Millions of people around the world have experienced the joy of reading ebooks on Amazon’s Kindle platform. Whether it’s using a dedicated Kindle device, via the Kindle app for iOS or Android, or even for free on a computer, we’ve invested countless hours in reading and learning from these books.
But how about all those highlights you’ve made while reading? Kindle makes it so effortless to highlight the best passages, the ones you might really be able to benefit from or want to revisit later. But it’s not so easy to get those highlights OUT of their platform. There is actually no built-in way for you to export those highlights in a form that can be saved, edited, and shared with others.
But there is a way to “hack the system” using a special tool called Bookcision, and in this article I’ll show you how to use it. It’s really quite simple, but takes a little bit of practice. One of our contributors, Tasshin Fogleman, created this tutorial video to show you how. It is just one of the many powerful techniques we teach in our online course on how to curate and organize your knowledge and ideas, Building a Second Brain.
- Click here to visit the Bookcision page: https://readwise.io/bookcision
- Click here to view your Kindle highlights: https://read.amazon.com/notebook
- Click here to read our article on Progressive Summarization, the highlighting technique recommended in the video
- Click here for more information on Building a Second Brain, our online course teaching a comprehensive method for getting the most out of your knowledge and ideas.
Let me add a few notes to address common questions.
Why would I want to do this?
If there’s any reason you might want to use your highlights in the future. Maybe you’re highlighting a textbook and you want to be able to study key facts. Perhaps you’re writing a blog post and want to quote an author or cite their ideas. Or maybe you just like the way certain passages sound, and might want to revisit them someday.
Why not just use Kindle’s built-in “notebook” feature?
Because you have very little control over how those highlights are saved, edited, searched, annotated, or shared. Once they are on your computer, you can use them however you like. You become the sole owner of the highlights you’ve worked hard to create.
Which devices does this work on?
The example in the video uses the Apple operating system, called Mac OS, and Google’s web browser, Chrome. But this process can also be completed on Windows and using other browsers. Although you can make the highlights on a mobile device, this export process does have to be done on a desktop computer.
Is there any way to automate this process?
The steps demonstrated here are free, but you have to do them manually. If you’re using the notes app Evernote (that’s an affiliate link) you can pay for a service called Readwise to do it for you for $2.99 per month. We have no affiliation with them, besides being big fans. Readwise will create a dedicated notebook in your Evernote app titled “Readwise,” and any new highlights you make will show up there automatically. Click here to see my interview with the Readwise founders, including a demonstration of how it works.
Another paid option is Clippings.io, which I’ve never tried but I’m told works similarly.
Why do you recommend copying and pasting the highlights directly from the page, instead of using the “Copy to clipboard” or “Download” buttons?
Because this way, the location links are preserved. Clicking one of them will open the Kindle app on your computer, and take you straight to that exact location! It’s not strictly necessary, but saves you time when tracking down where a highlight came from.
What do I do next?
Once you have your highlights, you can copy and paste them into a notes app like Evernote, OneNote, Bear, or Notion, or simply paste them into Microsoft Word or a plain text file.
Now you have the distilled knowledge of many hours of reading at your fingertips! Use that knowledge for your own research or writing; put it into practice to improve your productivity or health; curate the best ideas or passages to share on social media or a blog. The possibilities are endless.
I believe so much in the power of notes to change your life and work, I’ve created a whole online course on the topic of “personal knowledge management.” In Building a Second Brain, I teach you how to save your most valuable knowledge not only from Kindle, but from over a dozen other sources like online articles, webpages, social media posts, your phone camera, and others.
Enter your email address below if you’d like to hear more about the course, click here to watch the introductory lesson which gives you a good idea of what we cover, or check out our other case studies like this one.
Subscribe below to receive free weekly emails with our best new content, or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or YouTube. Or become a Praxis member to receive instant access to our full collection of members-only posts.
A new and very much needed Kindle feature recently released by Amazon is the ability to export your notes and highlights from the Kindle to a usable form.
To get your notes, just sign in to http://kindle.amazon.com
Once you are logged in, you’ll see a list of your books. To the right of the ratings area, if you see tiny icons as shown below, there are notes or highlights that can be viewed.
