Zettelkasten Forum


ebooks and kindle notes

Hello, I keep all my notes in a version controlled fork of foam: https://foambubble.github.io/foam/

I have a lot of ebooks on my computer in .epub, .mobi, and .pdf formats. I read most of these on a kindle and I sync books to my kindle using calibre (https://calibre-ebook.com/). I highlight a lot of things and take a lot of notes while reading on the kindle.

Does anyone have a workflow for syncing highlights and notes taken on the kindle to markdown files?

Thank you

Comments

  • Klib syncs pretty good from ibooks and your Kindle device (which have all your annotations on a file.)

    https://en.toolinbox.net/Klib/

  • @reidjs said:
    I have a lot of ebooks on my computer in .epub, .mobi, and .pdf formats. I read most of these on a kindle and I sync books to my kindle using calibre (https://calibre-ebook.com/). I highlight a lot of things and take a lot of notes while reading on the kindle.

    Does anyone have a workflow for syncing highlights and notes taken on the kindle to markdown files?

    Thank you

    First, I don't have a suggestion for moving highlights and notes taken on the kindle to markdown files - sorry :smile: . I am surprised that you can highlight and take notes efficiently in the kindle app - I find it so cumbersome. Working right in a pdf file is much simpler (to me), and the highlights and comments can be exported to markdown files simply and directly using a program such as PDF Expert (thanks to @Will for that tip).

    I was interested in your comment about calibre. I have that program, and have used it to access e-books I get from random, non-Amazon sources. I didn't know that you can sync to kindle using the program though. Can you comment on that?

  • Does anyone have a workflow for syncing highlights and notes taken on the kindle to markdown files?

    I use Readwise.io ($$$) to sync my Kindle highlights and notes to Evernote. I think there is now an Obsidian community plugin that will connect to Readwise and pull them into Obsidian (which uses Markdown) but I haven't tried it. There's another service called Clippings.io that might work as well. These generally work with the myclippings.txt file on your Kindle (which you could also open in any text editor, I am pretty sure).

    I have seen a Calibre plugin for extracting highlights and notes. It didn't work for me, but I didn't bother to put too much effort into it, either.

  • I use Kindle's default built-in export notes function. It exports notes and highlights via email.
    I'll them cut and past the notes as appropriate.

    I ought to think about doing some automation. Amazon provides a .csv output of the highlights and notes. Maybe a tool that takes each highlight and creates a rough note for each. This might speed up the onboarding process some. This would be tricky though.

    Will Simpson
    I'm a zettelnant.
    Research areas: Attention Horizon, Productive Procrastination, Dzogchen, Non-fiction Creative Writing
    kestrelcreek.com

  • @reidjs said:
    Does anyone have a workflow for syncing highlights and notes taken on the kindle to markdown files?

    I am the workflow :smile:.

    I have a Kindle e-book reader where I highlight anything of interest while reading. After I've read the book, I go through the book again and manually create notes for any highlights that still stand out. As my Zettelkasten is in Dutch, I usually have to translate from English as I create notes.

    This adds two steps in working with the highlights, which helps me with understanding the book and its underlying ideas.

    I don't use any exporting of highlights, as that will make me lazy in really working with whatever I'm reading (prevent becoming a collector).

  • @r1tger said:
    I am the workflow :smile:.

    :smile: :smile:

    Will Simpson
    I'm a zettelnant.
    Research areas: Attention Horizon, Productive Procrastination, Dzogchen, Non-fiction Creative Writing
    kestrelcreek.com

  • edited July 25

    I do this manually. Mount the kindle and navigate this file path:
    kindle -> documents -> My Clippings.txt

    Scroll to pertinent source, copy/paste highlights/notes into a note. Then, get to writing.

    (edited for clarity)

    Post edited by kohled on
  • edited July 29

    FYI - I don't have my kindle handy, but all your notes are saved in a text file (don't remember the name off hand). If you connect to a pc/mac, you should be able to navigate the file system on your kindle, copy that file, then slice and dice from there...

    Actually the comment above me shows that name and location....

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