Using the Kindle Notes Export function

or in my opinion, one of the best things about reading on the Kindle πŸ™‚

I read a lot of non-fiction and I often want to blog about something or talk about it with someone (an unsuspecting friend!).

115 highlights! I know – I love this book πŸ™‚ and I’m an Upholder

Since I started the book club, I do the same thing with the book club reads so I can print out all my notes to discuss at the meeting.

When I read physical books, I have post-it flags all over the book but for Kindle, I highlight everything I want, and then export and print out the notes.

Kindle sends the notes to your address on the record in both PDF and Excel format -it’s really cool.

But let me show you how.

I noticed that they look slightly different when you do them on the Kindle or from your iphone/ ipad.

From the iphone

Click the little icon with the lines and My Notebook opens.

Click the icon with the square and the arrow pointing up and at the bottom of the screen, Export Notebook to Email.

I just choose None under Citation Style (because I have no idea what that even means), and then Export.

The email opens and you can send it where you want so you can print it.

I think you only get PDF and Excel if you export from Kindle. Either way, have fun and keep making your highlights.

Do you have any tips and tricks for me with your Kindle notes?

My no-spend-on-books month

I’ve done a no-spend month once before, years and years ago, when I joined Beth for her no-spend month.

That was a really great experience because it broke my Exclusive Books habit of spending hundreds of rands on books every month .

This time, I had an idea that my book-buying habit was getting a bit out of control because I was buying a title from Modern Mrs Darcy‘s list almost daily.

Even $2 – $5 Kindle deals add up… and fast.

Amazon also sends those almost-daily emails with their recommendations based on the titles you’ve viewed.

One day I looked and I had 31 unread titles on my Kindle – real books, not samples. And I’ve been reading on average 10 books a month.

I then decided this book-buying thing was getting out of hand and I decided March would be a no-spend month on books.

What did I do differently?

I unsubscribed from MMD’s list. It’s the same way I don’t ever take a catalogue or brochure from a store – if I don’t see it, I don’t want it. I will subscribe again when I feel more caught up with my current reading and I have told my book club to let me know if Small Great Things goes on sale πŸ™‚

How did I do?

I’ve been waiting for Alec Baldwin’s memoir, Nevertheless, for over 6 months so the minute that became available on Audible, I pre-ordered it with a credit I had.

I somehow forgot about my no-spend March when I went to shop for the 2017 Library project and I picked up some books. It honestly didn’t even occur to me that I was buying books because in my head I had DIGITAL books as my goal. Aside from the 4 books for the library, I bought 1 for a friend and about 5 for me (!).

So I was successful with Kindle and Audible purchases; not with physical books πŸ™‚

What now?

I’m back on the no-spend wagon. We have a mini-break coming up and I wanted some books for lazing at the pool so I bought some books on Amazon last week. Coming to an instagram feed near you πŸ™‚

I do think I’m set for at least another 3 months so let’s see if I can keep up the no-spending challenge for books for at least another 2 months.

How about you?

Have you ever declared a no-spend challenge on buying books? Or make-up? Or clothes?

Speaking of which, I haven’t bought a watch since December 2012 and I now have only 3 working watches left. I’m going to treat myself for my birthday though (4 months away) or sooner if I see something I really want.

I want to tell you 7 things about reading

Reading is one of my favourite things to do or talk about. When you couple this with my passion, time management, I especially love it when people tell me they don’t have time to read, or enough time to read, and so on.

So not true, guys. I’m not buying it πŸ™‚

You see, I think we all underestimate the amount of time we waste, and more importantly, how much time we have that we fritter away. Someone I follow, Laura Vanderkam, decided to stop scrolling the internet and read instead. She read 14 books in a month. She found 1.5 hours a day and more on the weekend, totalling 13.5 hours a week, without working or parenting less.

Why you and I are not reading more books

How I find time for reading

Another way to find time for reading – this one is probably unpopular

Then, the new thing is people tell me things like they don’t think audio books will work for them without even trying. I know audio is not for everyone.

Like how video is not for me. But I have watched a few Youtube videos, vlogs and such, tried it first and now I can give you reasons why (slow download speed/ impatience/ I like to be doing something and with video I have to actually sit there and watch, for example :))

Back to audio books.

If you have a short commute, remember all those 15 minutes add up. If you have a 15-minute commute, you can easily finish one audio book a month. That’s 600 minutes a month just to and from work.

