Question

How do you combine notes with a bookmark service?

I'm currently using Evernote for all my notes and pdfs. Whenever I need to find something I search there. I utilise a flat structure (3 notebooks and no tags) and rely on search when I need something.

I recently discovered Raindrop and would like to start utilising that.

What I haven't figured out though is how to combine these services? To me it seems counterproductive to have to search two systems when I need something, instead of searching just one system.

How have you integrated your bookmarks manager with your notes app?

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shacrw001's avatar
5 months ago

I think I might be able to contribute something useful here. So, some background, I am a CS undergrad student and in the past 4-5 years I've been jumping from one tool to another, which basically involved checking the features of each tool(and its alternatives like Pocket-Instapaper) multiple times each year.
This year finally getting some clarity on a great workflow. The Roam Research community is a big part of that as a lot of people have really great workflows (i'll try to attach some links if I can find them, otherwise ping me later on twitter)

First of all, yeah Raindrop's awesome. I upgraded to the PRO version this week. Now, my workflow will basically involve Instapaper, Raindrop, Readwise(necessary glue component), Roam Research( could be Notion/Evernote too)

So, in case you are not aware Raindrop has Zapier, IFTTT integrations. I'll attach the link below for your convenience. So, i treat Raindrop as a dumpyard, resource collector/curator, anti-library. Now, think of Raindrop as your newsfeed, if you want to read some articles add #toread OR #instapaper tag (or whatever you want) to it.

Raindrop connected with Zapier can send articles to Instapaper (or for that matter any other highlighter supported like Pocket) which have a certain tag. Then, read, highlight take notes on Instapaper. Connect Instapaper to Readwise, and Readwise can then export your highlights, notes, author, other metadata to Notion/Evernote/Roam.

So, Raindrop is the collector. Instapaper is the reader. Readwise is the glue b/w them and your final database(evernote/notion/roam)

There can be some variants of this, but taking into account Price, Feature parity, developer teams, export,API functionalities I fully endorse this setup.
In case you're worried about newsletters, for that i've attached someone's blog, YT channel(has an IDEA factory video) below. He uses Inoreader for that(RSS), I personally have a Gmail label,filters with all newsletters.

The reason I took Raindrop PRO and call it a library/anti-library 🤷‍♀️ is because when I want to read on a topic, I can search the term, the full-text feature(yes it saves, archives all contents of a page) will give me articles on that topic, I can quickly add a tag, say #instapaper in bulk to all of them and then read on Instapaper(zapier sends them here).

Readwise is super useful for resurfacing your old highlights (it has spaced-repetition), it can also save twitter threads, and most importantly integrates with a ton of services acting as a glue.

I had tried Readwise back in the summer for 2 month trial, didn't activate the paid plan back then since I wasn't reading much at that time, and as a student have to watch my expenses too. But now I am considering getting it.

Below I've attached some links which you'll definitely find useful. In case you need anything more specific, feel free to ping me on Twitter🙂: https://twitter.com/shacrw_


https://www.kylestratis.com/category/productivity
https://zapier.com/apps/raindropio/integrations#page=3
https://help.readwise.io/article/23-what-highlight-sources-does-readwise-support

I was going to write this whole setup thing as a blogpost in Jan/Feb, this turned into a pre-release😅. Please, let me know if this was helpful. Thanks.

10 points
evilsizor's avatar
@evilsizor (replying to @shacrw001 )
5 months ago

Incredibly helpful, thank you. This definitely has me rethinking my system again (I value simplicity and inexpensive over complex, sometimes). I currently just use Pocket and Evernote, and if I find myself highlighting an article I'll just push it to Evernote and highlight there. My readwise subscription just ran out, but their bookmarklet (bookcision) for Kindle notes is probably one of my favorite discoveries of the year (still works w/out a subscription) -- the tweet roll-up function and highlights update email are certainly almost enough to make me fork over the credit card. Anyhow, thanks for this! I grabbed a follow on twitter.

3 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @shacrw001 )
5 months ago

This is an incredibly detailed setup; thanks so much for sharing! A number of others on Capiche have made me want to try ReadWise. I just may have to go set that up over the holidays.

1 point
shacrw001's avatar
@shacrw001 (replying to @maguay )
5 months ago

You're most welcome!
Same goes for me. I tried a 2 month trial back in June I think, had a 5-10 streak too but then didn't use it daily. Also, they didn't have an Android app back then.

But now after a few months, even the Roam integration features (apart from other stuff like Twitter thread save, Instapaper integration etc.) are enough to justify its value for me, so will start using it back again.

Readwise uses Jinja2 templating language for Roam export.
Also, Readwise now has an API so, one can write their own automations too.

2 points
evilsizor's avatar
@evilsizor (replying to @shacrw001 )
5 months ago

Incredibly helpful, thank you.