Here’s a sample page of notes and highlights from one of my books:
- Next >>
Thanks for the info. Too bad you can only do this with purchased items from Amazon. I recently trasnferred a large document (PDF) file to my kindle that I had to read and mark up for work. After a call to Amazon Kindle tech support, I was disappointed to learn that you cannot see your notes on the computer for documents that you have sent to your kindle such as PDF, Word, etc.
Also, it seems, you cannot get this information if you did the notes on an iphone app and do not have a Kindle.
Another query related to this: can you really export these notes? Do they export to desktop desk formats? In the worst case, are they copy and pasteable. I read somewhere else that you can only read them.
I love my Kindle 2 very much. If you’re thinking about getting the Kindle, I’ll say get it and you won’t regret. Right now I’ve read over 10 books with the Kindle, and I really like the idea that I can bring and store all the books with the handy device. Besides, it uses the e-ink technology, it is really clear like reading books; and even I read with the device for long hours, I don’t feel tired. The internet browsing comes handy as well when I want to look for information on some specific area. My only complaint is the white case, right now all the Kindles are in white color. I think it will be cool if I can have a black or deep blue color Kindle 😉
Does anyone know how to export highlights made on my Mac using Kindle reader?
I read my Kindle books on my Mac using the reader that Amazon provided, but can’t find a way to simply export what I have highlighted.
Just click the Sync (circular arrows) icon and it will show up immediately in your highlights and notes area on kindle.amazon.com.
This is helpful, thanks. It works with Android Kindle v.2.0.2
If you’re anything like me, you take reading seriously. Why? Because I view reading as an investment in myself. I’m investing capital today (time) in the skills and knowledge (dividends) I want tomorrow.
Or as Kevan Lee put it in this excellent Buffer post:
“I look at books as investments in a future of learning rather than a fleeting moment of insight, soon to be forgotten.”
With the massive amounts of content we’re consuming these days, how do you ensure reading is not a fleeting moment of insight, soon to be forgetten?
You need a system — a system to help you organize and remember all the important ideas and concepts you’ve read about. This is the key to maximizing your return on time invested in all this reading.
Fortunately, we can now leverage technology to help us remember significantly more of what we read. And if you’re an Evernote user, you can create a powerful system by integrating your existing Evernote account with Readwise.
The Systems Authors Use to Remember What They Read
Before I dive into my reading system with Readwise and Evernote, it might be helpful to explore what a “reading system” actually is.
For this, we can look to nonfiction authors.
By the very nature of their work, nonfiction authors must read a lot. But they don’t stop there. In order to get the most out of reading, nonfiction authors almost always develop external systems for categorizing and revisiting what they read.
For example, the bestselling author Ryan Holiday uses a notecard system to leverage his reading. It’s a complex, category-based analog system where he collects noteworthy passages, ideas, and insights from the books he’s read for use later. (This system is also often called a Commonplace Book.)
There’s also a growing number of authors that publish some version of their book notes online. For example, Derek Sivers posts hundreds of book summaries with ratings from 1 to 10 on his personal website. Taylor Pearson does something similar on his website, but instead of rating each book, he organizes them by categories such as psychology, self-help, and history.
The reading systems of nonfiction authors are typically powerful, but for most readers — who are not professional writers — they’re generally a little too cumbersone.
A Step-By-Step Guide How to Synchronize Your Highlights to Evernote
Let’s now review my simpler reading system which leverages both Readwise and the ever popular note-taking application Evernote. Once you connect your Evernote account to Readwise, all your digital highlights — including Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, and Instapaper — will be constantly automatically updated to Evernote, enabling a variety of different workflows!
Here’s how to connect Evernote to Readwise:
First, you must import all your notes and highlights into Readwise. (Readwise supports an ever-increasing number of highlight sources including Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, Instapaper, Highly, Medium articles, audiobooks, and more.)
Next, you must connect your Evernote account to Readwise. You do this by clicking on “Evernote Export” in the main dashboard.