However, there is also cooking time, cleaning time, editing photo time, scrapbooking time, walking time, gardening time.

I would love you to tell me you listened to a book and then decided it’s not for you. But please try! You can easily add 1 – 2 books to your “read list” every month in this super-simple way.

You may like this post on how I use audio to work for me. One major trick is to find a narrator you like.

Here’s where I shared my love for the Kindle at the 3-year mark. I just passed the 6-year mark two days ago!

When it’s worth it to buy a book

Bonus – free books with Overdrive

How do you prefer to read your books?

Have you tried an audio book yet?

Free digital audio and e-books with Overdrive

I get my books from 4 sources: library, buy on Kindle, buy on Audible and physical books from my shelf.

Recently though I discovered the Overdrive app.

I’d heard about this on the US blogs I follow and first thought it was an American thing.

Until I saw an Australian person comment on one such bookish post and so the wheels started turning.

I then investigated further and discovered that we also have Overdrive in South Africa.

Yay!

I’ve only been able to find one library in Johannesburg that my library card works at – the Gauteng Provincial Library Service – but one is enough…. at least for nowΒ πŸ™‚

So far I’ve borrowed 2 audio books and about 6 ebooks in the last month.

Here are my notes:

  1. You have to be a member of the library (this is easy enough – pop into your local library, fill in a form and pay what they want – usually less than R50).
  2. Overdrive is a digital library so if you want to borrow “real books”, you go into the library as usual to get those, but this way, you can borrow audio and ebooks. I’ve seen that they also have videos but I have no interest in those πŸ™‚
  3. You’re allowed to borrow 3 digital titles and put about 15 on hold. If you reserve a title (on the wait list) they will email you when it becomes available.
  4. You are allowed to keep the title for 14 days. It will automatically disappear from your account when this happens so allow enough time to read it. My first audio book was over 10 hours long and I thought I’d run out of time but I made it just in timeΒ πŸ™‚
  5. I’ve only just discovered (in checking out a few things for this blog post) that you can return titles earlier than the 14 days. It worked for 2 of my 3 titles but somehow doesn’t want to let me return the 3rd one.
  6. For audiobooks, it is a little more cumbersome to use than audible but hey, it’s for free πŸ™‚ You have to download a number of files (roughly 1 file per hour of listening time) but you can set it up to keep playing. And I delete files as I move through the book to save space on my 16 GB iphone.
  7. For ebooks, they can be read through the overdrive app on the ipad but I actually prefer reading in the ipad’s browser. You can access cool stats like how many times you’ve picked up the book, how long you’ve been reading, etc.

Are you intrigued, South Africans?

Please let me know if you use this service.

I see that there are libraries in each of the provinces so check it all out – you might save yourself some audible/ kindle costs πŸ™‚

PS there aren’t tons of books (well, that I’m interested in reading) but I have placed holds on everything that does interest me so I can at leastΒ read all of those.

Organising Queen’s best books of 2016

2016’s not over yet but unless something radically changes, these were my top books:

5*

Stories I only tell my friends – Rob Lowe

I listened to the audible version of this book and I recommend you get that version because he narrates his own book and does all the different impersonations too. Even just for that alone, it’s a great listen. But he’s actually a really good writer too, and I thoroughly enjoyed all the listening time.

Smart Money Smart Kids: Raising the Next Generation to Win with Money – Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze

I wrote a bit about the book here but I can say this – if you have a child and you want said child to have a good relationship with money, just get the book. You won’t be sorry. Matter of fact, I think many adults need to hear/ listen to many of these truths.

I listened to the book on audible, but it would be just as easy to read a paper or Kindle copy.

4*

When Breath Becomes Air – Paul Kalanithi

This book won Goodreads’ 2016 choice award in the memoir/ autobiography category with good reason.

It is a beautifully written account of a journey through a lung cancer diagnosis and ultimately death, and I enjoyed listening to it. For Cup of Jo fans, the author was her twin sister’s late husband.

I think everyone should read or listen to this book. Treat yourself πŸ™‚

And then some fiction

I really enjoyed these ones by authors you may not know (I didn’t know most of them) but give them a chance. You can always download the Kindle sample and see if you like the writing first.

The Marriage Mender – Linda Green

While my eyes were closed – Linda Green (this one is only $2 on Kindle)

Tomorrow there will be apricots – Jessica Soffer

The week I ruined my life – Caroline Grace-Kennedy (unputdownable)

Big Little Lies – Liane Moriarty. I’m starting a bookclub in Johannesburg next year – first meeting end of January – and this is our first book.

