How to Download Your Kindle Notes and Highlights and Export Them

5388630668_d53fca2072[1]Amazon has a great reading platform in the Kindle, but sometimes it's not enough.

Sometimes I need to take the notes I make in a Kindle ebook and use them elsewhere. Amazon doesn't make it easy for us to do that, but luckily for me there are other ways.

Earlier this week I needed to export my Kindle notes, so I did some digging and rounded up a few tools which would help me do just that. The tools range from the simple (copy+paste from a web browser) to the inaccessible (an iPhone app and a Mac-only script).

Edit: Actually, let's start with the one option so simple and obvious that I completely overlooked it.

Look in the documents folder of your E-ink Kindle and you'll see a file named myclippings.txt. This is a text file of all of the notes and highlights made on your Kindle (but not on the other Kindles or Kindle apps on your account). You can copy this folder to your PC and open it.

Boom. You can now copy and past your notes into other documents, emails, etc.

Let's start with the simplest. Did you know that Amazon has a special section on its website where you can view your ebook library (and more importantly, look at the notes and highlights you've made on the Kindle)?

Kindle.Amazon.com

The above link takes you to that section, and after you log in you'll see your reading habits as well as the reading history of other Kindle owners.

If you look along the top of the page, you'll see that one of the menu options is labeled "Your Highlights". Click it.

kindle dot amazon dot com

This page will show you each ebook to which you've added a note or highlight. (It won't show bookmarks, darnit.) Click on one of the titles on the page to see the notes and highlights for a specific book.

You'll see a page like the following. Find and click the "Your Notes and Highlights" button to bring up the annotations you made:

kindle dot amazon dot com

Once you open that page you can copy and paste a highlight or note. it works just like with any other webpage, and it is a quick and easy way to grab a single note.

But if you want to get more than one note at a time, here are a few tools you can try.

Let's start with my favorite.

Bookcision

This nifty little bookmarklet is simple and works great with Chrome. After you install it, you use it be opening one an ebook's highlights page on Kindle.amazon.com and then clicking the bookmarklet button.

bookcision

I like Bookcision because it works well with Chrome. With other web browsers, you can save the notes to the clipboard, but with Chrome I also get multiple download options (text, XML, JSON). The latter two options include a link to the note's location in the ebook.

But it's not for everyone, so here are a couple other options.

iPad-, Android-Only

The Kindle apps for iOS and Android have a feature which is not shared by the Fire tablets.

In the notebook menu, you will find an option to share your annotations by email.Here's what it looks like on the iPad:

kindle ipad app

The notebook menu can be accessed from inside a book, but the way you find it differs between Android and iOS.

On iOS, click the “sheet of paper” icon in the upper right corner. The export button is in the upper right corner of the notebook menu. The exported notes don't look very good, but this trick does let you pull the notes out of even a side-loaded ebook.

On Android, click the "3 dots" icon in the upper right corner, and then select the Notebook option from the dropdown menu. You can either create flashcards or export the notes to Drive, by email, or by Android Beam.

Notescraper

This is an Apple Script based tool which basically does the same thing as Bookcision. It copies the notes from a book's highlights page on Kindle.amazon.com and creates local file on your Mac.

There are a couple versions of the Notescraper tool, including one which works with Evernote. But since I don't have a Mac, I can't comment on how well it works.

Speaking of Evernote, its webclipping can be used to import your notes and highlights.

Evernote WebClipper

This tool can be used to copy part of a page or an entire webpage into your Evernote account, and I'm told it works well to copy notes from a book's highlights page on Kindle.amazon.com.

But you might want to manually select the book notes though and copy and paste.  There's one report that the page has an infinite scroll built-in that messes up one user's Evernote clipper.

kindle-2-evernote-7[1]

And while we're on the topic, Microsoft's OneNote has a similar clipping tool. It takes screenshots so it's not nearly as useful, but if you already use that platform then it's worth a look.

Snippefy (iOS)

If you're an iPhone user, you might want to check out this app. According to the website, it is supposed to let you "read and share all of your notes and highlights in one place".

Unfortunately, I am unable to install the Snippefy app and confirm that it works. It won't show up when I searched for it in the iTunes app store on my iPad. But since the iTunes listing appears to be active, I am including this app just in case you find it useful.

Clippings.io

iphoneHere's another service I'm not sure I can recommend.

Clippings.io is supposed to offer an easy to use online service for managing your Kindle notes and highlights, but I haven't found a good reason to continue using it.

While I was setting it up, I noticed that this "free" service works with a Chrome plugin which costs $2 (you can also find the myclippings.txt file and upload it). That turned me off, and since it basically duplicates activities I already perform on my PC, I plan to close the tab and forget about it.

Calibre

And last but not least, calibre. This ebook library tool can not only send ebooks to your Kindle, it can also fetch the annotations from a Kindle - only there's a catch.

fetch-annotations[1]This only works when you have your Kindle plugged into your PC over USB.  And it apparently doesn't work for newer Kindles.

