This is another post of the type “things I haven’t looked for, but damn, it’s awesome”. Until a few weeks ago I had used Evernote to clip all that stuff, that I wanted to read later. Than I ran across Instapaper while exploring IFTTT and took a nearer look and damn, it’s sweet! In this blog post, I will tell you why.
What is it and why you want it
The idea behind Instapaper is to save content from the web and read it later. So basically you are on a website, see an awesome article, but either have no time or concentration to read it right now. So now you can easily save it to Instapaper. Instapaper takes care of saving and normalising the article for you. Later when you are on your couch and have some time, you can open up Instapaper, either on your phone, tablet, PC or even a kindle you can go back to the articles you saved that day and start enjoying them.
How it works
There are multiple ways of saving articles to Instapaper. All of them are listed here: https://www.instapaper.com/save
Web Extension or Bookmark
While sitting on the PC you have two options, either the extension, or just a simple bookmark. Since I really really have enough extensions in my chrome browser I prefer the bookmark solution. You simply drag it from the URL mentioned above to your bookmarks bar and BAM, done.
Next time when you are on a website or article you like, just click the bookmark, the website will be opened in Instapaper and you can click on “Save to Instapaper”.
This is the way I really capture most of the articles I want to read later.
After installing the app from the link above, you can use it via the share menu in iOS or Android and again, you are done.
And of course you also got that old school beardy email solution. Ok, it ain’t that old school and maybe still quite useful.
Instapaper allows you to retrieve posts via email, which basically means, you send and email there and wow, it’s in your reading list. But why the hell would you do that? You have a personal email address, when registered, to which you can send all your newsletters and read them in Instapaper.
To be honest, I don’t use this option at all. But good to know it exists
I really can’t say that much about it, because it just fulfills it’s purpose and you can even choose between four colors. It’s simple an beautiful. It does not have any fancy quirks. I love it!
As simple as Instapaper is, as powerful features it has. When you are in the list view, you can access most of the actions by swiping the left on iOS.
In an article itself you can find those icons below in a toolbar.
Ok, when you clip articles everyday, your list can and will get more and more cluttered. So Instapaper’s got your back and gives you the ability to archive your articles, when you’ve read them. Simple click that box icon and the article will disappear in your archive, which you can of course access later, when you need an article again.
Like an Article
We are in a like addicted world, so why not give your saved stuff a like? In Instapaper you can press the heart button and the article will be part of your liked articles, which you can access on the menu on the left side.
Highlights are AWESOME, really. Just select a bunch of text and press the little pen on the left to add this as a highlight and later you can use them for research for example.
While I am writing my course about Todoist, I learned to love this feature. I’ve found a post on thesweetsetup, where Shawn Blanc explains how to share Instapaper highlights to Ulysses, which I am using for writing my blog posts and articles.
So this is awesome to capture text passages, quotes, notes, opinions and much more.
Notes are quite the same thing as Highlights, but you can add text to them, to give it more context, when using them later.
Why not Evernote
At the beginning of this article I mentioned, that I am not using Evernote anymore for clipping articles from the web. But why?
I still loooooooooooove Evernote. I use it for notes, for saving documents, but it’s more a kind of creation tool, for the non creative stuff, does this even make sense? I write down everything there, which will never be published, still not making sense? Great!
But Evernote is not a reading tool for me. It’s strictly organised and has to many features, to just read. So Instapaper is just right for text consumption. Evernote is more for creation and business stuff. I hope this explains, what I mean by that.
I told you at the beginning, this is one app, I haven’t searched for. But since I use it, I definitely read 100% more. When you are reading on the web a lot, and you are jumping from article to article, Instapaper does a great job helping you to remember all that stuff.
As a conclusion, yeah, I totally recommend you to start using Instapaper and start reading more!