1 point
evilsizor's avatar
@evilsizor (replying to @evilsizor )
5 months ago

This definitely has me rethinking my system again (I value simplicity and inexpensive over complex, sometimes). I currently just use Pocket and Evernote, and if I find myself highlighting an article I'll just push it to Evernote and highlight there. My readwise subscription just ran out, but their bookmarklet (bookcision) for Kindle notes is probably one of my favorite discoveries of the year (still works w/out a subscription) -- the tweet roll-up function and highlights update email are certainly almost enough to make me fork over the credit card. Anyhow, thanks for this! I grabbed a follow on twitter.

2 points
shacrw001's avatar
@shacrw001 (replying to @evilsizor )
5 months ago

You're most welcome!
Yeah, readwise has many tiny features which most people aren't aware of.
for eg: homescreen widget

for Kindle, they also have Chapter highlights(so that in readwise, your highlights also get sectioned acc to chapters, sections in the book, also adds a Index), concatenating diff highlights (explained in 2-3 posts on their blog, these posts are 2 years old!).
im def getting a subscription before they increase prices (they'll grandfather early users).

also thanks for the follow!

2 points
GetContent's avatar
@GetContent (replying to @shacrw001 )
5 months ago

Thanks a lot for sharing it. This is very inspiring.

1 point
sowenjub's avatar
5 months ago

These days I use Notion for both, but it's a bit of a pain because there's no Safari extension to send pages to it.
I have a "Articles" list in notion, and I add the content of articles there from my iPhone or by copy/pasting. It's a bit painful, but at the same time, I can improve the formatting (when there's code in it) and also add notes/highlights.
I then visit my notes and reference the article, which is really easy in Notion (using @ + typing the article's title). This automatically adds a link back to the note. So if I reference the article in multiple notes, I see them all as I open the article.

It's a bit painful because I have to actually do something with the article instead of sending it and forgetting about it. But in the end, I think it's better because I know future me would never really revisit this article and do something with it. So it's a good test to know if I really want to keep the article, and it forces me to organize my knowledge base.

3 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @sowenjub )
5 months ago

That’s very cool. Would be amazing to see Notion add a web parser like Evernote—maybe someday, or perhaps someone else will build one once Notion’s API is released!

Neat to hear how Notion’s wiki-style backlinks are helping your bookmark strategy!

2 points
maguay's avatar
5 months ago

One cool option I’ve been using here lately is the new MyMind bookmarking app. You can bookmark websites, and it automatically saves a ton of metadata about the site (and automatically finds stuff in images as well, such as colors and broad categorization of what’s in the photo), so you can search and find sites again more easily even if you forget the site’s exact name. Then, you can also type in text notes, or even add color hex codes to bookmark almost anything you’d like to remember.

Now, it’s not the app you’d want to go back to and write more detailed notes; you’d still want Evernote or Notion or a writing app like iA Writer for that. But it’s interesting from a “save everything in one place” perspective.

3 points
blairrorani's avatar
5 months ago

I add links to Safari's free reading list and use iCloud to sync them across all my devices.

Reading list keeps track of read and unread links.

I add links to my personal notes if they form part of my research into topics I'm interested in or if they are instructional (e.g. how to change kj to cal on my Apple watch).

I like that the Reading list is sort of a temporary thing with no way to tag or organise links. Otherwise it turns into another dumping ground. It forces me to actually read the links and do something with the "good" ones.

3 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @blairrorani )
5 months ago

That's a neat setup! I like Safari's Reading Mode, but weirdly never use its reading list other than accidentally clicking it every so often. On notes, then, are you copying stuff over to Apple Notes?

1 point
blairrorani's avatar
@blairrorani (replying to @maguay )
5 months ago

I have used Notion to create a personal wiki using useful links from my Reading List. I hate Apple Notes :) esp the background so never use it. DayOne is prob my fav not taker but linking notes isn’t really a feature they would add because it’s a journal vs. a notebook.

1 point
5_Point_Zero-'s avatar
5 months ago

I really like Raindrop. It's an attractive way to review links I want to keep, if not as utilitarian as pinboard. I try to keep a division of labor; Raindrop keeps sites I might want to refer to as a resource and I've tried to revert to holding any 'read it later' content into my archive which is DevonThink. I only pull possible thoughts on those into my notes (Roam).

I know Evernote and DevonThink both do bookmarks, but whenever I've tried that they get lost in other materials.

2 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @5_Point_Zero- )
5 months ago

Raindrop looks really nice. Do you have a workflow to go back and review links you’ve saved into Raindrop and organize them later? Or do you always categorize new bookmarks as you save them?

