I’m very good at highlighting useful passages in ebooks, but not so great at remembering to do anything with them. Occasionally, it occurs to me to copy and paste them into Evernote but, as a geek, I much prefer a system. In this post I’d like to give a warm welcome to a new app called Clippings.io. It’s a Chrome app that extracts highlights from your Kindle account and sends them straight to Evernote. You just need to remember to click ‘Export’ every so often, and then gaze lovingly at the screen as those handy snippets magically appear in Evernote. As you can tell, it’s still giving me a dopamine rush.
Of course, it’s not really magic. All your highlights and clippings are stored in a file called MyClippings.txt on your Kindle. You might not know that you can actually view them on kindle.amazon.com. Log in with your Amazon username and password and you’ll see something like this:
Install the app via the Clippings.io website and you’ll get an icon like this in your browser:
Click it, and it’ll import everything from Amazon. It does take a little while, but the process runs in the background so you can get on with your work. The first time you need to request a full import; thereafter a quick import will just include your new highlights.
Once that’s complete, you’ll see all your highlights on the Clippings.io website. Here you get more flexibility, so you can add tags, notes, or mark particular items as favourites.
If you’ve authorised Clippings.io to access your Evernote account, you can now click Export > Evernote and everything is copied across.
There are plenty of options, too. You can choose whether to create a separate note for each highlight, or just one per book. Also, you can apply tags based on the author, title, or anything else you fancy.
All the notes land in a notebook called clippings.io. I’ve put mine in the shortcuts area for easy access:
I’ve focused on Evernote here, but you can also use Clippings.io to export your highlights to other applications, such as Word, Excel, or as a PDF. Alternatively, you could just use the website to organise your clippings by tagging, filtering, and annotating.
To use all the features you need to pay a modest subscription of $2 per month. This is well worth it if you do a lot of ebook reading. The income also helps the developers improve the functionality.
Diana Kimball has written an elegant post on how she uses Clippings.io in her digital workflow. Please do let me know how it works for you.