Readwise can pull in highlights from Kindle and Apple Books as well as article highlights from Instapaper (and maybe Pocket?.
Highlight where you read and add notes where you read.
I use the Readwise plugin to import only my highlights and notes into Obsidian.
That creates a literature note for each work.
Once there, I process each highlight/note into atomic notes (new or added to existing) and make sure each note cites the source.
As I process a highlight or note, I remove it from the literature note, until finally the lit note is empty, and I know I’m done.
(If you want to track how influential a source is, link from your atomic notes back to the lit note.
If you don’t care about that, or aren’t sure you do, then don’t link back.
You can always search later to find all the notes with a given citation and link them.)
Important process points:
- as you read, you learn, so you don’t need to highlight ideas you’ve already highlighted unless they sum the idea up better
- highlight only what you want to find later. I like to highlight good stories authors use as examples, because that’s what I’d quote when writing something. Stories are the best way to communicate somethg
- when you process, your earlier notes and highlights will be less useful/necessary as your later notes and highlights will encompass the earlier thoughts/learnings as well… so delete liberally
- know your goal for a given highlight: are you trying to learn something, or do you want to be able to quote something (almost) verbatim?
- when processing, rewrite in your own words because it’ll make more sense to you later than the authors words
- when processing quotes, trim them down to the core thought or idea. “Most authors… aren’t very succinct. Their writing… ends up having lots of cruft you can remove and still retain the meaning.”
Most important, just start with a way, and look for parts of your process with friction, and try and remove it.
Continually, until there’s no friction left.
And stay aimed at your goal.
If your goal is to learn, then removing the friction to create literature notes may not really reduce the friction in learning.