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Readwise lite app subscription - is it worth it?

Updated: Oct 22, 2021

I am always on a lookout for tools that might help me organise my day to day and make my life a bit easier. With a toddler running the house anything that promises even 5 extra minutes of time - I am all ears! So I got extremely excited about Readwise app that helps to categorise and save the highlights from books and articles that you've read.

The idea is simply magical: an easy-to-use app saves all your highlights in one place so you can easily refer back to them when need arrives. Because let's be honest, how many reading apps, tools and physical notebooks we have lying around the house that we never ever go back to? I read a lot, but I can never remember those useful nuggets of information that I have originally found fascinating or interesting. I highlight things and then forget.

Going back to Readwise. It saves highlights from quite a few apps, such as Amazon Kindle, Pocket, Instapaper and others. It has an option to then send you emails with random highlights, as often as you request in your preferences. It also offers a seamless synchronisation with Notion app, where I personally, capture my notes, plans and ideas. After a 30 day's trial period, it offers you an option to purchase an app choosing from 2 categories, lite and full. So far so good, right? I have subscribed for Readwise app in a heartbeat, hoping to then acquire a basic or lite pricing plan.

I went ahead and synchronised it with my free Notion account, so my highlights ended up located in the same place as my other notes. The integration was pretty seamless. There are plenty of tutorials online to guide you, step by step. I enjoying referring back to my highlights when writing an article or working on my book. However, the honeymoon period ended with the end of my free trial.

Readwise app price-list, as I mentioned, consists of two options - Readwise Lite at $4.49 and Readwise at $7.99. But the thing is that basic or lite account does not offer anything apart from an ability to store and access highlights as well as receive them as an email. Reminders could be useful, but on the whole, I don't find them that valuable. Because it's the same as receiving newsletters or other emails - if you don't have a system to store them all somewhere to refer to later - they just disappear in the vast sea of other useful or not emails. The option that I cherished Readwise for was the ability to synchronise with Notion as then it's all in one place. And only premium price option allows for that.

So what that means for me - I am off roadways for now, looking for other alternatives. Because as a mum $8 for an app, however useful, it is - it's simply not sustainable or justifiable. As there are myriads of other apps that you might need. And if you buy them all... Well, you might struggle to pay your bills.

But priciness aside, I wish Readwise would offer a limited Notion integration for their basic paying customers because $4.49 a month is still a lot of money. I feel like they are missing a trick by going after more affluent customers and, in a way, penalising their basic paying users.

What are your thoughts? Have you discovered an alternative app or tool that helps you to organise highlights from books you've read and that does not cost the earth?

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