Then you’ll then follow the prompts to configure your desired settings. For example, you can export your notes and highlights from all your books or you can select specific titles. You can also tell Readwise whether to include or exclude the highlight locations as part of the export, and whether to automatically or manually export new highlights to your Evernote account moving forward.
Next, you’ll be prompted to log into your Evernote account.
Finally, the Evernote sync will begin. In this example, I exported notes from 75 books to my Evernote notebook and the process took less than two minutes.
By default, Readwise creates a new Evernote notebook for all your book notes. This is what it looks like unformatted.
Organizing and Reviewing Your Highlights in Evernote
After your Readwise highlights have been exported, each book will have its own note in an Evernote notebook titled Readwise . You can now incorporate these notes into your Evernote workflow.
In my system, I like to tag each of the book notes with additional categories. For example, I’ll start by tagging each with a general tag called “book notes”.
This tag is configured as an Evernote shortcut. So, I can quickly find and search all the book notes that I’ve reviewed.
In addition to the vague “book notes” tag, I also tag these notes based on:
- Key Themes
- Subject Matter
I’ve also recently started filtering and tagging books by location using Evernote’s Atlas feature. This is particularly fun for books I read on vacation because I often form strong associations with those experiences and the concepts I encountered in my book. These connections help not only my reading retention, but also serve as natural starting points for stories, anecdotes, and examples in content that I might write.
We’ll wrap with a couple real-life use cases of my Readwise and Evernote reading system.
If you’re easily distracted while writing like I am, you can leverage Readwise’s integration with Evernote to minimize temptation. I can research and add quotes to a blog post without ever leaving Evernote. Avoiding the internet obviously helps me avoid distractions where I might otherwise get sucked into social media, Youtube, or other internet research rabbit hole.
Another powerful use case is to connect your Readwise Evernote notebook with project management software using an automation tool like Zapier or IFTTT. These links enables you to send your book notes to hundreds of other apps such as a Trello Card or an Asana to-do list item.
These are but two examples of how you can use Readwise and Evernote to generate a significantly higher return on time invested in reading, there are hundreds of other use cases.
If you’ve set up a similar reading system, I’d love to hear from you. What are some examples of how you are using Readwise and Evernote to get more out of what you’ve read?
And if you haven’t already, sign up for Readwise today for a free thirty-day trial.
Would you like to be able to download all your notes and highlights from your Kindle books? Amazon doesn’t make it easy, but here’s the workaround way to get your notes and highlights.
1) Sign into your online kindle account. Go to: https://kindle.amazon.com and sign in.
2) Find the book you want to copy your notes from. In this case my book is in the “read” section, so I clicked the number next to “read” (It’s currently 9, because I’ve finished nine books on the kindle)
3) Click on the book title
4) Click on “You have 62 highlighted passages You have 61 notes” found in the upper right.
5) All your highlights and notes from this book will appear on this page. Go ahead and copy them. Then paste the text into a document somewhere else.
As you can see, Amazon doesn’t allow a simple download for the notes. Instead I copied them from my Kindle profile. You can only do the following with your own notes and highlights.
If you wanted to read a friend’s notes and highlights on a book, you are out of luck. I would really like Amazon to enable more sharing of notes. It would be fantastic to read a book with someone and then have conversations over passages in the book via the notes.
3 Ways to Export Kobo Highlights and Notes
I want to get out of my highlights and notes from my Kobo eReader. Is there any way to export kobo highlights and annotations?
Do you like to makes notes or highlights while reading ebooks? I do. I find it is enjoyable to read all my notes from my favorite books. That’s why I want to seek the way of exporting kobo highlights. If you are in the same situation, just read the following parts to get the details.
Method 1. The Easiest Way to Export Kobo Highlights and Notes
1. Plugin your kobo eReader to your computer and tap “Connect” on the Kobo device.
2. Find the file called Kobo eReader.config. It’s located on the Kobo drive and its default path is .kobo/Kobo.
3. Right-click on the Kobo eReader.config file and open it with a basic text-editing program like Notepad. Add the following code to the file at the bottom, or anywhere as long as it’s separate from the other code:
Then save this file.