I found this trick while researching this post, and I also found a bug report which says that this feature doesn't work with newer Kindles. I can't get it to work with my Paperwhites, for example.

But since it might work for you, I'm including it here. Head on over to JetShred for instructions and more details.

Conclusion

All in all, there are a lot of tools out there that either don't work, aren't terribly useful, or are intended to work in only specific circumstances.

But I found at least one tool that I like, so I'm good.

Did you find one you could use? Did I miss one?

The comments are open.

image by Terry Madeley

About Nate Hoffelder (11598 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

40 Comments on How to Download Your Kindle Notes and Highlights and Export Them

  1. “Look in the documents folder of your E-ink Kindle and you’ll see a file named myclippings.txt. This is a text file of all of the notes and highlights made on your Kindle (but not on the other Kindles or Kindle apps on your account). You can copy this folder to your PC and open it.”

    Nice try, but not quite. Works on Keyboard but not Paperwhite or Voyage, where there’s a myclippings.sdr folder that’s shown as empty.

  2. AltheGreatandPowerful // 22 February, 2015 at 12:12 am // Reply

    You take notes? Why?

    I use my tablet and kindle for reading, and the tablet for web/maps/apps too, but when I’m doing research I take notes on scratch paper or I do all the work on a real computer. When I’m reading I am doing it TO READ, not for research. When I’m researching I’m either handwriting notes on paper/index card to juggle concepts or I’m cutting and pasting to do the same thing. Neither works for me in my reader or tablet, not at all as handy as on a computer. I don’t mark up books either, because I grew up reading library books where writing in the text or the margins was vandalism.

    So what do you make notes for? Why mark up/make notes in a reader?

    • Honestly? I mainly just use it to read. When I want to take notes or copy text, I open the ebook in an app on my laptop, and take notes in another app.

      As you say, the keyboard is much easier to work with than a touchscreen. But sometimes I do take notes in the ebook – when I’m proofreading an ebook, for example.

  3. I love being able to highlight text, especially for a book I plan to review, but also just to make note of things when I read. It’s very easy to copy and paste from the highlights area you mention, just using a web broswer. That works great, so long as the book is one I got from Amazon. If I get a book from another source, like Smashwords or Project Gutenberg, and sideload it to my Kindle, or if I send one of my own manuscrpts to my Kindle, then the software treats those items as “Personal Documents” and any highlighting or notes I make are NOT included in the highlights area on the web. It is annoying as hell!

    I know I could use the myclippings file, but that is more work! I can see why they don’t offer the same feature for randown Word documents, but a properly formatted ebook with the correct metadata should be treated as a book, and not a personal document.

    Do you know if Amazon has any plans to change this, Nate?

    • I don’t know, sorry. I would have thought that the annotations would be accessible through Kindle.Amazon.com, but they’re not.

    • Hi Carmen,
      I created a python script to format the My Clippings.txt file – it organizes all your notes/highlights into a seperate text document for each book, and formats the quote/note so it looks more presentable than how it is in My Clippings.txt.

      You can find it here:
      https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/12505028/Kindle%20Clippings%20Parser%20V1.py

      When you download it, just place Kindle Clippings Parser V1.py into the same directory as your My Clippings.txt. Then open your terminal app (in Mac, hold Command and hit the spacebar, then type “terminal” and select the Terminal application that comes up). type “python ./”, hit space, and then drag and drop Kindle Clippings Parser V1.py into the terminal, and hit enter.

      That should run the program, and you should see one file of highlights/notes created per book.

      Let me know if that doesn’t help.

  4. Invaluable! Thanks Nate, am saving this for reference.

  5. I rather think the simplest option is the one in the attached image. There’s nothing quite so easy, flexible and kinaesthetically satisfying as scribbling down half formed thoughts or keywords, then doodling a few connecting lines between linked concepts, perhaps adding an explanatory diagram or sketching a small image to serve as an aide memoir.

    I don’t make notes digitally. I read source text digitally and while I’m doing it, my hand is moving with a mind of its own across a primitive sheet of cellulose, making notes a very human way that no technology has yet managed to improve upon.

    Perhaps I’m a heretic, posting such a thing on this, of all forums! So when you stone me, make sure you’re using the scrunched up refuse from my waste paper bin! (I recycle it, of course!)

  6. The highlighting function is invaluable for any serious research use of Kindle books, and a major reason why I like Kindle. (A major pain is the Kindle books that don’t have real page numbers). I often finish a book with hundreds of highlights. Better than a print book with hundreds of tape flags, not to say cheaper.

    Notes not so much, at least for me. Your suggestions are very helpful.

  7. AltheGreatandPowerful // 23 February, 2015 at 1:06 am // Reply

    Are there enough research sources in your field that are in Kindle format? I work in contract archaeology, where reports and sources are gradually being scanned into pdf, but there’s nothing much useful in Kindle format.

