Alternative to Readwise for capture highlights in paper books

I use my phone a lot to capture book highlights. The Readwise iPhone app is really clunky and old-schoolish. Before going down the rabbit hole looking for other options, I am asking here for suggestions. My process is read, highlight, capture highlights, currently – upload to Readwise account, then sync with Obsidian. If there’s a better way that also makes Readwise unnecessary, my ears are open.



Omnivore is good for a free option. Has good text to speech if you want that. You can sync highlights or entire articles to Obsidian. iPhone app looks good and the web app is fine, theres a good mac app and browser extension as well.


Looks good so far! Thanks for the tip! :raised_hands:

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Thanks for the Omnivore recommendations. I really like the Highlight feature. I also like that it is a “sort of” RSS reader. Let’s see if it can replace Unread, which is my current favourite. Unread doesn’t have Highlight and sometimes I end up using NewsBlur to do it so it became a mess. I’d gladly go for an open source alternative that also looks good!!

me: Apple books (read&highlight) + ibook obsidian plugin (capture&import)

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Thanks @ackii

I should have been clearer in my post – I am working with analog books, not digital instances of books. There is great joy in annotation and writing marginalia while having a dialog with a paper book – far more fun than with Kindle. Then I hit the slog of digitizing the stuff.


Thank you @pagr.

Omnivore is not for books. It is for digital articles and feeds. I’m looking to replace Readwise’s iPhone app for selecting text in physical paper books. Sorry, I thought I specified that, but probably not clearly.



I like Readwise enough that I’ve not explored too many other options. I did download this app Highlighted once and found it ok, but since it didn’t sync to Readwise I haven’t kept up with it.

When scanning parts of books that don’t go into readwise, I use either vFlat or Drafts. Drafts makes it super easy to get text from a page, delete the stuff you don’t need and edit accordingly, then send it off to wherever it needs to go. vFlat is not so fast and easy, but good for capturing multiple pages and flattening the curves of an open book.


Apologies, I only just noticed that you said an app for books at the end.

Absolutely! I use Drafts all the time to capture analogue text; trim, highlight, or annotate it as needed; and port it into Obsidian. It’s fast, straightforward, and accurate.

PS: This workflow makes it easy to add whatever information you need for a proper citation.