After fighting with web clippings and research type information for a couple years, earlier this year I finally broke down and bought DEVONthink Pro Office 2.0. While it may not be for everyone, I find that it’s particularly well suited for the type of research and reading I typically perform. Therefore, all notes, quotes, and other miscellaneous information I’ve found online eventually makes it’s way into this huge database. Once there, I can perform searches, and even better, let it find “related” items. While this works great for online media which I can easily copy and paste into DEVONthink, I was still at a bit of a loss for printed media such as books and magazines.
However, this Christmas I received an Amazon Kindle. While not everything I read is available for the Kindle, I have thus far found that it’s an almost perfect tool for reading and note taking. What’s more, any highlighted passages and notes which are taken on the device are available online at http://kindle.amazon.com. This was perfect — and I could copy and paste these quotes into DEVONthink.
But after a little looking, I found that Tim Wilson of TechnoSavvy.org had created an AppleScript web scraper which would take the Kindle notes off Amazon’s web page and import them into Evernote. With a bit of modification, I’ve successfully modified it to work with DEVONthink. This means that I can import my kindle annotations into DEVONthink to use later with a few clicks — no more copy and paste!
I don’t claim that it’s perfect, but it does seem to work just fine. Below are instructions for setting it up.
- Download Tim Wilson’s NoteScraper for Evernote from here.
- Follow the included instructions to install NoteScraper for Evernote.
- Make a copy of the script ~/Library/Scripts/Applications/Safari/Export Kindles notes to Evernote and name it something like “Export Kindle Notes to DEVONthink Pro”
- Edit this new script by double clicking on it. This will bring up the AppleScript Editor.
- Paste the text from the file below into the bottom of the script.
- Find the line “CreateEvernotes(NoteTextList, numNotes)” and replace with “addToDTP(NoteTextList, numNotes)”
Instructions for Use
To use this script, navigate to your Amazon Kindle Page and click on the “Your Books” link. Click on one of the books titles and it should take you to a page with your annotations listed. Once on this page, go to the AppleScript menu in your status bar (which was added by following the NoteScraper installation instructions) and select your new script named “Export Kindle Notes to DEVONthink Pro”. Answer the prompts, and if all goes well, the currently selected database will then contain the new notes!
For some reason, it doesn’t appear that DEVONthink allows a script to choose which database to place the imported entries in. Therefore, this script will use the currently selected database.
By clicking the link below, you can download the latest version (whatever it may be) of the addToDTP script. Use it by following the above instructions. Please note – I developed this for my personal use. I fully expect there to be glitches and bugs, but if you would be so kind as to leave a note below in the comments, I’ll do my best to try to help out and fix things. Also note, there is no warranty of any kind associated with this.
Version 0.3 (beta) –
- Fixed a bug for short notes / hightlights (under 6 words) which would cause earlier versions of the script to hang (and never quit).
Version 0.2 (beta) –
- Added progress meter popup when downloading notes into separate DEVONthink entries (moves pretty quick so you really won’t see it unless you have a LOT of notes).
- Cleaned up some of the code
Version 0.1 (beta) – Original Release