  8. today I published my new developed tool for viewing and finding of kindle notes.
    The app is available at http://www.yups-blog.de for free.

  9. Awesome Nate – thanks for a huge time-saver. Arabella

  10. thank you so much for this post, I thought I lost notes from I’m reading for a course……omg….awesome

  11. I can’t believe you dissed Clippings.io?? Their chrome extension saves so much time, and well worth the price if you are importing your notes on a daily basis.

  12. @ Sam

    It costs money, and there are free alternatives.

  13. Bookcision! That was just what I needed! Thanks for this post…

  14. They all seem restricted to kindle.amazon.com – won’t work for kindle.amazon.com.au which we are obliged to use in Australia. Any suggestions?

    • I refer to the main Kindle site in this post but I can’t tell you whether the tools will work elsewhere.

      Have you tried the tools?

      I would think Evernote would work, and Bookcision doesn’t show any code that mentions Kindle.Amazon.com.

  15. All of no use if you didn’t buy the book through amazon, apparently.

    I (proof)read writings of unpublished / amateur authors on a cooperation website but sitting at a computer to do that is not much fun. I want to read on a book-like device and the kindle app is perfect for that. So I annotate on the kindle itself, because 99% of my notes are just highlighting of the text itself, I don’t need to write out my corrections at that point.

    So the standard procedure is to download the PDF or EPUB version of the document (or highlight/copy/paste from the website into Word), then upload to kindle via http://sendepubtokindle.com, a free service that works amazingly well.

    Sadly there doesn’t seem to be a way to get the annotations made for documents like this. So, great to make the notes without having to chop down the Amazonian rain forest, but it looks like I still have to transcribe my notes by “10-finger interface” after I’ve finished reading. Such a waste of time and effort – the bits are already in electronic format, but now they have to go through an analogue meat connection to get back into electronic format again.

    • You’re right. I just tried a book I loaded via send-to-kindle, and I couldn’t get at the notes.

      While we’re on the topic, what device are you using to proofread? If you’re using a Kindle, you should be able to get the highlights from the “myclippings.txt” file on the Kindle itself.

  16. I don’t have an actual Kindle – I’m using the app on an iPad. I haven’t tried accessing the files on it, but I seem to remember the last time I did look at the iPad as a USB drive all I could see was the DCIM folder containing my photo roll.

    • Hey Chris,

      Thanks for making me go look for a solution; I found one.

      The Kindle iOS app has a special notebook menu for your annotations, and that menu has an export option where you can email the notebook to yourself.

      The notebook menu can be accessed from inside a book; click the “sheet of paper” icon in the upper right corner.

      The export button is in the upper right corner of the notebook menu.

      • Hi Nate,

        I looked all over but could not find the export option you’re talking about. I clicked on the “sheet of paper” icon, but I believe it’s not in the upper right corner, but in the bottom right, just above the reading progress bar on iPhone Kindle apps, correct? Once I click on this “sheet of paper” icon, I see all my previous highlights with options to star, delete, and jump to location. But I see no option for exporting. Where did you find this option to export by email?

        Yu-Kuan

  17. Maaaaaannn, I feel so stoopid. I looked at that button (export, which I have always thought of as “send to”) more than once today while looking at how to create the notes… and overlooked it every time.

    Thanks Nate. Sometimes it just takes a fresh(er) pair of eyes. Or maybe a less angily frustrated pair.

  18. It seems that even on the iPad Kindle 4.17 this is only available for SOME books, mostly textbooks.

  19. Bookcision writes “I’m sorry to say that Bookcision can’t be used by folks outside of the US. This is an Amazon limitation, and not one that I have imposed.”

  20. I make all my highlights and notes on my kindle fire hdx and then I open my converted book (by kindle) on my iPhone kindle app and I am able to export all notes/highlights from personal documents without issue. It is also very organized: by location and note piece/highlights—Tittle and APA, Chicago, or MLA format. This is a great feature for those of us that had notes trapped on the kindle fire, and it works on all my personal documents (even ones converted by Calibre) —

  21. I have a friend who beta reads for me. She reads the book on her iPhone Kindle app, making notes along the way, and when the time comes, she screenshots each of her notes and puts them into Evernote, sharing the note with me. It works.

  22. My paperwhite, up to day as of april 2016, has a My Clippings.txt folder that has everything in it. The My Clippings folder is empty, but the text file is full.

  23. kindle.amazon.com and Bookcision seem to work fine even for non-US users. I am buying everything from Germany at amazon.de, but can find all my kindle books and my highlights using kindle.amazon.com. Great post, very helpful, thanks!

  24. Um… freaking brilliant! Saved me a s–t ton of copy paste. Also like that it capture my notes. And yes, some of us take notes on the Kindle. If I see something and I don’t want to lose the idea, I make an electronic note then and there. Not all of us carry around pen and paper.

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