Integration: Readwise

I’m not married to Readwise, but it is an excellent example. I would like to see an integration with something like Readwise that allows me to collect all of my highlighting and marginellia in one place and automatically have that show up in Agenda.

Here is the link to their API, if it helps: Readwise API

Not sure if this helps, but we do have pretty good Shortcut support now. It may be possible to setup something that appends things you get from Readwise to a note in Agenda. You could probably ask more in the Shortcut discussions Shortcuts - Agenda Community

I am married to Readwise, and it’s one of the most essential tools in my tool belt. It’s how I read everything, always, and it’s how I can actively store the best parts of what I read.

  • I can easily highlight anything on any website, and it’s easily saved into my Readwise account.
  • I can use their Reader tool like a next-generation Instapaper or Pocket, and I’m able to highlight the good stuff and take notes while I’m going through everything. Here I can read articles from the web, PDFs, RSS feeds, or ePubs, or have any of these things read to me by a pretty solid text-to-speech implantation.
  • I can highlight books on a hardware Kindle, or using any of the Kindle apps, and these highlights and notes will be automatically saved.
  • I can highlight podcast transcripts in Snipd, so insights can actually live for more than just a few moments before they’re forgotten

And all of this stuff can be automatically imported into a lot of really solid note-taking apps, like Obsidian and Reflect, and a bunch of other apps like this.

But does it work with Agenda? Nope. Not yet, and maybe not ever. There’s not enough demand, apparently.

But surely there are more than two Agenda users who’d love to see built-in support for Readwise, right?


There are so many services that we could integrate with. We just don’t have the resources to integrate them all. A lot of integrations are also web based, and Agenda is not web based.

Our preference is to provide generic integration. You can already embed links to your content, and you can embed and edit documents. This integration works with any standard app.

Something we would like to add is web clips and previews. That would help with a lot of the services we don’t yet support well.

Note also that Agenda is a good citizen when it comes to sharing extensions etc. If a Readwise sharing extension exists, it should be possible to select text in Agenda, and share it straight to Readwise. If you are really committed, you can even setup Shortcuts for more complex workflows.

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I’m going to make a shortcut to fetch Readwise content. I have some ideas already, anyone willing to help is welcome

Interesting! How do you see such an integration being useful?

Readwise API is very customizable and you can get any information from your highlights and sources. Hashtags can work flawlessly with Agenda, so you automatically add categories to your content. With the new search update, you can look for the stuff easily

I partially managed to do it, but there are two issues with the first run (first run will fetch all highlights and create notes for them).
Issues are:

  • It is not appending highlights in a single note, it creates multiple notes for the same source. It might be an issue with the actions chosen to do that and position of repeat with each.
  • App stops working. Probably because it is a way too big request, could be eventually solved if we could get a limited number of sources per request (we can loop the shortcut). Readwise API probably has an option to do that, but I didn’t find it.

Here is the shortcut:

  • You should edit it and paste you Readwise API key in the corresponding text box.

The second shortcut will be more complex, but more easily executed, because there won’t be very big requests. It is going to use a parameter called updatedAfter in order to look for what has been changed (new highlights for previous sources, or new sources). The steps are:

  • Look if the note title exists.
  • If it exists, it is going to create a table with every paragraph and count items that begin with the :crayon: emoji and the number of highlights obtained with the json dictionary. If the amount of highlights fetched is greater then what is currently in the note, it should append that new highlights to the note (this is done in order to not destroy user edits to the note)
  • If the number of highlights fetched are lower than the ones inside the note, it will format the highlights exactly like it is done for the note, match text and replace the ones that don’t match with nothing (this erases the removed highlight).

Currently I’m facing issues with the first shortcut, so if anyone has ideas, we might be able to make it.
Maybe @mekentosj or @drewmccormack can give a hand here, we might have a “plugin” for Readwise in Agenda using Siri Shortcuts :smiley:

Thanks for your thoughts. My question was really, what do you see as the benefit of bringing Readwise content into Agenda?

I find I can easily tag, search and find sources and highlights in Reader. I copy across relevant stuff from Reader to Agenda when I need it, eg drafting an article, but I don’t see a need to automate that.

Are you aiming to use Agenda as a second brain with content from Reader?

Yep, as a second brain. I use agenda for everything and I had the Readwise plugin in obsidian, so I got used to it.
Agenda is the core where information is stored, let me give you examples:

  • I use Marginnote 3 to capture content from pdf books. I prefer marginnote, because I am a big fan of the mind mapping capabilities.
  • What is important gets captured to agenda, by using a URLscheme that automatically send the boxes selected to a specific note, with a corresponding link to it and citations.
  • If I read books in apple iBooks or kindle, I still want them to automatically go to agenda, as well as medical news on medscape, for example.
  • With a Readwise shortcut, I can have everything safely stored in agenda and if I want to look for specific information, I can just click the agenda hashtag, that is shared among all apps.

Thanks for explanation, interesting. I tried using Obsidian to do something similar, but found it overwhelming, and ultimately realised I didn’t really need to create a Zettlekasten. Tagging in Reader and Readwise is sufficient for my needs at the moment. (Though I do look forward to closer integration between those two services).

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I left obsidian because zettelkasten wasn’t my thing either. I just want to integrate readwise to agenda because I prefer to keep everything in one app. Currently not using reader because of the rss limitations, but it seems like they are working on this feature

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