Kindle Folders Workaround

First we’ll review a Kindle Folders workaround using tagging (video included). 

Kindle Folder Workaround using Tagging

The official kindle forum has a folders workaround where you tag books to categorize them. Its actually a really elegant workaround. Credit to Laura and Bufo Calvin and the other 298 people claiming credit for it. Here’s the crux –

Kudos to Kindle Community member Bufo Calvin for this tip! With the ability to add notes to your Kindle 2 content and search for specific words or phrases on your Kindle 2’s Home screen, you can categorize content by genre or other personalized terms.
Open up one of your books, select Add a Note or Highlight, and enter in a word (or words) you’d like to categorize by – genres such as history, fantasy, biography, etc. Try putting your initials or a common letter such as “x” before the word, “cshistory” or “xfantasy” for example. Save the note you chose to enter.
Now go back to your Home screen and type in the word you just used for your note. Once you’ve typed it, move your 5-way controller to the right and click on “Search My Items.” You’ll see the book you just added the note to appear. If you’ve added that note in multiple books, each one will appear in your search results.

Here are 2 videos showing how to do it –

  1.  The Introduction and Naomi Novik Folder Tag – [wpvideo l6RdVTSF]
  2.  Another example to classify free books using tags – [wpvideo Kp2ck7gV]


  1. The video only shows 1 tag per book. You can add multiple tags and thus view books by author, genre, and any other classification that you would like. 
  2. It takes a minute or so until your Kindle has indexed the note and searching works.
  3. Ideally add a note on the first page or the table of contents page.
  4. If you’ve entered in your tag, you can just press enter to search. You don’t need to navigate over to the ‘search my items’ button. Also just start typing your tag like ‘xfree’ on the home page and the search bar will start off.

Is there a full Kindle Folder solution possible?

Amazon refuses to add in a Folders feature to Kindles. Its amusing to see a kindle dx review in June 2009 complaining about lack of folders and then go back and look at a kindle review in Nov 2007 that is complaining about the exact same thing.

Amazon have added in something strange called ‘Sort and Show options’ which are nothing like what Folders need to be given that now we have 3.3 GB storage Kindle DXes.

You can carry 3300 books (and you have to have them all in one giant list 😉 )

This brings us to whether there is a full solution to the Folders problem?

Here are some potential approaches –

  1. Demonstrate for a solution: An online event to bring attention to the problem. If all Kindle owners decide that on July 11th they will do a webcast talking about the lack of organization and folders in kindles and how it impedes their enjoyment of the kindle, that might make Amazon take notice.  
  2. Plead with Amazon: Someone sets up one of those signed letter set-ups and has kindle owners email Mr. Bezos – ‘Tell the Publisher Amazon you’d like the Kindle Edition of this book’  a workable organization system for this device’.
  3. Use HTML files: Use the fact that Kindle browser can load html files from the Kindle (tip courtesy Tomster) –

    Read HTML files on Kindle 2
    1. tether to your computer
    2. using Explorer/Finder, create a new folder at top level, e.g. ‘html’
    3. copy your HTML files to the new folder
    4. untether
    5. launch Kindle browser (‘Experimental’ from Home menu)
    6. ‘yes’ if it asks to turn on wireless (or it won’t launch)
    7. ‘Enter URL’ from browser menu (or navigate to URL entry field)
    8. type ‘file:///mnt/us/html/myhtml.html’
    9. HTML file loads
    10. Bookmark it so you don’t have to type it again..

  4. Use the fact that html files can be opened in the documents folder (again courtesy Tomster) – rename .html to .txt and drop it into Documents folder.
  5. An on-board hack?

    This would have to be able to work with the firmware updates. Perhaps something that has a one-button invisible mode that you an turn on, get your upgrade from amazon, and then turn off the invisible mode.

