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

February 9, 2018 by in category It's Worth It, Writing tagged as , , , , ,

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!

Kitty Bucholtz author photoKitty Bucholtz decided to combine her undergraduate degree in business, her years of experience in accounting and finance, and her graduate degree in creative writing to become a writer-turned-independent-publisher. She writes romantic comedy and superhero urban fantasy, often with an inspirational element woven in. She loves to teach and offer advice to writers through her WRITE NOW! Workshop courses and the new WRITE NOW! Workshop Podcast.

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Co-writing: Getting Your Ducks in a Row by @janetlynn4

January 3, 2018 by in category Partners in Crime tagged as , , ,

Ducks In A Row | Janet Lynn and Will Zeilinger | A Slice of Orange

 

Getting your Ducks is a Row

 

My husband, Will Zeilinger, also a published author, and I decided to come together and write a 1950’s hard-boiled mystery, the Skylar Drake Murder Mystery series.

Without organization, nothing, and I mean nothing, would get done!

Getting Your Ducks in a Row by @janetlynn4 Tips for writing with a partner

Brainstorming

Though we each bring different things/skills to the table when it comes to writing, I am the one who seems to get the organization together. During the early life of the novel, we start off brainstorming. No idea is too “outrageous” or “stupid” to write down. This includes characterizations, character names, background, and their part in the story.

Plot meetings

From there come several plots and subplots. An in-depth discussion of each follows. We then find the main plot that may even be several subplots melted together. This comes about over several meetings, we try to limit them to five. If we need more than five meetings to get any one of the issues resolved, something is usually wrong with the characters, plot or subplots and we revisit it by going back through prior meeting notes.

Purpose and agendas

Each meeting needs to have a specific purpose. Agendas are a great way to keep the discussions on track. When writing mysteries, like we do, this is an absolute must. We keep copies of all meeting agendas and decisions which helps with future reference, especially when we are stuck and can’t remember why we made the decision we did.

From this point, we set a timeline for when things need to be completed. If we do not meet a timeline that is a warning to get going and focus.

The results? SLIVERS OF GLASS, STRANGE MARKINGS and DESERT ICE. Our fourth book in the series, SLICK DEAL, will be released in February 2018…and yes, we’re still married.

 

Janet Elizabeth Lynn

Website: www.janetlynnauthor.com
Blog: www.themarriedauthors.blogspot.com


DESERT ICE
Buy now!
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Cool Apps For Writers by Kitty Bucholtz

July 9, 2016 by in category It's Worth It tagged as , , , , , ,

Some of my favorite apps and SaaS (software as a service) software for writers are well-known to many, but just in case you haven’t heard of some of them, I thought I’d share.

Evernote – great for organizing and storing information. I have separate “notebooks” for self-publishing, teaching, business, and more. Within each notebook, I also have dozens of tags that I can use in lieu of filing information in multiple locations. You can use it on your computer as well as your smart phone. Add “Evernote Clipper” to your browser and you can save anything on the Internet with a single click (websites, PDFs, whatever).

BookFunnel – great for giving away your ebook(s) to beta readers, reviewers, giveaway winners, and more. What I love most about this service is that the user answers a couple of short questions about how they want to get their free ebook, and then they get a short video explaining how to get the book onto the appropriate device. No more emails from readers asking how to put the file I emailed them onto their Kindle or Nook.

BookPlanner – great for giving you a step-by-step timeline of all the steps to bring your book to publication. There are several timelines to choose from depending on your needs.

Vellumamazing for quickly and easily creating all ebook formats. It automatically creates Nook links in the back of the Nook file for all your other books on B&N, Amazon links for all the books you have on Amazon in your Amazon file, etc. Several choices for fonts, flourishes to separate scenes, and much more. Only downside – Mac only.

MyFitnessPal – strange addition to the list? This app is directly responsible for helping me lose 24 pounds in 24 weeks. It will tell you what your daily calorie limit should be based on your age, height, and weight, and the amount of weight you want to lose per week. Hundreds of thousands of foods are in the database so you know not only how many calories you’re ingesting, but fat, protein, carbohydrates, sodium, and sugar as well. Even if you don’t need to lose weight, it’s good to know what you’re really eating. Want to track your exercise as well? Use MapMyRun for your walks, runs, bike rides, and more. Both are available for smart phones and computers, and free to use at the standard level.

Kitty Bucholtz

 

 

Kitty Bucholtz decided to combine her undergraduate degree in business, her years of experience in accounting and finance, and her graduate degree in creative writing to become a writer-turned-independent-publisher. Her novels, Little Miss Lovesick, A Very Merry Superhero Wedding, and Unexpected Superhero are currently available on Amazon. The free short story “Superhero in Disguise” and the new short story “Welcome to Loon Lake” are available wherever ebooks are sold. You can find out about her courses on self-publishing, marketing, and time management for writers at her website Writer Entrepreneur Guides.

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Jenny’s Top 10 Tips for Microsoft OneNote

April 18, 2012 by in category Blogs tagged as , , , ,
by Jenny Hansen

I’m a software trainer by day so I have several “true loves” in the software realm. But as a writer, my hands down favorite lately is OneNote 2010.

I. Heart. OneNote.

What is it, and where do I find it?
OneNote is a planner and note taking software. Capture text, images, video and audio notes, and keep important information readily available. If you’re the organized type, it’s likely that you have a binder with all of the research information and pictures for your book. You’ll find OneNote in your START menu (Start\Programs\Microsoft Office\OneNote 2010).

