Apps | Personal Knowledge Management

Three Highlighting Apps, Three Different Paths

Are you a learner, creator, or collaborator?

Derek Reinhard
ILLUMINATION
Published in
8 min readApr 8, 2023

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Hand holding a pen on a blank lined page with highlighters and eraser on a printed page nearby
Photo by Benoît Deschasaux on Unsplash

Recently, I became frustrated while developing a pipeline of articles to write. My highlights and notes are all over the place. I needed to find an app (or a set of apps) capable of putting my digital highlighting in order.

In physical books, I use color coding from the Distill step of CODE (Capture, Organize, Distill, Express) in Tiago Forte’s “Building a Second Brain” (BASB). Green is good info, red is “hot” info, and yellow is pure gold. After which, I can summarize what I learn on the inside cover. Additionally, I can type it into my Personal Knowledge Management system (which was Evernote but I am moving to Capacities.io).

Digital highlighting

Online and digital highlighting is easier than ever. Reading apps often have a built-in function, while some apps can receive highlights we make in a browser, a pdf, and even Kindle and other ebooks.

But what about reviewing all this? Can we collect all the disparate markups in one place?

Does the ease of highlighting make us overuse that feature? Do we suffer a markup glut because of our info glut? How many of us…

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Derek Reinhard
ILLUMINATION

Writes quirky life, productivity, and relationship stuff (uses the Oxford comma). Author of 3 books on GTD and a couple coloring books.