Category: It's Worth It by Kitty Bucholtz

Kitty Bucholtz
Home > Columns > It’s Worth It by Kitty Bucholtz

Taking Notes on Your Kindle – and Finding Them Again by Kitty Bucholtz

March 9, 2020 by in category It's Worth It by Kitty Bucholtz tagged as , , , , ,

Note: Kitty is at a conference so we’re rerunning one of her columns from our archives. We hope Kitty has a great time, and we hope you enjoy her column.

In November 2017, I wrote about how you can send nearly any kind of text-based document to your Kindle. A couple weeks ago, a friend told me she’s taking an overseas trip and she was considering printing out her current work-in-progress so she can at least get some editing done on the plane. I suggested she send her Word doc to her Kindle instead. She wouldn’t have to worry about losing pages, and her luggage would be a little lighter.

When she asked me how she would do edits, I realized I haven’t actually written an article about that yet! Here are my thoughts.

First, I use my Kindle to read. I don’t plan to make it my next editing tool. That being said, if I’m reading a friend’s book and see a typo, I want to tell them about it so they can make the correction and re-upload. In the same manner, reading my final manuscript on my Kindle can help me to see errors I missed because now I am reading the book as a reader. Errors aside, I also like to highlight my favorite bits in a novel sometimes, and helpful passages in nonfiction books so I can come back to them later.

I own a Kindle Paperwhite, so I’ll explain how to do everything on that or on the Kindle app on my iPhone. You’ll have to check how to do things differently if you own a different Kindle or use the Kindle app elsewhere. (I’d think it would all be very similar.)

Highlighting

If I want to highlight a passage on a Paperwhite or using the Kindle app on my phone, I press and hold on the first word I want to highlight until it lights up then drag my finger to the last word I want to highlight. On my phone, it automatically highlights. On my Paperwhite, it highlights but brings up a menu asking me if I want to just highlight, or add a note, or sometimes you can look things up in Wikipedia if your Kindle is connected to the Internet, and other menu items may also be available. (If you highlight a single word, the Kindle assumes you want to look that word up in the onboard dictionary.)

To get rid of that highlighting using the phone app, tap on the highlighted portion again, then tap on the highlight color with the X in it. That will delete your highlighting. If you tap on a different color, it just turns your highlighted color (yellow by default) to the other color.

To get rid of the highlighting using the Paperwhite, tap on the highlighted portion again, then tap on “Delete” in the little menu that pops up.

Notes

Once you’ve highlighted something, you can add notes pertaining to the highlighted bit. On the phone, tap the highlighted portion, then when you see the little menu, tap on the square with the pencil (supposed to look like paper and pencil). A new screen opens that says “Create Note” at the top. Type in whatever you want, then hit Save. Now at the end of the highlighted portion is a tiny little page. That’s your reminder that you have a note there.

On the Paperwhite, it’s similar. You can add the note as soon as you add the highlighting by choosing “Note” from the menu after you press and drag to highlight. A “Note” screen pops up where you can type what you want. Tap Save, and you’ll see a little superscript number at the end of the highlighted portion kind of like what you see for footnotes in textbooks.

To read these notes, tap on the highlighted portion, tap on the Note in the menu, and you can read what you wrote. You can also delete or change the note at this time.

But Why?

If you send your manuscript to your Kindle in a .doc or other text file, highlighting and making notes about things you want to fix or change can be very helpful. As I mentioned, I also like to tell my friends about any typos they’ll want to fix. And when reading nonfiction, I highlight and make notes for the same reasons I would in a paper book – to remind myself of how to do something, or remember to come back to this passage later.

How Do I Get My Notes Back?

Obviously, hitting the page-forward button over and over through a 400-page book would be way too annoying to find all of your marks. But Kindle created a “My Clippings” text file for you and it saves everything you highlight or notate from any book on your Kindle. Yay!

For any ebook that the Kindle recognizes as such (I don’t know if you have to have purchased it from Amazon or not), your notes and highlights show up at https://read.amazon.com/notebook

Unfortunately, the manuscript you sent to your Kindle (possibly using the Send to Kindle app 😉 ) does not show up in your online notebook. (At least, I don’t see mine.) So you have to download your My Clippings file from your Kindle to your computer.

To do this, connect your Kindle power cord with the USB plug on the end to a USB port on your computer. Once it’s connected, your computer will see the Kindle like it would a flash drive. Click on Kindle, then Documents, then scroll down to My Clippings.txt and double-click to open. In that text file, you will find everything you’ve highlighted (probably since you purchased your Kindle). You can now save that file on your computer.

My Clippings.txt from my Kindle

Sending Your Notes to Your Friend

Using my friend Debra Mullins’ book Kerrigan’s Law as an example, this is what I do when I find any typos in a friend’s book. I open My Clippings, then cut and paste the notes that refer to that book into a new document.

