, if anything, with your Kindle Highlights? In general, do you tend to underline and take notes when you read?