Ebook as Textbook Part 12: My Kindle Notes

The other day I was going to my online Kindle account with amazon, to use my kindle cloud reader and I thought that instead of going to Amazon, then choosing the Manage my Kindle option and select my book, I would just type in what I thought was address, I should have typed read.amazon.com, but instead I typed kindle.amazon.com and got something that I hadn't expected. I also found a big bonus for anyone who is currently getting their textbooks (hopefully for free) through Amazon. A magic place where all your notes and highlights reside, just waiting for you to use.

So as you are reading your etextbook, just continue to make appropriate highlights and notes (see Ebooks as Textbooks Part 2 and Part 6). The difference here is that we will be accessing the notes from an online tool, versus the My Clippings file.

Next, when you want to review your notes, log into your personal Amazon Kindle Page at http://kindle.amazon.com. This part of Amazon has a list of all your syncable books (side loaded books will not be included) along with their notes and highlights, so if you have been using your ereader, then you will have had to have had the device Sync and Check for Items to make sure that your annotations have been copied online. Think of it as your my clippings file for any and all books you downloaded from Amazon. You can also use these pages to add your own ratings to your books, 

Entry page to access your Kindle annotations.

To see your notes and highlights for one of your etextbooks (versus all of your notes and highlights for all your books), then click on the link for Your Books, if you want to see all your notes and highlights for all of your books, then click on the Your Highlights link. When you click on the link for Your Books, you should see a list of all the books that you have obtained through your Kindle service. You will now need to scroll and page through your books to find the one you want to review your notes from (unfortunately there is not currently a search tool to let you search within your books).  This way you will get to see the notes for that book and not all of them.

Your book list in your Kindle Collection at Amazon.

Once you have found the book you want to look at your annotations for, click on the title of the book. This will open that books page for you. Here you can rate the book, add comments about the book and see how many highlights and margin notes you have, and if you wish share your notes with everyone else.  And from here there are a few ways you can see the notes that you have for  that book.

Your book page in AmazonKindle

If you press the button marked View Your Notes & Highlights, you will get a popup of your annotation, similar to what is shown below, with content only from the book selected. 

Popup of annotations from the button View Your Notes & Highlights.

The other way to see your notes, one that may be more usable, is to click on the link in the upper right corner that tells you how many highlights and notes you have. This link will change to a page that starts with the annotations that you have made in the selected book, although annotations from other texts will follow that one. 

Following the link that specifies the number of highlights and notes you have.

From this page you can edit your highlights by delete highlights that you feel are inappropriate are adding additional notes to any highlighted text. You can also edit your existing notes. 

Note that this is very different from accessing your annotations from within the text. When you do that while you are reading the text, it too gives you a list of all annotation, but there you have only two options, to go to that location or to delete that annotation. 
Accessing the annotations file from within the text.
You can use the information from your annotations from Your Highlights page in a number of ways. One thing that you could do would be to in essence write up your own notes (although you don't actually have do any writing if you don't want to). Start by clicking and dragging over your highlights and notes on the Your Highlights page. Then, copy that information and paste it onto a word processor page. 

This pasted page will have a good amount of extraneous content that are not your annotations that will need to be removed, specifically the option commands such as: Read more, Add a note, Delete this highlight.

Use your word processor's Search and Replace tool to search for a phrase that you want removed, like "Delete this highlight" and have it replace it with a space. And then I select the option to Replace All. I also remove the "Read more at" part and replace it with two spaces and a bracket, that way I have the location of the annotation in my personal notes in case I need to tell someone else where in the book that information is or if want to go back and review, although I could always just pull up the highlights page and go to the location that way. 

Replacing the extra copied content with empty spaces.

Then use your word processor to adjust the indents on each line or section to make those notes subordinate to others, fix any spelling errors you made with your notes, and add any content that you wish.

Adjusting the indent to make the annotations into an outline

You now have a concise outline of your etextbook's chapter that you can print and take to class or use to review or study form.