Syncing LibraryThing with other Services (like Notion)

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Syncing LibraryThing with other Services (like Notion)

maaliskuu 24, 2:21 pm

I recently reached out to the LibraryThing development team about the possibility of integrating LibraryThing with Notion (, a popular 'second brain' platform for storing thoughts, highlights, and plans. How useful would it be to be able to sync your LibraryThing library with Notion to create a more comprehensive and organized system for your book collection?

Notion already integrates with a lot of web tools, so there is precedent here. (

With the integration, LibraryThing users would be able to use Notion to attach notes and summaries to their database entries for each book, store their book collection in a cloud-based platform, and track and manage book lending more easily.

I think the LibraryThing development team would consider building a sync feature like this if there's broader appetite for it. Does anyone else think this integration would be helpful and be interested in supporting it?

maaliskuu 24, 2:25 pm

No, I don't have any interest in this.

maaliskuu 24, 2:33 pm

>1 hyllis: attach notes and summaries to their database entries for each book
Um, this is what the comments and private comments fields are for.

store their book collection in a cloud-based platform and track and manage book lending more easily.
This is basically what Librarything does.
Why would they need to sync with another service to do ... what they already do?

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 24, 2:56 pm

Fair enough. I'm not sure I was clear enough in my first post.

Here's the real value I see: a platform like Notion is useful because with integrations like this, you could potentially bring together your highlights and notes from your books, Kindle, and web clippings. So, it does a great job of centralizing everything if you're aiming to, again, build a "second brain" for all your annotations rather than just your notes on books.

Here's some more reading on building a Second Brain. I think it's really intriguing, and makes all your notes much easier to surface and connect with one another.

maaliskuu 24, 2:54 pm

Why would I need a second place to store information I already have in LT? Except that there it won't be connected to the community data. I may be missing the point but... isn't that just a subset of what you get on LT if you stay on LT. Why would you want to go elsewhere or why would LT want to help people go elsewhere?

maaliskuu 24, 3:32 pm

>3 gilroy: >5 AnnieMod: I'm not familiar with Notion, but I use Obsidian, and believe they are similar enough to say the point is not in replicating data from LT, but importing the part that is relevant there as well, but your further notes, mindmaps, etc there are far beyond the scope of LT. It's not something for comments, it's a knowledge management system not restricted to books.

While I'd love to be able to import my data for select books into Obsidian, thus avoiding to manually enter what I have elsewhere, I must say my hopes lie in community plug-ins, not really LT. Aren't Notion devs in a better position to develop this or am I missing something?

maaliskuu 24, 3:37 pm

>6 SandraArdnas: Andra, precisely! Thank you for putting it so clearly. I think Notion would need to somehow have access to the updating library database of a given user, and I believe LT dev would need to be involved to authorize that.

maaliskuu 24, 3:41 pm

Tämä käyttäjä on poistettu roskaamisen vuoksi.

maaliskuu 24, 3:59 pm

>7 hyllis: Ah, I forgot you mentioned syncing, not just importing. I'd be happy with just import, which basically requires a way to suitably parse one of LT export formats into the other software structure. I had some attempts with csv, but it requires so much work to populate Obsidian as desired that I gave up until some better tool comes up.

maaliskuu 24, 4:01 pm

>6 SandraArdnas: >7 hyllis: No, I'm still failing to see the benefit.
I mean if someone at Notion wanted to develop a plug in using the Librarything API (when it becomes reactivated) that's fine.

