Instapaper is nifty service that I’m becoming more and more enamored with.
I’m a fan of long form writing, and while it still exists in this world where many things keep getting smaller and smaller, I find I have to squirrel away some of the longer articles that I want to read for a later date due to my insane schedule. For awhile I used to clip longer documents into Evernote, but Evernote has never solved the “clipping” thing to my satisfaction when it comes to web pages that have multiple columns and other features beyond text.
That’s where Instapaper comes in. On your computer you install a Read Later bookmarklet that grabs the webpage you are reading and stores it on the Instapaper servers. You can than go back to it when you’re ready to read. Instapaper also has an iPhone app that works really well, and you can create a Safari bookmarklet on your iPhone to grab what you are reading for later on that device as well. There is a free Instapaper app, and also a paid or Pro version that runs $4.99. I’ve opted for the paid version as it automatically syncs in anything I’ve saved (as opposed to doing it manually) and has a few other features including adding folders to store different types of articles. In the Pro version the place you left off reading is also saved and on the iPhone you can use the accelerometer to tilt the device to scroll the document.
One of the tricks to using Instapaper depends on the site you’re grabbing an article from. If it is a multi-page document Instapaper will grab the first page and if you want to read the rest it will send you to the original article in your browser. I get around this frequently by using the Print Page that you can find on many websites. This gives you a (in most cases) text only version of the complete article and sending it to Instapaper has the entire article ready and waiting for whatever device I’m going to read it from. But as I said, that depends on the website. Some websites open a new window for the Printer Friendly version of the site, and this doesn’t work with the bookmarklet.
Instapaper is quickly becoming the place that I store things I wish to read later, especially longer articles. I’m liking it a lot.