4. Eject your kobo reader from your computer.
5. Go back to your kobo eReader, and press the book you want to export the highlights and notes until the menu appears. And the menu will have an extra option, “Export highlights”. Tap it.
6. A new page will pop up and just fill in the name for your highlights and tap “Export”.
7. You just export your highlights in the root directory of the device.
Watch Video Tutorial
Method 2. Export Kobo Highlights and Notes Online
KoboNotes is online service that can help you export kobo highlights and notes for free. To use this service, you need to set up account.
1. Register an account if you still don’t have one.
2. Find the “KoboReader.sqlite” file from your Kobo ereader. It should be stored here: \.kobo
3. Upload “KoboReader.sqlite” and your kobo highlights and notes will be displayed at the right column.
Method 3. Export Kobo Highlights and Notes from Adobe Digital Editions
If your kobo books are downloaded on Adobe Digital Editions on your Windows or Mac computer, you can find your kobo highlights and notes by this method.
All adobe digital editions annotations files are stored as .ANNOT file on your computer. Actually, .annot file is used to store auxiliary data for EPUB files like notes, bookmarks, highlights, and other sorts of “meta” data.
Here is the default path for the annotations files on your windows and Mac
Windows: C:\Users\username\Documents\My Digital Editions\Annotations
Mac: /Users/username/Documents/Digital Editions/Annotations
For the .annotations files, you can right click it and open with text editing program such as notepad.
These are three different ways to export kobo highlights and notes. You can just choose one to export your kobo highlights and notes now.
If you have any better methods to export kobo highlights, please share them in the comments section.
- Convert Kobo Kepub to EPUB and Remove DRM
- EPUB DRM Removal, Remove DRM from ePub on Adobe Digital Editions
Iris Yan joined Epubor since 2017. She always wants to share everything related to ebook reading and improve your reading journey.
On this post, I want to introduce a tool I developed to help Kindle users handle their highlights, notes, bookmarks, etc.
Getting annotations from your Kindle
So you’ve been reading on your Kindle. You highlighted some interesting parts. You wrote important notes. And you bookmarked relevant pages. Now how do you access it outside of the Kindle?
The Kindle has a mobile app and a web page where you can see your annotations and also export them. But whether your annotations for a particular book/document will be available there depends on how you acquired it.
I made a table to illustrate how it currently works (2019):
|Got from…||Mobile app||Web|
|Bought on Amazon||✅||✅|
|Sent via e-mail||✅||❌|
|Stored via USB||❌||❌|
So if you bought the book from Amazon, you have the best of worlds. You can access your annotations from Amazon’s mobile app or the web.
If you sent the content to your Kindle e-mail, Amazon automatically tagged it as “personal document” (even if it is a book). Its annotations will only be available on the mobile app.
Lastly, if you added content to your Kindle via USB, bad luck. No way to access its annotations or the content out of the Kindle.
My Clippings to the rescue
So we get a somewhat fragmented experienced. Depending on how you acquired each content, its annotations are available on one place or another; and thus are easily exportable or not.
Luckly, the Kindle stores a plain text file on its documents folder called My Clipping . For each highlight, note, bookmark and clip you set while on your Kindle, it appends this file with the corresponding information.
My Clippings shortcomes
Now, this file is very handy, no doubt. But yet it is kind of a mess. As I said, it is appended whenever you do one of the above operations. This means:
- It is not ordered by document, but by time. So, for instance, if you switch reading between two books, you’ll get some annotations for one, then for the other, then for the first again, etc.
- As the entries are ordered by time, if you annotate something in page 100, and later on page 50, the later will be after the former.
- If you edit or delete a highlight, note, etc, the file doesn’t reflect it. It adds the newly edition, but keeps the previous one. It doesn’t delete any entry. The result is tons of similar, duplicated, or previously removed entries floating on there.
- For every append, it adds info about the correspondent book, the time the append was done, etc. The actual content can be missed together with lots of noise, making the file difficult to read.
So while having tons of valuable data, this file is not really readable nor easily browseable. The obvious thing to do was to try to parse it. I looked for applications to do that and found a few: web and desktop. However, none satisfied me:
Most of them didn’t work. While I didn’t investigate the causes for each codebase, some failed because locale specific strings were hardcoded.