For those who are budget-conscious (like I am!), I get my books 3 ways:

  1. Audible membership which I put on pause for three months a year to catch up.
  2. Kindle (but my rule still applies – it has to be under $10. I do put books on my wish list and Amazon lets me know when they go on sale)
  3. Library – a little-known fact for South Africans…. take a list of all the titles you want to read to your nearest library and ask the librarian to check if they are in circulation. You then reserve them and pay only R12 (for my municipality) when they arrive. I’d got lazy to take a list of books but I did so this weekend and reserved two. The minute the current lenders return them, they’re flagged on the system and will be dispatched to my local branch.

What were your favourite reads in 2016?

Share in the comments!

PS I posted the Rob Lowe book on Instagram and I’m so grateful to a commenter for telling me to get Andre Agassi’s one too. I’d had it on my wish list forever but wasn’t sure. Her recommendation pushed me over the edge πŸ™‚ So please please do feel free to tell me your favourites.

What’s making me happier? Organising my Kindle

I was sorting out my Kindle the other day and realised this might make me a bit weird but it’s a weirdness that makes me very happy.

I have folders to organise my downloaded Kindle books.

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I have the obvious ones like Books read, and then the unread books go into either Fiction or Non-Fiction so depending what I’m in the mood for, I go directly to that section to find a book.

I also have a folder for Children’s books.

I leave sample books out of folders so that they’ll “bother” me and I’ll read them quickly πŸ™‚

It makes me super happy when I finish a book and I can happily file it away in its folder.

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If only Audible let me create folders, I’d have a very happy time organising my audio books too πŸ™‚

And now, I wish you 30 very happy minutes organising your Kindle. Take a screenshot and tag me @OrganisingQueen so I can come do the happy dance with you.

Do you have a Kindle?

Do you use folders? What are some of your folders called?

10 favourite fiction authors

It’s no secret that I love reading and it’s even less of a secret that I adore Irish fiction.

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I sometimes get emails asking about my favourite authors so I thought I’d put it here on the blog for everyone to see.

  1. Maeve Binchy * – try Quentins or Tara Road
  2. Joanna Trollope – try Brother and Sister, or Daughters-in-Law
  3. Dorothy Koomson – any of them are good. Start at the beginning or with Marshmallows for Breakfast
  4. Sinead Moriarty * – In my sister’s shoes was my second, and favourite.
  5. Liane Moriarty (these two are not related!) – What Alice Forgot is her famous book; I loved The Husband’s Secret
  6. Marian Keyes * – of the latest books, I loved The Mystery of Mercy Close
  7. Sheila O’Flanagan * – read Yours Faithfully or Someone Special
  8. Patricia Scanlan * – Love and Marriage, and seeing as we’re coming up to Christmas, Coming Home for Christmas
  9. Cathy Kelly * – I liked The Honey Queen and Best of Friends
  10. Emily Giffin – Heart of the matter is my favourite, and then Something Borrowed

*All Irish authors πŸ™‚

For more favourite authors, check out my Goodreads account.

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Have you read my 3 own books yet?

  1. Live Organised
  2. 31 days of easy organising solutions
  3. 31 days of enough time

If not, I’d like to invite you to check them out.

On an interesting note, I can’t read crime novels any more since having kids. I tried… and realised I really don’t enjoy them anymore. Isn’t that strange? I was the biggest fan of all the famous crime novelists before (just check my Goodreads!)

So tell me two things: who are some of your favourite fiction authors? And is there any genre you used to read that you no longer do, for whatever reason?

PS If you’re on Goodreads, make friends with me and tell me you read the blog πŸ™‚

5 favourite non-fiction reads over the last year

I had a question recently about which non-fiction books I recommend.

I really had no way to answer that because I didn’t know anything about the person.

In case you feel like dipping into a new non-fiction book this weekend, here are my 5 absolute favourites over the last year.

In case you feel like dipping into a new non-fiction book this weekend, here are my 5 absolute favourites over the last year.

I just realised I’ve listened to all of these on Audible, which is definitely my non-fiction carrier of choice. if you’re not a member yet, try it out and get two free books.

1. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

I really, really loved this book and like I said in my Goodreads review, I think people who hated the book or the author didn’t actually read the book!

I did listen to it on Audible though and I always feel that the author’s voice comes across with their intention a lot more.

