Kindle highlights to markdown

I usually upload my documents (especially articles) on my Kindle to read and annotate them offline. How do you take your clippings to Obsidian?

The Kindle highlights page seems to only work on books we bought on Amazon, not on our personal documents, so I can’t use that. Currently, I use my.clippings.io: once a week, I connect my Kindle to my computer, take the My Clippings.txt file, import it into the website, go into the latest upload, export it in plain text format, copy it in Obsidian and add headers to differentiate the books and articles.

Does anyone here have a more efficient process I could use? :slight_smile:

(I’m also aware of the Web Clipper plugin, but it works on the Kindle Highlights page, which as I said doesn’t seem to work with personal documents.)

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Via Drafts, I do it by selecting, and appending the highlighted text to an existing note, or by creating a new note, on the iPhone, or iPad.

Your solution is better. :expressionless:

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Been trying to use my.clippings.io, but on the stage of exporting to the plain text I’m getting a constant error: " Oh snap! Something blew up :frowning: It might be worth trying to export one more time.". Do you know, what could be the reasons? Anyway, thanks for a great advice, I’ve beeb looking for a way to export my highlights from Kindle so far.

@trickykid Maybe you have some non-standard characters or punctuation that is messing up the import? I’ve never used that website, but maybe they have a support team who would appreciate seeing the file, so they can fix the bug.

Readwise also can import the Kindle Clippings file. It’s a paid thing, but it does have a 30-day free trial, if you want to test your file there. If it breaks there too, then you know you have a weird bug.

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@rigmarole Thanks for the useful advice about Readwise, heard about it, but never tried.
I expect that if the reason is in characters it could only be because of the cyrillic symbols, but could it really be the case?

Yes, I would assume that this is due to Cyrillic symbols :confused:

Or things like smart quotes or something causing the parsing to fail. Or even apostrophes inside the highlights.

You can get your Kindle highlights nicely formated using Readwise. You can see from the image below that there is a markdown exporter. I exported 127 highlights from the book and dropped the MD file into my vault folder. It worked great.

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Is the export to Markdown still available in Readwise? I don’t see it.

They do have beta testing integration with Roam, Notion, and Evernote.

I sent them a not about Obsidian (which is really just Markdown files of course!)

I did find it, it is under each book where you hit the drop down arrow.

I have a feature request in with ReadWise to make the export for MD more full featured like their Roam, Notion, and Evernote exports, i.e., ASIN number, author taged, location in Kindle linked.

We’ll see what they say!

So these are the tools I’m aware of for getting Kindle highlights into Obsidian:

  1. Readwise (paid) - https://readwise.io/
  2. Bookcision bookmarklet by Readwise (free) - https://readwise.io/bookcision
  3. clippings.io (freemium) - https://www.clippings.io/
  4. Roam Highlighter Chrome plugin (free) - https://github.com/GitMurf/roam-highlighter#roam-highlighter

Each has its strengths and weaknesses. Some are paid or proprietary. None are particularly elegant for Obsidian.

  • Would it be desirable to have an Obsidian plugin that made this workflow easier / more automated — with or without interoperating with one of the existing tools above?

  • Do people have some other ways of automating this (scripts, macros, Keyboard Maestro, etc.)?

Those features you mention are what’s missing from any of these solutions. That’s what I’m looking for. But ideally outside Readwise’s proprietary platform.

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What I want in Obsidian is one file per book that contains all the highlights and comments in it.
I might want some or all of these then to have their own files, in which case I’d link them to the book file.

Given that, I see little advantage for any of the above solutions to the manual export direct from kindle to email.

This is what I do, too. Kindle to email, save to text, clean-up/convert to markdown in vim, than move to vault directory.

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State of the art is Readwise (paid) integration with Roam (paid). It creates well-formed Markdown to include the cover and tags. Book level tags for author, title, Category. An export date. Links to Kindle web for each location of each quote. and if you add Tags in the Readwise app, those tags are exported. As I understand it, future exports update the file – depending on your workflow you may or may not want the update.

I am going to export all my books to Roam and export them from Roam before my free trial expires!

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I use fyodor It is nice and streamlined option for generating markdown file per book into single folder.

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Hi, bugsle. Thanks for the tool, I didn’t know about fyodor.
I was trying to use it, but couldn’t do it. I haven’t use Ruby before. Do you have some tips on how to install fyodor?
Thanks again!

Hi! I am running on my linux machine to which I share my vault through syncthing.
On linux the instalation is pretty straightforward. So the question is, what Os are you using. >]

@bugsle I think I installed fyodor just know but how do you run it?
‘’’
Installing ri documentation for fyodor-0.2.7
Done installing documentation for parslet, toml, optimist, fyodor after 3 seconds
4 gems installed

‘’’

Does this mean it’s installed?

Not sure, this seems like documentation.

And you can use it from commandline

$ fyodor CLIPPINGS_FILE [OUTPUT_DIR]

CLIPPINGS_FILE == clippings file from kindle
[OUTPUT_DIR] == directory where to put the output

I couldn’t find a way to download the highlights online but in the Mac Kindle app, opening a book shows a notebook button which when clicked shows notes and highlights. There is an export button which exports an HTML file. If you copy/paste the source into Obsidian and delete the <head>…</head> section, Obsidian will render the remaining <body>the content</body> properly in preview mode. Crude but pretty simple.