How to Set Up and Use Your New Kindle Scribe

Amazon’s Kindle Scribe is taking the popular e-book reader in a new direction.

Along with sporting the largest ever e-ink screen on a Kindle, you can now use a stylus to jot down ideas and even add notes to books while reading.

We’ll show you how to set up and use your new Kindle Scribe.

A Quick Look at the Kindle Scribe Button and Port

Unlike other tablets like the iPad, there isn’t a wealth of buttons and ports on the Kindle Scribe.

On the left side, you’ll find a power button in the center of the device. Press that to put the device to sleep or wake it up. To save even more battery, press the power button for 9 seconds until a power dialog appears. Then you’ll need to tap Screen Off.

Below that is a USB-C charging port. Unlike other Kindles, like the Paperwhite Signature, there is no wireless charging capability.

But you shouldn’t have to worry much about charging, the Kindle Scribe can last for weeks of use on a single charge.

First-Time Kindle Scribe Set Up

After unboxing your Kindle Scribe, you’ll need to set it up. The process takes just a few minutes.

You can complete the process directly on the Kindle Scribe or even use the Amazon Kindle app for iOS or Android.

During the process, you’ll download any needed updates, attach the device to your Amazon account, enter Wi-Fi credentials, and even sign up for a Goodreads account to get the best book recommendations.

Understanding the Basic Pen and Premium Pen

Image Credit: Amazon

A big part of the experience is using the included stylus to write on the Kindle Scribe screen. When purchasing the device, you can select from two options.

The Basic Pen is standard with the device. There is no setup required, and you’ll never have to charge it. When not in use, it will magnetically attach to the side of the Kindle Scribe.

For a bit more, you can upgrade to Premium Pen. That model offers the same features as the basic model along with two exclusive features.

A dedicated eraser at the end of the stylus allows you to erase written content on the screen. A shortcut button allows you to switch between a pen, a highlighter, and more. To configure the shortcut you want to activate, go to More > Settings > Stylus > Shortcut Button and choose the tool.

If you plan to do substantial writing and note-taking with the Kindle Scribe, the Premium Pen might be the best choice. But the good news is that the higher-end option is available to purchase later by itself.

Just like other models in the Kindle line, the Kindle Scribe interface is designed to be simple and easy to navigate.

At the bottom of the screen is a navigation bar with four options to choose from—Home, Library, Notebooks, and More. Home will obviously take you back to the Kindle Scribe’s home screen that showcases your recent items and allows you to discover recent books.


For all of your e-books, head to the Library section. In the middle of the navigation bar is an icon of the last book or document you read. Just select it for quick access back to that material.

Notebooks is the hub for all of your written notes. You can create both Notebooks and folders for better organization. Finally, in More, you’ll find a variety of other options Including Your Reading Lists, Goodreads, the Web Browser, and Settings.

The Quick Settings menu is available to view anytime by swiping down from the top of the screen.

As the name suggests, you’ll find a number of settings you can quickly change with a quick touch. Some of the options include Airplane Mode, Bluetooth, Dark Mode, screen brightness, and screen warmth. The warm light on the Kindle Scribe can help you sleep better if you read before bed.

There is even the option to access the complete Settings menu.

Using the Notebooks Section of Your Kindle Scribe

As we mentioned, one of the ways you’ll be able to write on the screen is in the Notebooks section. To begin, select Notebooks from the bottom navigation bar. Select the + in the upper right corner and select Create notebook.

Next, you’ll name the Notebook and select from a wide variety of template options. Some of the options include a regular wide-ruled piece of paper, a to-do list, a calendar, and even a piece of sheet music.

A toolbar on the left side of the notebook offers a number of tools like a pen, highlighter, and eraser. You can also select undo and redo options. Click the bottom three dots to move the toolbar to the other side of the paper.

An upward-facing arrow on top of the toolbar will collapse it and only highlight the current tool.

Tap the upper part of the screen to see more Notebook options and information. You can alter the page template and also share the results via email directly from the Kindle Scribe.

Once you have created a number of pages, you can organize them in folders. In the same menu to create a notebook, select Create notebook.

You can also write on PDF files sent to your Kindle Scribe using the Send to Kindle feature. Find out more about that on Amazon’s site.

Adding Handwritten Notes on the Kindle Scribe

Image Credit: Amazon

And since the Kindle is an e-reader at heart, you can even use the stylus to add notes to your favorite books. Instead of writing on the book page itself, you can add a sticky note to wherever you’d like on the page.

When reading a book, select the sticky note icon and then choose where on the page you want to write the information. Along with a handwritten note, there is an option to type a sticky note as well. With a handwritten note, you can also make use of a highlighter, pen, or eraser along with the same redo and undo options when writing in the Notebook section.

To see the note you’ve added, just choose the same icon on the page.

You can also add notes to other documents as well.

Take Note of What the Kindle Scribe Can Do

Adding the ability to use a stylus to write on the screen makes the Kindle Scribe much more than your usual e-book reader.

Whether you’re jotting down to-do lists or writing sticky notes on your favorite book, the device has taken the Kindle a step forward.

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