OneNote allows you to keep this information in the same format electronically so it’s searchable.
I could do several posts on the topic (and I probably will) but when I stopped to think about what I use the MOST in the program, it was pretty easy to come up with my Top Ten fave features.
#10 – ToDo Lists

OneNote allows you to insert handy checklists. You just check off the item when you’re done and you can keep it for posterity or edit the list as you move to a new day.

How to do a check list:
Click to type in your OneNote notebooks page (top tabs are sections, right side tabs are pages) and type “Ctrl+1”
  1. In the top middle of your Home ribbon in OneNote, there is a “To Do” button
  2. Type your To Do
  3. Hit Enter
  4. Use the Ctrl+1 shortcut key again to add more checkboxes

Note: You’ll see lots of keyboard shortcuts through this document and for once, the Mac users are out of luck. OneNote is a PC only product. Incidentally, my favorite shortcut is Ctrl +PageDown to “flip thru” the pages in any section of your notebook.

Some bigger gurus than I have recommended that Mac users try using Office Web Apps as a OneNote solution: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/web-apps/

#9 – Tag and Find Important Items
Why is this exciting? One Note has a series of Tags that you can add to any page that are easy to search by with the “Find Tags” button on the ribbon. I’m copying and pasting a screen shot of the Tags drop down to the right but there are even more than are listed. This feature makes me SQUEE!

#8 – Sync up OneNote between your phone and computer
Yes, you heard me! If you have a smart phone, it can synchronize with the OneNote on your computer. Sign me up!!Note: You need to first set up the app on your smart phone and you must also set up your SkyDrive, which is helpful to do anyway.
Note: SkyDrive is only available with OneNote 2010! It will not work with the older versions.Tips on setting up your SkyDrive in OneNote and getting the iPhone app are here (along with a ton of other amazing OneNote answers).

#7 – Tables and Charts (which can be sent to Word or Outlook!)
Who doesn’t love a good table…perhaps you need one listing scene elements? You can create tables and charts directly on a OneNote page and then:
  • Copy and paste it to Word
  • Email it.
  • Right click on your OneNote table and choose “Copy Link to Paragraph” to embed it in a document anywhere else on your computer. (If you haven’t set up SkyDrive, the One Note file and the file where you pasted the link must be on the same computer!)
#6 – Hyperlinks to anywhere
You can copy or create hyperlinks from any page, anywhere, and put it in your notebook page. I’m thinking of keeping an active writing notebook with tabs for each topic to store the amazing links that I run across in my web surfing. My bookmarks tend to get lost because there’s so many.

#5 – Print to OneNote
When researching, you can send a whole page or part of a page directly to OneNote. Click Ctrl +P on your keyboard (or you can choose File –> Print) and your page is sent to an unfiled note in OneNote, which can be moved to any section or page.
Note: You’ll see your “Unfiled Notes” tab at the top of your OneNote screen.

#4 – Send whole or part of any page to OneNote
When researching, as I said in #5, you can send a whole page or part of a page directly to OneNote. Ctl +P and your page is sent to an unfiled note in OneNote, which you can move to any section or page.
Imagine surfing the web and pulling up a side note by either pressing the Windows logo button + N or clicking the N(OneNote) icon button in the task bar (down by the time) and being able to jot down your notes to keep in your book’s OneNote binder.

Again, this shortcut automatically files it in the Unfiled Tab in OneNote, which you can move around.

#3 – Audio and Video Files
OneNote will also add audio or video files to your notebook pages. It can even record the same right into a page! Now that we’re in conference season, I’ve made the goal of adding my meeting and class notes into OneNote, and then recording those extras things that I didn’t get down in my notes.

#2 – You can attach files to any page in OneNote.
Can you writers say character charts? Photos? I thought of moving this higher on the list, it’s so sublimely amazing.

From your Windows Explorer, click and drag any file onto a OneNote Page. You will get the following dialog box:

You can insert a hyperlink, or choose the second option to have an icon on your page that you double-click on to open the file. But the last choice (to insert the file as a printout)? LOVE IT! I used this with a chapter meeting handout to make my notes next to the speakers content. It saved me a ton of time.

And my #1 FAVORITE thing in OneNote is:

OneNote doesn’t have a Save button. OneNote automatically saves your work on an almost constant basis in the background. This means I don’t lose work, even if forget to save.
p.s. If you want to save your notebook with a new name you can use the Save As feature located under the File menu. Also, if you’re using the SkyDrive sync feature, you need to be sure to sync before you go on the road. OneNote auto-saves, but it doesn’t auto-sync!


Helpful Links:
Does OneNote sound like it would be helpful to you? Do you have questions, or shortcuts you’d like to share? I’d love to chat with you in the comments!

Jenny

About Jenny Hansen
Jenny fills her nights with humor: writing memoir, women’s fiction, chick lit, short stories (and chasing after her toddler Baby Girl). By day, she provides training and social media marketing for an accounting firm. After 15 years as a corporate software trainer, she’s digging this sit down and write thing.

When she’s not at her blog, More Cowbell, Jenny can be found on Twitter at jhansenwrites and at her group blog, Writers In The Storm. Every Saturday, she writes the Risky Baby Business posts at More Cowbell, a series that focuses on babies, new parents and high-risk pregnancy.
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