As soon as I finish a book I send all highlights and comments to Evernote. The reason I do it is to have all that new knowledge searchable and also displayed as relevant information by Context.

I started doing this a long time ago. Back then, I would go to Amazon Kindle site, find the notes and capture them using Web Clipper.

Last year (2015) I improved the workflow by moving to Clippings, a service that once connected to an Amazon Kindle account can easily collect highlights and notes. You either pay for the Chrome extension to be able to grab the content online or connect the Kindle to your computer and have it transferred for free. Next organize the text choosing one of several academic formats and styles available and finally send everything to Evernote.

But there’s a third possibility that I’m experimenting with.

Plus, Premium and Business users can send information to Evernote using email (if you don't know how, check the video at the end of the article). The subject line and content will become the title and body of a note and a set of special characters can be used to save that information in a specific notebook with selected tags. Here is how I’m using it to store my highlights and notes while reading a book at Android or iOS Kindle App.

  1. The fist time I come across something I would like to save I'll highlight it, tap the share icon and choose the email option to forward it to Evernote;
  2. The subject of the email will be something like this: Interesting quote from "Breaking the Chains of Gravity: The Story of Spaceflight before NASA". For some reason the quotation marks will interfere with the workflow and you need to remove them. But Leave the Interesting quote from part and everything else in the subject intact for now. Note: you can edit whatever you want at the body of the message;
  3. If you already have a notebook where you store this kind of content, use the at and hashtag symbols as shown here: Interesting quote from Breaking the Chains of Gravity: The Story of Spaceflight before NASA @Journal#book

If you follow the steps above, you’ll have the first highlight sent to the Journal notebook with the book tag on the note. Now let’s add more content to that same note.

When you come across another interesting section, just repeat steps 1 and 2, but from now on, let’s use a different symbol at the subject line (step 3).

Instead of the at and hashtag, use a plus sign like this: Interesting quote from Breaking the Chains of Gravity: The Story of Spaceflight before NASA +

The plus will send the content of that new email to the bottom part of the most recent note that has a perfect subject-title match. In another words, the note created by that first email (step 3). This is it! From now on, just use the plus and you’ll have all new highlights attached to the end of that note.

As long as you remember to keep the subject-title match you can freely edit anything else: move the note to another notebook, add new tags etc. For example, you may want to include the cover image of the book. And when the reading is done you can remove the "Interesting quote from" part from the note title or rename it.

Of course this is just one among several possible alternatives for the use of Evernote's email and it's automation by special symbols. I hope it inspires you to create several other workflows and improve your Evernote experience.