Getting Started with Readwise and Kindle Highlights

Getting Started with Readwise and Kindle Highlights

It’s extremely easy to get started using Readwise.io to recall highlights from your Kindle. Just sign up with the Readwise app, install the Readwise browser extension, and link your Readwise account to your Kindle account. Readwise does everything else.

Here’s the simple process to get set up – it literally takes just seconds:

  1. Visit Readwise.com/steve (to get 2 free months of access, no credit card required).
  2. Click on the “Get Started For Free” button.
  3. You can take either path – signing up via Amazon or signing up via email. I found it most straightforward to signup via email.
  4. Readwise asks for your name, email address, and a password.
  5. Next, on “Step 2 – Sync Your Highlights” – choose Amazon Kindle. If the email you used to register on Readwise is the same as the email associated with your Kindle account, syncing starts immediately, and you’re all set. If you used a different email address for Readwise than you did for your Kindle account, you’ll be prompted to enter the Kindle account email address, and you’re done.
  6. Readwise will automatically import all of your highlights, showing you the list of books as it goes, in a progress bar.
  7. You’re done! Readwise will have already sent you your first daily highlights email as well.
  8. Check your inbox now, to make sure you’ll get your daily highlight emails correctly. If you don’t get the email, check your Trash and Spam folders.
  9. It’s a good idea to send a reply! This lets your email application (e.g. Gmail) know that you want to receive these emails, so they’re more likely to end up in your primary inbox (otherwise, they may go to your Gmail Promotions tab, or your Spam folder).

Once your Readwise account has synced with your Kindle account, whenever you highlight a passage on your Kindle, the highlight will be added to your Readwise account automatically, and will show up in your inbox in the future.

Excluding Books from Readwise (Optional)

In some cases, you really don’t want every highlight to be resurfaced in your email account – for example, when you’re highlighting lots of related passages, for in-depth review, rather than just highlighting some choice quotes or snippets. The key is: if the passage has meaning out of context, and you want to remind yourself of it, you’ll want to include it in your Readwise account; otherwise, you’ll want to skip it. (I sometimes highlight passages in fiction books, but usually not as particular quotes that I want to be reminded of.) You can exclude entire books or individual highlights.

It’s simple to exclude an entire book from Readwise. Just go to Readwise.io, or click on the “Click here to switch to the Readwise Web App” link at the top of any one of your daily emails.

Go To Readwise App

(You could also click on any of the links under one of the highlights to go to the app.) This will launch the app, and take you to the “Your Daily Review” page, which displays all the highlights for that day’s email. To get to your Readwise Dashboard (where you set all your preferences), click on “Readwise” (1) in the upper left corner.

Go To Readwise Dashboard

On the Dashboard, click on “Books”, to take you to the Books preferences page.

Readwise Dashboard

On the Books page, you can click on the down arrow next to any book.

Your Readwise Books

From there, you can set the frequency at which you want the highlights to be resurfaced via your daily email – anywhere from Normal, to more often, or even Never. Alternatively, you can remove the book from Readwise completely, in which case all that book’s highlights will be removed from your Readwise account, and will not be synced from your Kindle account in the future. (The “Never” option just stops resurfacing the highlights – they’re still in your Readwise account, and can be reviewed in the app, or changed so they resurface again, at any time.) Note: Removing a book from Readwise does not affect the highlights in your Kindle account in any way.

Remove book

You can also remove, or change the resurfacing frequency of, any individual highlight. The quickest way to discard a highlight is to just click on the “Discard” link below the highlight in your daily email.

Remove book

Another way to discard a highlight is by visiting your Daily Review page in the app. As before, you can login to Readwise.io, or click on the “Click here to switch to the Readwise Web App” link at the top of any one of your daily emails. Once on the “Your Daily Review” page, you can discard the highlight by clicking on the “Discard” button (1).

Individual Highlight Actions

Alternatively, you can change the reshow frequency by clicking on the “Feedback” button (2), then choosing the new desired frequency.

That’s it! That’s all there is to changing which of your highlights will show up in your daily email, and how frequently.

If you haven’t signed up for Readwise yet, you can sign up at Readwise.io/Steve (and get 2 free months, no credit card required).

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