Friday, June 3, 2011

Kindle Tip: Use of Tagging to improve bookmarking!

Until sometime in Spring 2010, Kindles didn't have the option of collections, so people with large ebook libraries struggled to manage their book content - wanting to sort by genre, or their favorites or separate the books they'd read from the books they wanted to read again or hadn't read yet was difficult.

We had a system of tagging whereby, at the start of a book, you could write a note within the book (just start typing and save; it appears like a footnote). The tag could be anything but we added a letter to the front to make it a 'nonsense' word that wasn't in any other books. I used the letter k/ so my tags were things like k/fave, k/classic, k/scifi.  You get the idea.

Along came collections and tagging went out the window. Or did it?

I was at a meeting the other day, when someone told me he didn't enjoy his Kindle that much as it was too limiting. *Gasp* Whatever did he mean? He explained that he reads a lot of reference books for his work, and with real books he has a highlighting/ sticky note system. Red means go back and read. Orange, green, blue etc mean something else. This was something that the Kindle's bookmarking and highlighting cannot do, so it means either changing is tried-and-true method of referencing, or giving up on Kindle.

Hmmm. I was stumped for a moment, and felt sorry that someone didn't get to enjoy the Kindle as much as millions of others do!  It wasn't until my drive home that it hit me. Tagging. I tested it out, and sure enough, it worked as I'd imagined. He could use the nonsense word system to still tag his red, orange, green and blue - but instead of using real colors, he'd type a note: kred, korange, kblue, kgreen.

At a later date, he could find these tags again, from a simple search:
 - within the whole library, Home > Search
 - within a book, click the book, Menu > Search this book. (Or from home, scroll to the book, right click, search)

Each brings up an index of where that tag is located (in the whole library search, it will also name the book and tell you how many times it appears). Scroll to what you want, click - and go straight to the reference.
And on top of that (there's more??) - if you have Kindle apps on other devices such as PC, iPad, Android phone etc, you can access those books and the tagging from there too.

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