If you haven’t read it yet, get the Audible version of this memoir – she is so funny and has really good comedic timing too.

2. Overwhelmed

I said in this review that it’s the time management book I wish I’d written. It’s smart, insightful and really interesting.

I wrote one post about time confetti but I want to re-listen to my bookmarks and write some more posts about this wonderful book.

For those who like to talk about how there’s not enough time, but also who are interested in how different people make things work.

3. Smart Money, Smart Kids

I wrote a ton about this book in this post. If you have kids still living at home, the clever thing to do is to read it.

4. Better than Before

I’m like a Gretchen Rubin evangelist. If I know you even a little bit, chances are I’ve told you to go take her quiz to find out your tendency, and then I’ve told you to subscribe to the Happier podcast. Yes?

This one is going to get another listen from me; it’s just that good!

I’ve written 7 posts about this book here…

5. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

You all know I love this book – I wrote a ton of posts (20!) about the concepts in here that you can access here, or by clicking the picture on the right sidebar —->>

She has a new book out called Spark Joy but I can’t talk to that one yet as I haven’t read it.

Have you read any of these books? Did you love them?

What was your favourite non-fiction book over the last year?

PS there’s always my Goodreads to check some of my other favourites.

PPSΒ  Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks

How I organise my library books

This is a really simple system that works very well for me with regard to my library books… and best of all, it keeps my bedside table uncluttered.

Here’s my thought process for deciding which ones to get from the library and which to buy.

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First, let me introduce you to my library bag. I bought this bag in Melbourne, Australia for $5 when we visited in 2004. By the way, my favourite type of souvenir to buy when we travel are “real things” that I will actually use back in my real life when I’m home.

So, this bag is denim on the outside with a little pocket for our library cards (mine and the kids’ cards) and best, it has a lovely pink floral print on the inside. It feels special because that’s a nice, little surprise.

It has leather handles so it’s hard-wearing and is the perfect size for four fat library books. I’m on a membership that is free but you can only take out 4 books every 3 weeks. I love organising boundaries so this suits me beautifully.

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Anyway, when I get home from the library, I empty the bag and pack the books on this magazine rack. From this photo, it seems I’d already taken one book to my bedside table. The books on the other side of the rack were books I bought at a library book sale for R10 each.

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As I complete reading a book, my process is to mark it complete on Goodreads (link on top of sidebar —> ) and return it to the denim bag.

When it’s library week, I just grab the bag and the one I’m usually still reading on my bedside table, and go!

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Do you have a system for the library? Care to share?

Using your social media time for your hobbies

Early last month when everyone was posting about goals and words of the year, and new year stuff, I saw this pic linked by, I think Becky Higgins of Project Life fame.

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I went to have a read further and I tell you I was shocked and inspired and rapped over the knuckles in all the good ways.

Do you see those 12 albums?

This lady did all of those albums in one year.

Amazing, right?

What’s even more amazing is that she used those bits of time every day when she used to take out her phone and scroll through Facebook and Instagram, to get her scrapbooking done.

I’m amazed and inspired.

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that’s a book in my “gorgeous brown leather handbag”

Then there’s Modern Mrs Darcy who I’ve linked to many times on this blog.

She reads a lot.

I mean, I read a lot for someone who works full-time. But she really reads a lot. Whenever internet people talk about reading, the conversation comes around to Anne Bogel πŸ™‚

I’ve head her say on her blog and on podcasts that she always has a book with her. Always.

When she’s standing in a queue, she whips out her phone and again, no Instagram or Facebook, she reads from her Kindle app.

When she walks, she’s listening to an audio book.

She uses all the bits of time to read.

No wonder she reads over a hundred books a year.

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You might think, “wow, I could never do that” or “I’m not into reading or scrapbooking”.

That’s not the point.

I guarantee you there’s something you love to do that you wish you had more time for.

I wonder how much more of whatever it is you want, you can get by reducing your social media time.

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I started carrying a book when Dion’s driving and we’re going a long way (40 mins plus) on the highway. I can’t read in stop-start traffic (suburban) but on an empty highway, I can read very easily. I’ve always taken a book when I use the Gautrain to go see clients. In fact, I read a good 80 pages of a non-fiction book one day.

Can you think of one small change you can make that will make a big difference in your life, when it’s all added up?

PS I hit 300 followers on the Organising Queen Instagram account. Yay and thanks for following πŸ™‚

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