The Kindle was a popular Christmas present again this year for anyone not yet already converted to the joys of the Amazon e-reader. Between the 28 December and 3 January YouGov asked over 2,000 UK residents what they had received for Christmas, with the resulting stats concluding that approximately 1 in 40 people got an e-reader either as a gift or as a present for themselves. Amazon are reticent at publishing their sales figures themselves however YouGov suggest that of the approximate 1.33 million eReaders bought for Christmas 2011, 92 per cent of them were the Amazon Kindle (see YouGov website here for full article).
I have been a proud Kindle owner myself for the last 3 months and have enjoyed its versatility for use in terms of both business and pleasure. This post will focus specifically on the business case for investing in a Kindle and why I find the Kindle particularly effective for business usage and reading.
Highlight and Annotate
The Kindle allows you to create highlights, bookmarks and notes on documents, books and text as you are reading. I have the Kindle 3 which has the in-built keyboard and so it is simple to add comments. You can then easily revisit key sections and notes.
Send documents, reports and PDFs to Kindle
You can send Microsoft Word documents and PDF files to your Kindle to read and digest away from your desk. Be sure to send to the free Kindle service using “username”@free.kindle.com, rather than your standard Kindle email address though, otherwise delivery charges will apply. You will need to add email addresses to your Kindle´s approved email list for the files to be delivered successfully. Do this from the “Manage Your Kindle” section of the Amazon website. The free service works when you have Wi-Fi access. Alternately, you could connect your Kindle to your computer using the USB cable and manually transfer the files.
The Kindle displays most PDF documents without losing the formatting of the original file and you can magnify PDFs by viewing them in landscape mode.
Make Folders to Group Collections
You can add folders to enable you to group information together. I like to keep business information separate from my personal reading and the Kindle allows you to create as many folders as you wish, titled appropriately, just “Create New Collection.”
Read Blogs with Kindle
One of the most exciting and helpful tools for me is being able to read blogs on my Kindle via Instapaper. If I come across an interesting article or blog I can simply hit the Instapaper “Read Later” button from my internet bookmarks bar and this is delivered to my Kindle. After setting up your free Instapaper account you must tell Amazon to allow Instapaper’s deliveries by adding the email address. You can specify daily or weekly deliveries to read at your convenience.
Links with Social Media
You can link your Kindle to your Twitter and Facebook accounts to share passages or details of books you have read on your Kindle. If you so wish you could link to your business social media accounts to share interesting content directly from your Kindle.
I have also just found out about getAbstract.com which I am interested in exploring further. They create five-page summaries of all of the top business titles, explaining the main points of the book. You pay a subscription and then in return summaries for your areas of interest are emailed to you in a format compatible with Kindle.
I find the e-ink format a lot easier on my eyes after a long day in front of my computer screen and being able to read my Kindle anywhere is a big bonus.
I have quickly come to rely on my Kindle for both business and pleasure. Which Kindle features do you find most useful?