1 point
5_Point_Zero-'s avatar
@5_Point_Zero- (replying to @maguay )
5 months ago

I categorize, but very broadly. Think large scale descriptors like 'Person' 'Place' 'Thing'. Raindrop utilizes tags which are often auto generated. I use that how I used to in Evernote, purely as search metadata. If an app that collects doesn't have sufficient search capability to quickly find that sort of content, I'm not going to use it. I do not want to spend much time organizing bookmarks!

Per your other comment, I tried MyMind. Though I thought it was beautiful, I was afraid it might bog down with a large amount of content and some of it's capture was sketchy. It seemed to be iterating so fast that I'm sure it's better now. I think I'm someone who would want the 'premium' super powers but at the time their abilities didn't match it. I'm assuming it's a much better product now. And again, so pretty pulling colors! ha

1 point
KaySauter's avatar
5 months ago

I use Notion for this and the add-ons for both Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge works very well.

2 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @KaySauter )
5 months ago

Does the web clipping let you copy the text from websites too, or does it just save a bookmark?

1 point
ambrstr's avatar
5 months ago

You can share a collection in Raindrop.io as an RSS feed, then use IFTTT to create or append a note in Evernote if you want to have the benefit of Evernote search. I do this with a collection and notebook I call "Stack". Anything I come across that I want to remember I just save it to a stack collection and it gets sent to my Evernote.

2 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @ambrstr )
5 months ago

Ohhh that’s super cool, thanks for sharing! That trick should work in Notion, too, once their API is released.

1 point
unxrlm's avatar
5 months ago

There are lots of great responses with valuable information on this thread. This is a topic I'm always researching because I do feel there is a bit of a tooling gap there.

My current workflow is broken down by content type. For me, a web article and a pdf I download should have the same workflow. I need to bookmark it, but I also like to keep a cached copy for full-text searching and a way to annotate and extract annotations. Reading is active and requires highlighting and annotating. For this part of the workflow, I've tried Evernote, Notion, DEVONthink, and countless other tools (Raindrop, Polar Bookshelf, Google Bookmarks, Instapaper, Pocket, Pinboard, and probably more). There is always a gap. All of these started as something (notetaking, bookmarking, highlighting/annotating), they still handle that core aspect great but struggle to put the entire knowledge management piece together. In some cases, live with Evernote and DEVONthink, you can come really close, as all the features are there. But the workflow ends-up suffering. Highlighting a web article in Evernote is doable but it's not very easy and it's difficult to extract annotations. DEVONthink can also handle most tasks, but it struggles with multiple devices and is Apple-centric, something I tend to avoid.

My current workflow has all my note-taking and organizing in Roam. I do at time use the Roam-highlighter extension to grab important stuff from a website and add to Roam. I also store URLs in there, when relevant. But it's not my bookmarking.

For now, all my bookmarking and annotations are stored in Diigo. It's a bit old-school and not very sexy but it does what I need. Stores bookmarks, can cache entire articles so I can search them later, can annotate web content and PDFs.

I have not, as of yet, found a way to centralize my annotations but Readwise is cute. I currently annotate in one of three places: Kindle for books, Diigo for web and pdfs and Paperpile for scientific papers.

2 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @unxrlm )
5 months ago

Neat, thanks for sharing @unxrlm! Anther complication I've had with highlights is in paper books, a similar problem to PDFs as you mentioned. It's easy to highlight Kindle books and articles in Instapaper, and Readwise even can sync those out to other notes apps. But on paper, you'll need to type your highlight out and then save it somewhere and so a notes app seems the best option there so far. I haven't used it much yet, but there's an iOS app, Highlighted, that can OCR a photo of a book to make digital highlights from paper, so hopeful that may close a bit of the gap there.

1 point
kerriececil's avatar
4 months ago

I've been using Notion to save links to a custom wiki by team and topic, then I parse the important ideas over to Roam for editing. Roam works great for mind mapping and organizing ideas, and as a daily personal kanban. I didn't love the UI but editing the CSS makes it feel customized.

2 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @kerriececil )
4 months ago

That sounds like a good setup. I've started doing something similar—albeit in the opposite order, as Notion is where our team shares work and ideas, so more of my closer-to-finished stuff goes in Notion, where the original notes and ideas are often jotted down somewhere simpler, often in a plain text writing app like Tot or iA Writer. Roam then I've found good as a place to list more detailed ideas, such as outlines for upcoming ideas where I'll make a page say for an essay idea then slowly drop in research over time until there's a critical mass of stuff to turn into an actual article.

1 point
CustomComputerT's avatar
5 months ago

Simple: use the Hook.app to interconnect your notes with websites and other programs. Works great for me and I can find hooks with the Alfred workflow for it. A must have for anyone serious about keeping notes easy to find.

1 point
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @CustomComputerT )
5 months ago

Hook looks neat, to basically build a wiki across apps.

1 point
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