Each highlight is listed in My Clippings by location number. If it also has a note, it is listed again at that location number with the note you typed. For instance, I highlighted a typo, then wrote “typo” in the note section. Here is what it looks like in My Clippings:

Kerrigan’s Law: Welcome to Burr: Book 3 (Debra Mullins)
– Your Highlight on Location 434-434 | Added on Sunday, December 3, 2017 10:33:42 PM

How to we make that happen?”
==========
Kerrigan’s Law: Welcome to Burr: Book 3 (Debra Mullins)
– Your Note on Location 434 | Added on Sunday, December 3, 2017 10:34:07 PM

Typo

Now I can cut and paste my highlights and notes into a new document or an email and send it to Deb. I try to highlight enough text so she can search for it and find it fairly easily. The location number will only give her a vague idea of where it is, but it helps. For instance, location 434 is very early on in the book.

Since I’d found a typo and knew I’d send it to Deb, I couldn’t help but highlight a portion that made me laugh out loud to send to her, too. 😉

Kerrigan’s Law: Welcome to Burr: Book 3 (Debra Mullins)
– Your Highlight on Location 1383-1384 | Added on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 1:18:20 PM

our old sheriff, Charlie Norris,
==========
Kerrigan’s Law: Welcome to Burr: Book 3 (Debra Mullins)
– Your Note on Location 1383 | Added on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 1:18:34 PM

LOL

(You get it – Chuck Norris? LOL! 😀 )

Using the Kindle Notebook Website

I only discovered the notes showing up on your own “notebook” page today when researching a question I had for this article. (Here’s the 2015 article I found mentioning it.) I couldn’t find Deb’s book in my “notebook,” so I played around with another book I had on my Kindle, Only a Hero Will Do by Alanna Lucas.

Example from my “Notebook”

You can see that I highlighted part of a sentence, then added a note, “Here is a note on that highlighted passage.”

I went through the books showing up in my My Clippings document and compared them to what showed up in my online “notebook.” I could be wrong, but it looks like Amazon only recognizes books I purchased from them. Anything I “side loaded” or used Send to Kindle to get onto my Kindle seems to not show up in the Notebook. Just a little FYI. So to get your notes for those books, you’ll have to download the file from your Kindle to your computer as I mentioned above.

Editing Your Own Books on Your Kindle

Bringing this around full circle, I told my friend Janice that she can load her current WIP onto her Kindle and take it with her on the plane. She won’t be able to make changes to the document, but she can highlight bits and write notes like, “Need more tension here” or “Potentially better ending could be…”

Loading your final manuscript to your Kindle and reading it through before you upload it to publish can also be one of your last proofreads. You can highlight a section and add the note “is should be it,” etc. One note on this – highlight enough, even a whole sentence, so that you can find it again in your document by doing a search.

I hope you found this information useful. I’ve really loved opening My Clippings occasionally to remind myself of all the cool stuff I wanted to remember from nonfiction ebooks I own. Learn from my mistake, though: when you trade in an old Kindle and get a new one, download the My Clippings file from the old Kindle first! Once you no longer have access to the Kindle, you no longer have access to the file. Darn!

0 0 Read more

From Blog to Book by Kitty Bucholtz

February 9, 2020 by in category It's Worth It by Kitty Bucholtz, Writing tagged as , ,

Over the years, I’ve helped several authors take short nonfiction they’d already written and see if it could be shaped into a book. It’s been fun for me because I love seeing people get excited about new ways to share information with the world.

Since I’ve just finished helping another nonfiction writer created a book out of his existing material, I thought it would be useful to create a podcast episode out of my thoughts on the matter. It’s a bit long – I can’t seem to turn off my teaching brain! 😀 – but it’s good material for anyone who’s been thinking about turning their blog into a book. I hope it helps! Good luck!

0 0 Read more

Encouragement to Take a Leap – by Kitty Bucholtz

December 9, 2019 by in category It's Worth It by Kitty Bucholtz, Writing tagged as , , ,

I’ve been attending the Malmö International Rotary Club for the last few months, and in November I gave an “ego speech.” It sounds a little too self-centered to be comfortable 🙂 but it’s basically a “getting to know you” speech.

I wanted to share the real Kitty, but I still didn’t want it to center on me. Then I realized I could do with the speech what I try to do with my podcast episodes, and even in my fiction: encourage the audience in their own lives. Interestingly, I found myself veering slightly from my notes in the end and telling the club that I was thinking about starting a new project to better use my gifts…but it would be scary and I hadn’t had the courage to take the leap yet.

Here’s the speech. If you’re thinking about starting something new, or even if you’re just planning your work for next year, I hope it encourages you. Let me know what you think.

0 0 Read more

Getting Organized in 2020 with Kitty Bucholtz

November 9, 2019 by in category It's Worth It by Kitty Bucholtz tagged as , , ,
On sale through November 10, 2019!

I’m a planner and an organizer. I like to know what to expect, how much time it will take, how much it will cost or earn me, and what I’ll need in order to get it done. I’m also big on reminders – remember to water the plants, take my vitamins, leave for the meeting on time.

