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When I published my first post on how to annotate a book, it was really more about how to take notes on a book for fun. My annotating method is so simple and casual with physical books, and I love the idea of documenting my thoughts on the page as if I’m having a conversation with the book, character, or author.
But what do you do with annotating a PDF? How do you efficiently take digital notes if you’re switching up your reading format to audio or e-book?
Here’s are the digital note-taking methods I’m loving right now for book annotations.
Digital Note-Taking Methods I’m Loving
Saving Favorite Book Quotes
My favorite way to save book quotes right now (ahem, the lazy and fast way!) is to snap a picture of the page and save the picture in a Book Quotes photo album on my phone.
I always try to include the page number in the picture in case I need to reference it again, and sometimes I use the highlight tool before saving the photo so I can find the quote easily.
This is so simple, but it’s really helped me when it comes to writing book reviews!
iPad Annotating Process
The most recent change to my reading life has been my iPad annotating process! I finally got an iPad I’ve been eyeing for months, and I can’t believe how wonderful it’s been for my reading life.
If you use an iPad as an e-reader, don’t forget to use the split screen. I take digital notes while I read so I can see my annotations right beside the book at all times! You can also annotate digitally through the comments and highlighting tools, but I’ve found writing in the Freeform app is my favorite way so far.
If you have any other digital note-taking apps you recommend for iPads, let me know. I’m not a tech person, but I’ve been enjoying this so much in my reading life!
Bookmarks with Audiobooks
I’ve always known you can include bookmarks with audiobooks through certain apps like Libby and Libro.fm. But for some reason, I’ve always been resistant to it?
Well, not anymore! If there’s a scene I find important for any reason—a favorite quote, a funny moment, an interesting plot point I want to write about, whatever—I go ahead and bookmark it.
It’s much easier to revisit than a thought, and much easier than wanting to go back to a certain chapter and guessing at the time stamp!
Highlight and Synchronize Across Devices
I’ve also started taking advantage of the highlighting and annotating features while reading on my Kindle and phone. This has been huge! Being able to highlight passages within the digital text or audio is so easy; I don’t know why I never bothered before. You can even color-code or annotate with comments.
I also make sure to synchronize across multiple devices. If I’m waiting in line to pick up my kid, I use my phone.
If I’m at a doctors appointment or something, I’ll often have my iPad with me. If I’m driving, I like picking up where I left off on audio. Being able to stay up to date on all my synced devices is huge for digital note-taking.
Review Writing and Book Tracking on Notion
It’s a little intense (in the best way), but this digital reading journal on Notion has been a game CHANGER. Kristin did an incredible job creating this book influencer template, and it’s perfect if you want to write out book reviews, keep track of monthly to-be-read lists, reading goals, and much more.
It has a weekly agenda for content creation, notebooks for library and book club reads, and more. If you talk books on the internet at all, you will love this digital note-taking app.
Voice Typing in Google Docs
Sometimes when I’m listening to an audiobook while walking with my kids or generally on the go, I will pause, open Google Docs on my phone, and use the voice typing feature to immediately share my thoughts.
My mom brain is pretty intense, so if I don’t record it right away, it’s pretty much guaranteed to leave my mind within the hour. Voice typing is great mainly because you can speak faster than you can write/type. If you like to take stream-of-consciousness notes, try it out.
RELATED: 8 Tips on How to Read More as a Mom
Why I Annotate My Books (Even Digitally!)
I mentioned this in part one of my Annotating Books post, but for me, being able to record my reading experience further enriches my enjoyment of the book.
I find that the story and characters stay with me a little longer, and it helps me digest the content instead of simply consuming it and moving on (not that there’s really anything wrong with that, either).
Also, when you run a book blog, it’s kind of important to remember the details ;). These digital note-taking apps and tools have helped me so much to sort out how I feel about a book and share what I want to say about it.
Also, being able to document my favorite quotes has been so fun.
What about you? How and why do you annotate your books? Do you have a digital annotating system or digital reading journal? I’d love to know!