What do you use for Kindle Notes and Highlights?

A simple Google-search will give me lots of suggestions.
But it’s hard to find out “whats the best one for my needs”.
How about you guys, what software and/or services do you use for your Kindle Notes and Highlights needs?
Mac or iOS, or both?

https://readwise.io/bookcision

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I use http://klib.me/ to get things off my physical kindle device. I then export the files to https://dynalist.io/ for long term search and storage. It used to be that https://readwise.io/bookcision (mentioned above) allowed one to get past the export limits that some publishers place on books, but that is no longer the case. Still, it is useful for getting things off the web if you don’t have the physical device and don’t want to pay the Klib subscription fee to sync with Kindle on the web.

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Bookcision works well for me. The reason I don’t read paper books is that Kindle allowes me to make notes that I can later copy and paste into documents.

I also use bookcision and archive notes and highlights in DevonThink.

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Reopening this old thread because I’m still struggling with extracting my Kindle notes out in a way that makes them really useful.

While I can get to the file on Amazon that stores kindle highlights from books bought from Amazon there are issues.

My aversion to cloud data means that I have to remember to get the notes out into something else (currently using DEVONThink but moving into Obsidian) and then delete them so they do not hang aorund on Amazon servers. Extrcting the notes off the Amazon page does notprovide the robust links I want.

That also does notwork for notes or highights I make in kindle books purchased from other sources.

I use the Kindle app on my iPad exclusively for reading kindle format books so it has to start there and provide a robust export.

I’ve watched several vdeos of Tiago Forte extrcting highlights out from the kindle app but I can’t get that to work on my machine for some reason. I never see the options that he does at the top of the screen to share the highlights. Been trying to figure out why unsuccessfully for a while now.

So…Are there any apps or otherways to extract out kindle notes and highlights easily from all kindle books on iPad?

I also use Readwise- it’s paid and pricey but it’s way more than an exporter and I love the way it surfaces quotes and highlight etc. It also has an auto import to Roam Research which I love…but let’s not talk about that :grin:

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This is a Mac app, but I’ve been toying with Knotes. It will allow you to sync highlights directly from Amazon’s servers, so you don’t have to manually import them. Then you can export to any number of formats. It’s $10/yr or $40/lifetime.


I’ve also been demoing Readwise and it’s just ok. The one thing that stands apart is its ability to surface highlights in a meaningful fashion. But that’s only part of the problem for me. I also want to be able to view them in related ways. I know I could manually tag them, but goodness that’s a lot of work. I’d love to have the app work for me and try to auto-tag related highlights on subjects and link them together in a meaningful way.


Another option is Highlighted (iOS only). The downside to this app is there’s no auto-import, and no Mac app, so I have to manually go through and input every highlight I have currently via an iPhone. Blah… no thanks.


Last one I was toying with is Book Track. This is more for tracking your reading progress in books, but it also has a quote feature for you to save meaningful quotes. Again, no import, so I’m stuck manually typing. But it does at least have a Mac app.


All that to say I haven’t settled on a final format yet. I may just go back to my old method which is copy/pasting from the Kindle website into Obsidian and manually trying to link things up. :man_shrugging:t2:

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Ali Abdaal has an interesting video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhpY1frNqdA) showing how he uses Readwise.io to funnel highlights from Kindle, Instapaper and Airr (a podcast app that lets you highlight and transcribe podcast excerpts) into Notion (which is a sponsor on the episode) but you can export highlights from Readwise into other note-taking apps. I use it for RoamResearch and the export function works really well.
Although I’m a longtime Overcast user and will continue to use it, I downloaded Airr to try the quote function.

Just waiting for Overcast to include Airr functionality within Overcast

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Readwise also gives you the ability to save excerpts from physical books.

Take a picture of a page (and the following page, if needed), wait a second while it is OCRed, then highlight what you’d like to save.

re: exporting from the Kindle app - it depends on the licensing for the book. For instance, my book by Joan Didion has an Export button, but my book on Bayesian stats does not.

re: being cloud averse, are Kindle highlights of value to anyone? Also, once the highlight has been made, the trace is there, probably forever in a backup somewhere.

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@kennonb and @susan Unfortunately Readwise has the same problem as the standard Kindle highlights and notes. It is unable to capture highlights from books not purchased via Amazon. About 1/3 of my kindle books came from other sources, not Amazon and nothing works to save the highlights and notes from those books. It also stores your highlights on it’s own servers too. So I’ll have the same problem of creating the highlights, then exporting them and then deleting them tha I have with Amazon directly.

On the old kindle devices I could access the file that contained the notes and highlights but I hav enot been able to locate it on my iPad in the Kindle app section.

Not the highlights per se but the books read is certainly of value for tracing puposes. :sunglasses:

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I don’t really use highlights on my Kindle, but I had some time tonight so I did a little digging. On iOS, the highlights seem to be stored in a SQLite database called AnnotationStorage in a table called ZANNOTATION. To find that out, I made some random hightlights in a couple of books on my iPhone. Then I made a backup of my phone using iMazing. When it was complete, I made the backup editable and opened the Kindle application folder. In its Library folder is the db file. I copied the file out to my iMac and opened it with DB Browser for SQLite. You can browse the db or run this SQL

Select ZRAWBOOKID , ZRAWANNOTATIONTYPE, ZUSERTEXT
  From ZANNOTATION
 where ZRAWANNOTATIONTYPE = 'highlight'
   and ZUSERTEXT is not NULL and ZUSERTEXT > ' '
 Order By ZRAWBOOKID ASC

Python has native support for SQLite so once you have the db on a Mac, you could write some python code to grab the data.

I’m not sure how you turn the book id into the book name but perhaps with a little more digging through the app folder you can come up with that.
I also don’t know how much data you’ll find in your database. It may purge it and repopulate as you download or open books. The db also contains the popular highlights that Amazon offer up.

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What a great find! I’ll take a look at that as soon as I can.

I just go to https://read.amazon.com/notebook and print the highlights to PDF. It’s a manual process, but it’s simple.

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Brought here by a search as I was looking into the same topic.

Does anyone have some similar workflow for Books on IOS (the stock ebook app from Apple)?

It seems even more locked in, only allowing exports to the notes app…

But it only gets highlights in books you bought from Amazon. Not any you make in books purchased from other sources, like from Take Control Books for example or books that authors have provided free of charge from their own websites.

Did some checking.

I had popular highlights turned on and had over 5000 items nearly all of which were other people’s highlights.

Notes appear to be missing, only the highlighted text is there as far as I can see but Im still exploring that.

I couldn’t find any highloghts from books that were not purchased from Amazon but I didn’t have many of those highlighted.

Up today I’m going to uncheck see popular highlights and also make some distinctive highlights and notes in non-Amazon books and see if I can find them in the database.

This GitHub script works for me and I exclusively read books that I upload to the kindle, not bought from Amazon.

It was easy for me to test as I didn’t have any historical highlights. I highlighted two amazon purchases and one non-amazon that I uploaded to Kindle. I did see my highlights from all three in the iPad’s SQLite DB. If you use the SQL to filter on annotation type, you can ignore the popular highlights. I didn’t have anyway to determine if all of your historical data would be on the iPad or if the Kindle app loads and deletes highlights based on what books are on device. I’ll be interested to see what you find out.