  6. A book that you can edit online or on your computer and organizes your other books into folders (pages/chapters) within this book.
  7. A site that uses the kindle’s browser to update a book or the file system in your Kindle and update books. Perhaps it even feeds into your Amazon account and automatically adds new purchases to folders based on type of book.  
  8. Amazon uses the organization system that it has for navigating through the Kindle Store (which is pretty decent) and gives us a browser based folders system. Why can’t Amazon just use that code to create a browser based folders system – they can make that the first link on the home page.
  9. Someone writes a book that uses the Table of Contents ‘jump to a chapter’ feature and modifies it to be ‘jump to a book’. Feedbooks links to urls from within a book. How difficult could it be to link to a book on the kindle?

These are all ideas listed weeks ago. Held back from working on them because the Kindle DX might have had Folders. Its obvious from Kindle DX reviews that DX doesn’t have folders.

So will start trying out some of the approaches that have been discussed and see if there’s something doable. The biggest challenge is that you have to make something that works, and also doesn’t prevent kindle firmware updates.

Also, if anyone can figure out a working solution, do let me know.

0 thoughts on “Kindle Folders Workaround”

  1. Has Amazon ever given a reason why they refuse to put folders on the Kindle? Do they know something about it that we’re missing? It seems like poor marketing to refuse to provide what the market so clearly wants!

    1. well, they haven’t and that’s part of th eproblem. if they would clearly indicate when folders support would be added, that’d at least give people a date to work for.

  2. Does tagging work with PDF files? I have seen somewhere that PDFs do not allow notes in the DX. Are tags and notes the same thing?

    1. will have to check if there’s some way to add a tag.

      yes – tags and notes are basically the same thing.
      what you could do is name the pdfs with the tag in them – that might work.

      so rename PublishedJournal.pdf to PublishedJournal_xresearch.pdf and see if that bring sit up when searching for your xresearch tagged items.

      don’t have my dx with me at the moment so can’t check for you. try asking at the official amazon kindle forum.

  3. Brilliant! Thank you for posting this! I can’t for the life of me figure out why Amazon won’t do this VERY SIMPLE THING for their customers (who are shelling out 300+bucks!), nor how they think you’ll sort through your 1000 books without a folder tree…..but this is an excellent interim solution! Going to Tag up my Kindle books RIGHT NOW!

  4. I’m failing to get this to work — both the text trick and the experimental web browser result in “file cannot be opened.” Has anyone else had this problem? Alternately, can anyone confirm this works on the Kindle DX? I’m terribly disappointed in the Kindle; the lack of any PDF management abilities has made this a terrible waste of my grant money.

    1. correction: the experimental web browser approach *does* work, however, linking to PDF files results in an error message: “these types of files are not supported in the browser”

  5. Thanks, switch11 – I was trying the html approach.

    HTML files renamed .txt in the documents folder could not be read.

    HTML files were readable using the experimental browser via the address listed above; however, links to PDFs gave error messages ~ “cannot download this file format”.

    I haven’t tried tags. for the meantime, i’m renaming everything with a prefix (“foldername – filename” instead of “foldername/filename”) to see if this can at least get the sorting order alright.

    thanks for your help!

  6. I’ve used a product call Calibre. It works great as an organizer. I use the Author field in the the ebook as my “catalog” field, e.g. Fiction, Non-Fiction, Reference.

    It’s still not the best solution but it works for me. I sure wish Amazon would work on a good tag system.

  7. I would suggest that your Kindle e reader not lose sight of what its main function is, which is to be an e-book reader. Improvements that I would like to see is folders, better contrast, and better reading in sunlight. I don’t feel the necessity to have PDF files on it or a color screen. A touch screen pad would be great. I don’t feel that the Kindle should play music, video, etc. Improve the Kindle e reader keeping in mind it’s original purpose which is to read digital books! Thank you.

  8. I believe you can store MS Word documents on the Kindle Fire. Can I read a Word document on my Kindle Fire? If not, can I save a Word document in format that Kindle will display?

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