In today’s fast-paced life with the deluge of information, especially on the Internet, it seems like everything is trying to suck our life’s blood out of us, at least in terms of time. That information overwhelm is how I found this latest productivity hack because I was looking for a way to get to my highlights and notes out of my Kindle eBooks. Researching this issue, I found Nate Hoffelder of The-Digital-Reader.com’s initial answer, which led me to Amazon’s site.
Amazon’s “Your Notes and Highlights”
Although Amazon has since changed this site one more time, Nate gave me hope and sent me in the right direction. In the past, you needed to access a file on your Kindle. Because of the volume of highlights I do on everything I read, I could never download more than a smattering of the highlights and notes from my latest books before the download locked up.
Amazon has now come to the rescue with a relatively new service: read.amazon.com/notebook. On the left sidebar of the page titled “Your Notes and Highlights,” you will find the books you’ve purchased sorted as “Most recently updated shown first.”
Export Limit on Kindle Purchased Books
On the right side of the screen, you will find your highlights and notes from the book that is selected on the left sidebar. You can scroll down through your highlights and notes then copy and paste the highlighted text you want. Be aware though that there is a limit to how much of the content you can get the notes from. As I tend to do more highlighting than most people, I have occasionally gotten the message, “Some highlights have been hidden or truncated due to export limits.”
This Service Is Not on Books Emailed to Your Kindle App
While Amazon allows you to email PDF’s and Mobi (Kindle’s native format) files to your Kindles and Kindle readers on Android, you won’t be able to access your notes and highlights from the non-Kindle eBooks on Amazon’s “Your Notes and Highlights” page. Be aware, though, according to BookFunnel, a program some authors use to give away free books, if you download the Mobi file onto your PC, you need the Kindle app directly from Amazon to open the eBook. The one from the Microsoft Store won’t open it.
Uses for Amazon’s “Your Notes and Highlights”
Copying a Quote for a Meme
One example of how these notes come in handy is the following quote that I was able to copy and paste from “Your Notes and Highlights”
If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he had imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
Henry David Thoreau
The highlighted quote didn’t have Thoreau’s name in it, so I used the location to go back into Inspirational Quotes Ultimate Collection where I found the quote attributed to Henry David Thoreau. Now I can create my meme.
Admittedly, on a short quote, this is a lot more work than just typing it out. I still like it because I don’t have to double-check my spelling and accuracy for the exact words and their order. But, then my main purpose for this is to have the notes and highlights from research.
When you use it to grab a large number of notes and highlights, it makes research so much faster and easier. The fact that it includes the location means that you can refer back for the full context.
Book Recap for Reviews
As I do a lot of book reviews, I highlight key points even in novels so that later, when doing a review of a book, I have these highlights to refresh my memory about the characters and main activities in the story. This is important in nonfiction reviews too, though about the main elements rather than the characters.
If you are looking for a simple productivity hack for your note taking and research in Kindle eBooks, Amazon offers a wonderful service: “Your Notes and Highlights.” It will enable you to get your notes and highlighted text, within limits, from any Kindle eBook you purchased from Amazon. This is helpful for getting the quote right for memes too.
Productivity hacks, like using Amazon’s free “Your Notes and Highlights” service, can save you a few minutes here and a few there, minutes that add up. But when you do a lot of research, book reviews, or memes, over a year’s time those minutes add up to many hours, even many days.
Building your profits through strong relationships,
John R. Aberle
For other productivity tips, check out John R. Aberle's other productivity hacks: