When we first launched the beta of Readwise about a year ago, it was just an MVP to help you resurface your Kindle highlights. Since then, we've transformed Readwise into a fully-featured product which helps you grow wiser and get the most out your reading, no matter where you do it.
The first huge step we took was to add highlights from every reading source we could:
📗🎵 Physical/Audiobooks (still experimental)
✒️ Freeform text
📃 Kindle Clippings documents (such as PDFs)
We also made Readwise web app the one central hub you need to store, organize, and easily access your highlights, no matter where you are. This meant building out:
🔎 Fast and powerful search, across all of your highlights (looks like this: https://bit.ly/2onHdBf )
⚙️ Deep customization of your daily reviews, including number of highlights, frequency, time
📚 A bookshelf where you can explore, rate, and share your books (e.g https://tristan.readwise.io )
✈️ Export (of your highlights) to Evernote and csv
Finally, we added a business model! We spent a lot of time deliberating the virtues of raising venture capital vs. bootstrapping our business, and ultimately decided to go the route of bootstrapping and a small monthly fee. You can read more about why we made this decision here: https://blog.readwise.io/why-were-bootstrapping-readwise
We can now confidently say that if you read digitally and highlight at all, Readwise is the best way to remember, and actually use, what you read. That being said, we still have tons we want to build, and lots of work to do :) Would love to hear your feedback!
@homsit Hey, Have you considered a chrome extension? I read many of articles online and sometimes just want to save a snippet / stat or highlight from that article for future use.. currently no efficient (and meaningful) way of doing that.
@__racha hey Racha -- we've thought about building one, but we realized that great web highlighterss already existed and opted to simply integrate with them instead. For the type of highlighting you're describing, I'd definitely recommend using https://highly.co
We have an integration where you can highlight with Highly's extension, and have all of your highlights synced automatically to Readwise for reviewing :)
Hope that helps!
@homsit congrats Tristan!
@calvinleyon thanks man :)
Glad to see how far you guys have come! Before ReadWise, I literally would type out my highlights manually (facepalm) and love the weekly emails.
@stephsmith thanks so much Steph! We hear stories like that a surprising amount :P
I think it speaks to how powerful the need is to get more out of your highlights + reading! Do let us know if you have any other feedback :)
Mohammed Ali Vakil
This app has become an indefensible part of my creative workflow. Knowing that my kindle highlights will surface encourages me to highlight as I read. As a result I end up remembering more of what I read, and I get inspired at random times when I get readwise emails. Great work guys!
It's such an awesome service - "Your daily Readwise" is the very first email I open every morning:)
This is amazing.
Any chance you will be rolling out an integration with pocket??
@rrrrobi Hey Robert, thanks for reaching out! We'd love to integrate Pocket highlights (at this point, it's also probably our #1 user request), but unfortunately for now, Pocket's API does not support Highlight Retrieval, so it's not yet possible.
We've been reaching out and asking them about it periodically, so hopefully they make highlights accessible soon.As soon as they do build that Highlight Retrieval API, we'll definitely integrate with them!
cc @nateweiner :P
@nateweiner @homsit just sent my request to Pocket 👍👍👍
If you ever read books on a Kindle, read articles on Instapaper or use Highly, definitely set up this service.
One of my favorite new products - I've long been obsessed with better retaining what I read, and have tried a million different services and evernote-type hacks, but this is exactly what I've been looking for. The product is also incredibly user-friendly (shortcut keys!!) and the Daily Readwise is an email I genuinely look forward to getting each morning.
I can review my Kindle highlights - This was very much needed to me.
I’ve loved this service since I first signed up. Surfacing highlights for me has become an exercise in reflecting what I’ve learned through my reading this year.
I highlight all the time while reading my Kindle, some books every other page it seems. But I never really went back and looked at my highlights before discovering Readwise. Getting a daily email with a number of previous highlights is a great way to rediscover the thoughts and ideas that mattered most to me when first reading. I highly recommend this service!!
Seems neat. Kinda makes me wish I was more of a highlighter.
You guys should add the ability to enable community highlights on things I've read. That could be cool.
@blake Ah, thanks Blake! Indeed, our biggest challenge is reaching users who don't have any highlights (yet).
We actually recently launched an experiment which lets you instead review the popular highlights that other users took in books you've read. If you want to try it out, just sign up and then head over to https://readwise.io/quick -- would love to hear what you think :)
@homsit Nice! I'll take a look.
I love this product. My Readwise digest email is the first one I open in the morning.
I've been waiting for a solid solution to make highlights more usable with little effort and this looks like it might be it! @homsit 👏 for bootstrapping with paid plan. I'd much rather pay for a company to have a future than leech as a free user and have to replace down the road
@airjoshb thanks so much Josh! wasn't the easiest choice to bootstrap, but we're happy with the decision we made :) Looking forward to getting your feedback as you use the product.
@homsit I'm in and so excited to dive deeper. Any plans to offer export to something other than Evernote or as a file type?
@homsit @airjoshb Hey Josh, jumping in for Tristan here :)
We also support CSV export currently and we're thinking about a simple Markdown export in the near future. What kinds of exports did you have in mind?
@homsit @ddoyon I totally found it after I posted—a markdown export would be pretty useful. My hangups thus far is that now I feel like I have to highlight at least one thing in every book or else it doesn't show up ... and no way to add highlights from actual books
@homsit @airjoshb Hey Josh, it is true that Readwise pairs best with ebooks, but we do offer some support for physical books:
1. You can use the Freeform Input feature (https://readwise.io/import_freeform) to manually input your favorite passages.
2. You can use the Shelfie app to snap photos of pages within your physical books and we can import those highlights (https://shelfie.app/).
3. You can use the Physical Book option to start getting popular highlights from your physical (and audio) books (https://readwise.io/quick).
Hope that helps!
@homsit @ddoyon Easter eggs! Thanks! I've spent a bunch of my day absorbing what you've built and am super excited about Readwise.
I've been using Readwise for well over a year now and it's one of the only emails that I read EVERY TIME.
I have over 10,000 Kindle highlights from extensive reading, color-coded by my own categorization system. Readwise is part of my "trusted system" of knowledge management so I can write great books.
I know that if I highlight something, at some point in the future, that thing will make it back into my inbox. I consistently get ideas when Readwise resurfaces my old knowledge in my inbox.
I also love the web interface, which lets me tag highlights, and easily share highlights with Twitter followers. I use Readwise to help me decide what to write about. Read a book > Share highlights with Twitter followers > Write more about the concepts that resonated with my followers.
I love it – I hope they stick around for a long time.
I've been using Readwise for a while, and it has definitely increased my ability to retain what I read. Great product that keeps getting better.
Discovered this via Product Hunt (yay!) and found a tool that give me an unexpected ROI on all those Kindle highlights I had created over the previous number of years. I am largely a non-fiction reader (with some novels and memoirs thrown in), and bringing back the highlights I had noted in the past amazed me. Soon their daily email was a important habit to start my day, and I find my motivation for current highlighting has gone way up.
Great job!! 😊 Could we have this option for reading on pdf’s Such as research papers and stuff. Any Chrome plugin
@ayush_chandra thanks Ayush! PDFs are definitely something we want to explore in the future 😎
@ayush_chandra @homsit That would be extremely helpful. I think there's a market for that as there is no existing app that has managed to achieve the level of simplicity with PDFs (Maybe I have high expectations).
Any plans to add support for audible?
@jon Hey Jon -- we don't explicitly support "highlighting" an audiobook, as there's no great way to do that in audible (you can take snippets, but there's no way to export them and most people don't use them)
However, we have built an experimental feature which lets you simply input the names of the audiobooks you've read, and then we send you the best highlights from those audiobooks. While not _quite_ as effective as seeing your own highlights, this tends to work fairly well. If you sign up, the "secret" link to try this out is readwise.io/audio -- would love to hear what you think :)
I’ve been using Readwise since the beta launch on PH last year. I can honestly say it’s my favourite product to ever appear on this site!
I love using the web app every day and find myself retaining far more of what I read on Kindle. My old hacky highlight export and manual refinement process tool me up to 1 hour per book, I now sync in seconds.
Dan and Tristan have consistently gone above and beyond in taking feedback and implementing feature requests, in some cases delivering product updates within hours of my feedback. The guys have some great thoughts on improving reading workflow through Readwise, and their advice has led to me drastically improving my own reading through note taking and inline tagging.
There are tons of amazIng fetaures, with the public bookshelf feature being amongst my favourIte. I love being able to easily create a digital bookshelf and share my book recommendations with others https://peter.readwise.io
If you want to actually retain what you read than I can’t recommend Readwise highly enough, an easy 10/10
@pdffy It's as if you wrote MY review/comments! (And added a little more.) I did have a hinky "save the comments" routine that was time-consuming and really not very useful. You are encouraging me to get to to my own bookshelf but for now will be checking out yours. Agree on Dan and Tristan!
1) Amazon doesn't have a notes/highlights API, how do you get this data?
2) Do you provide an API for users to get their notes/highlights out of Readwise?
@techwraith Hey Daniel,
1) Right, while we wish they had an API, we unfortunately require you to use a web extension to export all of your highlights from the webpage where amazon shows your highlights. This is less than ideal as it requires manually syncing when you want to import new highlights, but it's the best we could do with the limitations!
2) Not currently! Though, it's on our roadmap. Right now, we do at least offer export to both Evernote and csv
Thanks for the qs :)