But I don't see the need. Maybe because I don't do mind maps and that's about the only thing listed that can't be done here on Librarything. Personal threads can be used to maintain lists of links to articles as well as being able to catalog them. Plus those threads can maintain comments regarding books. Gather your knowledge if you so chose. The catalog itself holds the books details....

maaliskuu 24, 4:01 pm

>9 SandraArdnas: But then you'd need to re-import each time you add a book to your library, no? Basically, I'd want there to be real-time visibility across both platforms.

maaliskuu 24, 4:03 pm

>10 gilroy: You seem to be a long-time user and have insight into the LT API. Is that something that existed and then went away?

maaliskuu 24, 4:24 pm

>1 hyllis: Would you mind adding some disclosure about any ties you might have to Notion? You’ve been a member on LT for a brief time, have a very private profile, and this seems to be your first talk post.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 24, 4:28 pm

>10 gilroy: Mindmap is one of many, many things how you can present your information/data. In Obsidian, I have quotes from books which I can pull by author, author and specific book, tag or any other criteria I find useful. This isn't something you can do on LT as just one example. It's an entirely different type of software, with entirely different aim. Plug-ins are common to make workflow easier and less time-consuming. Just as LT uses sources to facilitate cataloguing, knowledge management systems benefit from having their own 'sources', which is other software you use to gather your info/data.

>11 hyllis: Yes, but I don't want my entire catalogue imported anyway, just the books I want to expand on beyond data I have on LT. API existed and is on hold until further notice IIRC. Try searching the forum for thread that details it.

maaliskuu 24, 4:39 pm

>12 hyllis: currently closed due to the revamp to LT2.0
I believe they said it will be reactivated once that project is done. So in about 3 years

maaliskuu 24, 4:48 pm

>13 2wonderY: I don't have any ties to Notion, apart from the fact that I use it as a "knowledge management" tool much as SandraArdnas seems to be using Obsidian.

I recently discovered LibraryThing, and am thrilled that it exists. I'm loving it for managing/engaging with my library of books. But I want to somehow integrate it into my larger system of note taking.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 24, 4:50 pm

>14 SandraArdnas: Precisely!

>15 gilroy: Thank you.

maaliskuu 25, 12:46 am

Why not just put your notes right in Notion if that's what you like to use? Why would I want to integrate LT data with web clippings (if I even understand what those are)? Why not just ask Notion devs to scrape the LT data? Count me among the people confused by the concept. It sounds like you want to integrate both cars and boats, which are both good, but really different? why?

maaliskuu 25, 5:43 am

>18 reconditereader: If one of the things in your PKM is books/reading, then importing the book data you already have on LT means you don't have to manually enter it and can go on to doing the actual notes that much quicker. I'm on my part confused why would scraping generic LT data about a book be preferable to getting the exact data you have? Do so few people here use other software in need of integrating with something else they use? It's like asking why would LT use sources when you can copy/paste info from library sites or whatever. Requests for easy communication between different apps and syncing the same app across different devices is probably among the most common. You need some of your data in more than one place. While manually entering it is always an option, it isn't very efficient. Hence, you look for ways to automate it.

E.g. My latest book entry into Obsidian is the one I'm currently reading. I entered the basic book data manually, but any quotes I mark in my e-reader can be shared to Obsidian with one tap because both the reader and Obsidian support it. If it's physical books, again you'll find OCR plug-in rather than typing it. I might find a review I want to keep record of and add that web clipping into Obsidian also with one click. If I'm doing research, I'd want a way to keep a bibliography of all relevant articles, preferably not by entering it manually. So you have another app like Zotero, which is suited to that task, and a plug in that can import select data quickly. In the end, you have a web of information of all kinds and your personal notes about the book inside your PKM. Getting my LT data as easily into it as I can from a number of other sources would make my workflow smoother and quicker. It is the backbone of a book entry, but only a backbone.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 25, 8:33 am

For those who want to understand what Building a Second Brain means: it is a productivity method started by Tiago Forte. SandraArdnas in message 19 explains what it is about: being able to save highlights or other selected data to your Evernote/Onenote/Obsidian/Notion/......

For what it is worth, Ali Adbaal uses Readwise to collect highlights and quotes from a book. Perhaps that service would be of use in the use case of the OP?

maaliskuu 25, 12:47 pm

Have no idea what a PKM is but you have fun with yours.

maaliskuu 25, 3:58 pm

>21 reconditereader: We do live in the information age, google is your friend, at least in finding what you don't know. Asking a question why not this and that, but then responding as if you have no idea why it should be of interest to you is the pinnacle of absurdity. Why ask and bother with the topic at all is a much better question.