For a while, I’ve been looking for ways to get even more out of the books I read. For the most parts, I’m referring to non-fiction books in this case. What I already do is that I highlight and annotate. With some books I capture thoughts in a mindmap.

Couple months ago I came across readwise. Through various ways one can import and sync highlights and notes from books into readwise. Based on these readwise will then give you a daily review of selected passages, five by default, for you to reread. The way readwise selects these passages for you can be configured with various knobs. Each book can be given a different frequency for example. One of the nice features is, that it is not limited to highlights that the user added but you also have the possibility to import ‘Supplemental books’ from which passages are then chosen. I imported all the books that I have on my goodreads ‘read’ bookshelf. Aside from rereading passages from these books, readwise has a mastery mode. Passages can be turned into mastery cards. In these keyphrases can be marked and later the readwise app will quiz you about them.

Importing higtlights and notes from paper books

I still read books on paper as well. In order to get the highlighted passages from those into readwise, I have a workflow that has proven fairly efficient for me. For iOS there is a cool, little app - highlighted - done by an indy developer. It does nothing more than that it allows you to very easily scan and archive highlights from books. For each book it allows them to be exported. I use the e-mail import interface of readwise and simply mail the csv to add@readwise.io. The readwise iOS has a built-in scanner for highlights, but I’ve found highlighted to be much faster in scanning and handling it.