Web based solutions seemed to add complexity to the problem. Having to periodically upload My Clippings to a platform, manage my data there in a complex interface and then export my annotations again seemed overkill.
I didn’t try all the applications available. I quickly realized that it would be much better to code my own solution from ground up, than testing many until one worked or reasonably satisfied me. Besides, I still would have to adapt them to my needs.
So I created a tool to solve those problems. It’s Fyodor, written in Ruby and open-source.
Fyodor parses all the precious data from My Clippings and makes it readable. It generates well formatted markdown files: one per book or document that you read.
Some of the features:
- Your highlights and notes are ordered by page (not time).
- Cleans up empty and duplicated entries as possible.
- Tries to be locale agnostic, and allows configuration for different Kindle languages.
- The output is easily editable and read by virtually any computer (plain text).
- And more…
The workflow, pros and cons
To extract your Kindle annotations:
- Connect your Kindle via USB.
- Copy My Clippings from documents folder to your computer.
- Run Fyodor.
- Now you have a bunch of markdown files, one for each document. Edit them as you will.
Advantages of this method:
- You extract all the annotations from all your Kindle content with one command.
- You don’t need to remember how each document got to your Kindle just to export its annotations.
- The content you loaded via USB can finally have their annotations set free from the device (remember the table?).
- All your annotations are stored in one single folder, conveniently organized per book.
- Clean and editable output.
Of course, we still have some limitations that the Kindle imposes us:
- We can’t guess all highlights and notes that were deleted.
- We don’t have chapter information.
- We need to transfer My Clippings via USB.
But yet, this is a much better state of affairs, and I’m fairly satisfied. I hope this app makes your life better.
How to Manage & Export Kindle Highlights and Notes?
If you want to retain more knowledge after finishing a book, making highlights and notes is the first and the most effectively method you need. Kindle provides a convenient way to highlight and write notes throughout you reading. But in most cases, there is no options to export those annotations to access them outside the book. Fortunately, Epubor release a new tool to export Kindle highlights and notes to MOBI/EPUB/PDF/TXT to read on computer or e-Readers. With this tool, It is very convenient for us to review our notes and highlights, and consolidate what’s been learned!
Here to meet Epubor Kindle highlight & Note manager—Epubor Kclippings. With Epubor Kclippings, all notes and highlights saved in your Kindle device can be exported, edited, formated and published as an eBook! To be mentioned, this is a total free software!
Import Kindle Highlights and Notes With Epubor Kclippings
Kclipping is a wonderful tool for exporting Kindle highlights and notes. As a easy to use software, the interface is very clean and uncluttered, and let you know exactly what to do to get started.
For now, it works with the Kindle’s “My Clippings.txt” file for Kindle eReaders. Plug in Kindle eReader to your computer at first. Then open the Epubor Kclippings, and click on the “K” icon at the tool bar at the lef side. It will pop up a window as below picture.
Usually, Epubor Kclippings will display My clippings.txt file path automatically so you just have to click on “OK” to load your Kindle highlight and notes to Kclipping. When all highlights and notes of your read books have been imported to your Epubor Kclippings. You can view or read them at any time even if you have eject your Kindle eReader.
Edit Kindle hightlights and notes
Epubor Kclippings enables you search, edit and even delete your Kindle highlights and notes.
Search –There is a search box at the top left corner. You can easily find the content you want to know. You can not only search the book title, but also the content of your highlights and notes.
Edit & Delete–When you move your mouse to the highlight or note, it will show where this highlights or notes located on your ebook and the date you made this notes. Before these information, you can see three icons ‘Edit note’, ‘Finish’ and ‘Delete’. Click on ‘Edit’, you can edit your notes. When you have finished the editing, just click on” Finish” icon. If you do not like this notes, you can even delete it by clicking on ‘Delete’.
Export Kindle Highlights and Notes
Don’t you think that publishing your Kindle highlights and notes as eBooks is amazing? Epubor Kclippings will make this dream come true. It allows you export the Kindle highlights as MOBI/EPUB/TXT/PDF format.
