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How I manage Kindle Highlights in Evernote

So this blog was supposed to be about happiness, but I have figured that I will also write about other things that interest me and that might benefit others. After all, the blog's main purpose is for me to write and organize my own thoughts :)

I read a lot of books, and I prefer to read them on my Kindle. One of the best things with reading on the Kindle is that you can so easily highlight text. The highlighted text is then accessible not only on the Kindle itself, but on a webpage hosted at Amazon, appropriately titled Your Highlights.

If you are like me, and do around 100-200 highlights per book, and furthermore you want to organise the highlights in some good way, this webpage is not really enough.

I love Evernote, and I use it, as Steve Jobs would have put it, as a bicycle for the mind. I started out just creating a small Python script that converted what you get when you copy-paste highlights from the Amazon-page into a clean, readable format that can easily be pasted into a markdown based blog.

So I went from this:

To this:

That's great! But still, the highlights are just in big chunks, and only categorized by book. I would like to categorize the highlights on several dimensions, ie. tag them. That way, if a highlight is both about work, happiness and meditation, I can put these three tags on it. If I go look at my "meditation" tag in Evernote, I see all highlights from all books I've ever read, that is on the subject of meditation. It is a great way to reinforce everything I have learned on meditation in a quick way!

So I spent a couple of hours yesterday hacking together an ugly but working Python script that facilitates this. The code is messy, so I am somewhat ashamed of sharing it, but I figured the script could be useful for some of you people out there. Look at the 4 minute video at the top of this blog post to learn exactly how the script works.

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