How does the Readwise to Obsidian export integration work?
To begin exporting your Readwise highlights to Obsidian, you first need to install the Readwise Official plugin from within your Obsidian Vault:
- Click Settings within Obsidian (typically in bottom left corner)
- Select Community plugins (if Safe mode is on, you'll need to turn it off to install Community plugins)
- Click Browse and search for Readwise Official (note that there are a few other Readwise plugins so be sure to choose the official version)
- Click Install
- Click Enable
- Back out of the installation screen to return to the Settings screen
- Scroll in the left sidebar until you see Readwise Official
- Finish the configuration from there
The Readwise Obsidian plugin offers numerous customization options (described in this help article), but below is an example of what the export looks like by default using our cofounder Dan's Readwise library:
Similar to the Evernote, Notion, and Roam integrations, the Readwise plugin can be set to automatically sync new highlights to Obsidian whenever they're made.
What happens when I take new highlights? Will those automatically sync with Obsidian?
Yes! You can configure the Readwise Obsidian plugin to automatically sync any new highlights that come into Readwise. If the highlight is from a new book, article, or Twitter account, a new page in the Obsidian vault will be made. If the highlight is from an existing book, article, or Twitter account, the highlight will be appended to the bottom of the existing page. Because the Readwise plugin is append-only, nothing in Obsidian will ever be overwritten.
Note: Certain services such as Amazon Kindle, Instapaper, and Pocket only synchronize with Readwise a few times a day. For this reason, the highlight may not immediately appear in either Readwise or Obsidian. If you need to sync sooner, you should first force a manual resync in Readwise (from the Add Highlights section of the Readwise Dashboard) and then initiate a sync in Obsidian from either the plugin menu or the command panel.
How do I trigger a new sync from within Obsidian?
By default, the Readwise plugin will be set to automatically sync when you open the Obsidian app and to manually sync otherwise. If syncing is set to manual, you can trigger a new sync by either visiting the plugin page and clicking "Initiate Sync" or using the command panel and selecting "Readwise Official: Sync your data now". Alternatively, you can set the plugin to automatically check Readwise for new highlights every 1, 12, or 24 hours.
What happens when I update highlights in Readwise? Will those changes automatically sync with Obsidian? (Or vice versa?)
At the moment, no. Because Obsidian uses a page is its atomic unit, it would be quite technically challenging to programmatically search through an existing page for the right highlight and update that text without accidentally overwriting edits by the user.
Can I rename the file of a book, article, or Twitter page in Obsidian?
Can I move either the Readwise folder or individual pages to another location in my Obsidian vault?
Similar to the answer above, if you move a file that was generated by the Readwise plugin, the plugin will create a new file in the original location if you took new highlights. This means it's fine to move files for books and articles where you do not expect to take any more highlights, but if you're continuing to take highlights in a given title, you will end up with two files.
Can I edit the text of a book, article, or Twitter page in Obsidian?
How do I reset the export of my whole library or an individual document to start fresh?
Obsidian makes it rather easy to reset the Readwise export: simply delete either an individual page that you want to refresh or the whole folder and then initiate a fresh Readwise sync. Note: You'll need to have "Resync deleted files" checked ON within the Readwise Official plugin page in Obsidian.
Can I customize the default how my notes are formatted in Obsidian?
Absolutely! See How can I customize the Readwise to Obsidian Export? for how to customize the note's YAML front matter, title, metadata, headers, and sync notifications.
Where does the Location link after each Kindle highlight take me?
Can I change the default directory to which Readwise exports my highlights?
Absolutely. You can do this from the "Customize base folder" setting within the Readwise Official plugin page.
Can I use a flat folder structure instead of grouping files into Books, Articles, and Tweets?
Absolutely. You can toggle this setting from the Obsidian Export page on Readwise.