In the past, I’ve juggled all sorts of ways to keep track of all the aspects of my life, and it usually involved several different methods at once. But last year I heard about author Susan May Warren‘s My Brilliant Writing Planner, so I ordered one. I love this planner! I can put everything from my whole life in one place – writing, appointments, To Do’s (including remembering when to water my plants 😂), tracking money spent and earned in writing, and personal stuff like a place to jot down weekly menus and track my weight and water consumption. Plus the 2020 one has STICKERS!! Need I say more?! 

The 2020 planner is $20 off through this weekend as a NaNoWriMo special. If you’re reading this later, check it out anyway. There is so much more to the planner I haven’t mentioned. You may find it’s just about perfect for you.

I interviewed Susie May about planning and organizing for the new year on my podcast a few weeks ago. Look for the October 17, 2019 episode, #159, on your favorite podcast app, or listen to it on my website, or watch the video interview on YouTube. Good luck with your planning! 😀

0 0 Read more

Start Somewhere by Kitty Bucholtz

October 9, 2019 by in category It's Worth It by Kitty Bucholtz, Writing tagged as , , , ,

header image for A Slice of Orange

 

I was out buying an electric blanket yesterday (it’s winter in New Zealand) and I passed by a rack of blank books and journals that were on sale. I can’t not stop when I see pretty journals despite the fact I haven’t yet used all the ones I have. So I paused and looked them over and what do you know, one of them caught my attention.

If you’ve seen any of the pictures I’ve been posting on Facebook, you know I live in a spectacularly beautiful area with amazing sunrises and sunsets. And this journal reminded me of the view right outside my front window. But more than that, the title really spoke to me.

Cover of journal titled "Start Somewhere"

Time to start – somewhere – anywhere

START SOMEWHERE

Not just “start” or “do it now” or “get moving” but it seemed to say, “jump in, even if you don’t know how deep the water is.”

That’s a little scary, and that’s exactly why I sometimes procrastinate doing things I want to do. I know the wisdom of “count the cost” and I don’t think it’s a good idea to jump into something when you don’t know how long it will take or how much it will cost. Not unless you have plenty of time and money, and who does?

I’ve been talking about starting my own podcast for two years or more, and I’ve done a lot of research on what podcasting entails. I’m excited about it. I know what topics I’m going to cover and the format the show will take. I have all the right equipment and software. But I haven’t put a start date on it yet because, as usual, I never know when I’m suddenly going to up and move (husband’s job). I’m scared I’ll get started and suddenly find myself out of time and behind in my schedule and disappointing my listeners.

START SOMEWHERE

Jump in.

Blank journal pages

Blank pages calling out to be filled

I bought the journal. I’m starting my podcast now by getting the information in my head written down. Step 1 on the journey.

The blank pages are calling out to me, offering excitement and adventure. And you know what’s doubly exciting about that to me? That’s what I want my podcast to do for my listeners. I want to encourage people to get started, to keep going, to see the hardship as part of the adventure, to understand that trepidation grows along the sides of every new path.

Hopefully, I won’t release the first episode or two and find myself in the middle of another round-the-world move. But I’ve got lots of blank pages here to fill with ideas on how to manage the work despite a potential move.

Some writers hate the blank page, the blinking cursor. But something about journals begs you to fill the pages. Now. With something. Maybe you’ve got a beautiful blank journal sitting around that you forgot about. Go find it. See if the pages call out to you like this one does to me.

Write down your ideas.

Begin your adventure.

START SOMEWHERE


Kitty Bucholtz

Kitty Bucholtz grew up forty miles east of Traverse City, Michigan. She went to college in Traverse City, met and married the love of her life, and waved goodbye to everything she knew when she and her husband John struck out for parts unknown.

Their adventures included going back to school, changing careers, and traveling Down Under. Kitty now writes wherever John is working on a film. They spent three years in Sydney, Australia, where Kitty earned her Master of Arts in Creative Writing degree from University of Technology, Sydney, while John made a penguin named Mumble dance.

Only God knows where they’ll wind up next – but they’re pretty sure it will be another cool chapter in their adventure!

Kitty is also the author of Unexpected Superhero, book one in the Adventures of Lewis and Clarke, the romantic comedy Little Miss Lovesick, and short stories in the anthologies, Romancing the Pages and Moonlit Encounters.

http://kittybucholtz.com/

ADVENTURES OF LEWIS AND CLARK BOXED SET

A VERY MERRY SUPERHERO WEDDING

Buy now!
A VERY MERRY SUPERHERO WEDDING

LITTLE MISS LOVESICK

Buy now!
LITTLE MISS LOVESICK

LOVE AT THE FLUFF AND FOLD

Buy now!
LOVE AT THE FLUFF AND FOLD
MY BULLHEADED SUPERHERO VALENTINE

ROMANCING THE PAGES

Buy now!
ROMANCING THE PAGES

SUPERHERO IN DISGUISE

Buy now!
SUPERHERO IN DISGUISE

UNEXPECTED SUPERHERO

Buy now!
UNEXPECTED SUPERHERO
WELCOME TO LOON LAKE

0 0 Read more

Copyright ©2017 A Slice of Orange. All Rights Reserved. ~PROUDLY POWERED BY WORDPRESS ~ CREATED BY ISHYOBOY.COM

>