Zettelkasten Forum


Pdf to zettelkasten workflow

I find it useful to include some of the original text in my zettelkasten notes. Until now I have been copy-pasting relevant sections from digital books and research papers into my zettelkasten notes. This process is somewhat labor intensive, so I was looking at ways to speed this up. Exporting annotations and highlights from PDF's to markdown or plain text does not seem to be as straightforward as I had imagined.

What is your workflow for extracting annotations and highlight to your zettelkasten? Is there software you can recommend for this process?

Comments

  • What software you are using to read/annotate your PDFs? I tend to mark up in Bookends or PDFExpert on an Ipad. Then use a shortcut that sends all the highlights (along with their page numbers) over to Drafts. I then tend to work these up into proper zettels, but sometimes will keep the quotations in my zettels if the phrasing is essential.

  • Currently I don't have any specific software for reading/annotating PDFs. I'm willing to buy some though (as long as it is available on Mac, I don't have an iPad).

  • Download Zotero, and then install Zotfile. After highlighting PDFs you opened from Zotero, you can click on "Manage Attachments" and then extract them so they'll go into the "Notes" of that respective bibliography entry.

    You'll then get something like this:

    Which is pretty cool.

    I write about unconventional self-improvement advice at improveism.com

  • @improveism That looks like what I'm looking for. Thanks!

  • I’m also working on a Mac app that is meant to improve this workflow (it’s not yet available, though). I’ve described this in more detail in the macpowerusers.com forums.

  • edited May 31

    @msteffens said:
    I’m also working on a Mac app that is meant to improve this workflow (it’s not yet available, though). I’ve described this in more detail in the macpowerusers.com forums.

    Ah yeah I encountered keypoints app in my search. I found it very interesting. I subscribed to the mailing list yesterday. It seems exactly what I'm looking for, but it won't help me now since it's not released yet. It looks like it would fit my workflow like a glove, though. Thought I had a winner, before I discovered it was not yet available.

    I hope you can release the software in some form, or allow some testers acces. Are there any plans to release preview releases? Please keep developing it, it seems very promising.

  • @RedArc said:
    Are there any plans to release preview releases? Please keep developing it, it seems very promising.

    Thanks for the motivating feedback! Since this is very much a part-time project, progress is unfortunately quite slow. But I’ll definitely continue developing it, and I’ll work on it as much as I can! As soon as I have the major issues resolved, I’ll make a preview release.

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