Creating an everyday book is similar to marking your favorite lines in a novel with the Amazon Kindle Highlights feature – except that your personal knowledge repository from a single source also includes lyrics, film dialogues, poems, recipes, podcast transcripts and inspirational Elements may contain Find in your reading and listening. The everyday book is not a new concept: copying your favorite lines from other people’s works into your own annotated notebook was a standard practice in Renaissance Europe, and the idea can be traced back to Roman times.
But here in the modern world of digital connectivity, you don’t have to keep everything in one physical place. With the right app, you can use your smartphone, tablet or computer to collect and synchronize new content for your collection – and later use the search function to find specific entries. Here’s how to start creating a digital everyday book – or how to convert that tarnished notebook of thoughts and quotes that you’ve been keeping all along.
If you’ve never done an everyday book, learn how others have used it first. Academic libraries and museums are home to many everyday books that you can see without leaving the couch. John Milton’s Everyday Book is on the British Library website, and the personal notebooks of other writers and thinkers can be easily accessed via a web search.
Recognition…The internet archive
The Yale University Library has scanned pages of historical everyday books in its holdings, and Harvard Library has some in its own online collection, as well as images of a version of John Locke’s Guide to Making Everyday Books from the 17th Century, which was originally authored published in French. And the Internet archive has hundreds of digitized books to search or borrow, including one by Sir Alec Guinness.
Notes for your notes
For the sake of simplicity, collecting your everyday entries into a word processing document stored online is an option. If you find this approach unwieldy, consider the note-taking app that came with your phone – Apple’s Notes or Google Keep. Just enter quotes and other snippets of text when you get the urge. To skip writing or pasting, Google Keep can scan and transcribe text from pictures of book pages, and Apple’s Siri voice assistant or Google assistant can take notes and create dictations.
Recognition…The New York Times
You can also use your Notes app through your computer’s web browser, where it’s often easier to cut and paste items and apply text formatting. Your changes will be updated on all devices as long as you’re signed in to the same Apple ID or Google Account everywhere.
Use a dedicated app
If you’d rather reserve your phone’s notes app for daily life, there are plenty of dedicated notebook and journal apps waiting for you. Some apps include features like tagging keywords to organize your everyday book by subject or subject. Most apps offer a free basic version but require a fee for certain functions. For example, the Bear app for iOS and Mac devices requires a $ 15 annual subscription to sync between devices.
Detail-minded people will appreciate Notion, a comprehensive writing and organizing app that includes page templates and a cropping tool for saving portions of web pages in a note. Evernote, a long-time player in the Mobile Commonplace category, has templates, its own Web Clipper function, and an Apple Watch app.
Day One, the popular personal journaling app for iOS-based hardware, has its own Apple Watch and desktop versions. Daybook, another journal app, runs on Android, iOS and web browsers – and works with Alexa, Bixby and Google Assistant so that you can create entries or have them read aloud using your voice.
However, if you just need a no-frills and non-distracting tool for text-based entries in your electronic book, there is Simplenote. And it’s free.
Convert a paper notebook
What if you’re someone who has been keeping a regular book for years but wants to digitize the whole thing without retyping everything? One method: take a photo of each page and import the image into your Notes app, which also preserves the look of your original hand-drawn entries.
For Kindle readers who have been marking passages in their e-books for years: You can view all of your highlights at https://read.amazon.com/notebook and decide which lines to add to your everyday book.