<aside> 📌 organise your reading, your sources and your thoughts while saving you time

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Highlighting and annotating are one of the main activities of any academic or person interested in learning. Therefore it is important to find a workflow that suits your personal preferences and the way you work and think.

Annotate books

If you read your books on a Kindle, all your highlights and notes are saved on Amazons website. The easiest to export your notes is to use the Kindle app and choose the Notes icon.

By using different colours for your highlights you can easier manage different topics or values of highlights. You can, e.g. use yellow for general highlights, red for questions, green for quotes and purple for questions to investigate further. You could also use colours to indicate different topics of science, e.g. within law you could use yellow for privacy, purple for intellectual property law and blue for private law.

Export your highlights using Readwise

You can use the service Readwise to automatically export your Kindle highlights to different services such as Evernote, Notion and Roam Research. Readwise allows you even to tag your highlights so you can search across all your books in the Readwise app.

Readwise is not free, but there is a academic discount. The automatic export features require the regular subscription, but I think it is worth every cent as it saves me a lot of time every day. It not only collects your highlights from Kindle, but also Apple books, Medium, Feedly, Instapaper, Pocket, Twitter, Hypothesis and Airr (for podcasts). See more below under Annotate websites.

Readwise

overview of tags in Readwise

overview of tags in Readwise

Annotate pdf:s

An advantage of storing your sources digitally is that you can annotate them rather easy and collect all your annotations very efficiently. The challenge often lies in how to organise your sources. This challenge is discussed on Organise Smarter. Depending on where you store your pdf:s, you might use different methods. The methods below are just a few possible options.

<aside> 💡 A general tip: As for books, use different colours for your highlights in order to manage different topics or values of highlights. You can, e.g., use yellow for general highlights, red for questions, green for quotes and purple for questions to investigate further. You could also use colours to indicate different topics of science, e.g. within law you could use yellow for privacy, purple for intellectual property law and blue for private law.

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Evernote

Evernote lets you easy annotate your pdfs right from the app, no additional app required. You do need a premium account, however. Get a month free Premium (affiliate link)

How to annotate images and PDFs in Evernote

Create an Evernote Account

PDFpen and Highlights App