At the toolbar, you can see a export icon, click on this icon, you are able to convert the Kindle highlights and notes to MOBI/EPUB/TXT/PDF format.
As you can see that the formatting of converted eBooks is beautiful and clearly show you every details that you marked on your Kindle eBooks. You will never miss anything if you want to quick browse your highlights and notes.
What’s more, there is registration requirement. You just have to download it and enjoy it. It is definitely the best Kindle highlights and notes manager you’ve ever seen. Do not hesitate! Just download it now!
Jonny Greenwood joined Epubor since 2011, loves everything about eBooks and eReaders. He seeks the methods to read eBooks more freely and wants to share all he has got with you.
from the who-owns-what-now? dept
There have already been plenty of questions over who “owns” the ebooks you’ve bought, with stories of remotely deactivated books and remotely deactivated features — neither of which happens when you have a real physical book. But there are also other concerns opened up by newly activated features. Apparently one new feature — sent in by a few concerned readers — is that Amazon will now remotely upload and store the user notes and highlights you take on your Kindle, which it then compiles into “popular highlights.”
I have no doubt that the feature provides some interesting data, but it’s not clear that users realize their highlighting and notes are being stored and used that way. Amazon basically says there’s no big privacy deal here, because the data is always aggregated. But it sounds like many users don’t realize this is happening at all. Amazon says people can find out they added this feature by reading “forum posts and help pages” — but it’s not clear how many people actually do read those things. While I’m sure many people are fine with this, others might not be. And it once again highlights a key concern in that the “features” of your “book” can change over time. Your highlighting may have been yours in the past, but suddenly it becomes Amazon’s with little notice.
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Ever had a moment reading a book where you’ve gasped aloud? Or laughed out loud? How about that moment when you read about a new idea that is perfect for what’s going on in your life? Readers often want to share moments like these with friends, so last year we launched the ability to share your Kindle notes and highlights on Goodreads. Now we are making it even easier to let your friends see what you “wrote in the margins” with our new page where you can see all the books with your notes and highlights.
Since we launched Kindle Notes & Highlights on Goodreads, we’ve been hearing from our members that they love having another way to share more of what they read.
all my @kindle highlights are synced up with @goodreads account too. Why did I not notice this before? Great feature!
Just found out that your Kindle Highlights are available in Goodreads. #lovedit #amazon #happyreading.
By default, your Kindle notes and highlights are only viewable by you—you’re always in control. You can choose to share them with friends by marking any (or all) of your notes and highlights as “Visible,” and your friends will be able to view, like, and comment on them.
You can also add notes or edit your notes directly on Goodreads, and your changes will be saved back to your Kindle book. And if you’re worried about spoilers, we’ve got you covered! You can mark individual notes and highlights as spoilers, so your friends can decide when they’re ready to read them.
In the past few months, we’ve made several improvements. Now you can also:
- Access your notes and highlights from the Goodreads apps for iPhones, iPads, and Android devices (in addition to Goodreads.com). Want to refer to a key passage while you’re at lunch with a friend or at your book club? Go to the book page in your Goodreads app and you’ll find a link to your Kindle notes and highlights.
- In Kindle for iOS, choose which notes to share from the notebook.
- Share the notes and highlights from any Kindle book you purchase or borrow. This now includes Kindle books you borrow from your library, or read with a Kindle Unlimited or Prime Books subscription.
- See annotations from authors. Look for a link at the end of the description on the Goodreads book page to find books with author annotations, including The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, A Darker Shade of Magic by Victoria Schwab, Royally Screwed by Emma Chase, and The Friends We Keep by Susan Mallery.
One of the top requests has been for an easy way to see all your Kindle notes and highlights in one place on Goodreads, and we’re now making that possible with our new Kindle Notes & Highlights page. It’s a quick way to review all the books in your Kindle library with notes and highlights, edit or add to your notes, and decide which ones to share with your friends to start a conversation.
In which markets is this supported?
Kindle Notes & Highlights on Goodreads is supported within the following Kindle marketplaces: United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and India, for customers who have linked their Goodreads and Amazon accounts.