Stay Undistracted with Instapaper
I’m prone to spend a few minutes while studying going through RSS feeds, my favorite news sites and generally surfing around the internet. Unfortunately, I often come across longform articles that I would love to read but just don’t have the time at the moment.
This is where one of my favorite apps, Instapaper comes in.
Instapaper lets you save any webpage for reading later. Say you come across a great New York Times article, you can use the Instapaper bookmarklet (a little script that runs in your bookmarks bar) that when clicked saves the current webpage into your queue (similar to Netflix’s queue) for reading later.
The best feature of Instpaper is it’s ability to strip away everything but the article that you want to read. All the ads, promotions and related content drops away and you can read in peace.
Instpaper features a great iOS app, made for both the iPhone and iPad. It allows you to easily read your queue full of articles. The app even builds in several sharing options, like Tumblr, Twitter and Evernote that can atomically share something when you mark it as a favorite.
While not quite built for it, it acts as a great reminder list for videos to watch, webpages to visit later, and basically works to save anything you want to remember or revisit later. This works really well if you’re on your tablet or phone and find a webpage that can only be viewed on the web, just save it to your Instapaper account and pick it up later when you’re at your computer.
Instapaper is a free service, with a paid iOS app ($5). Like most things on the web, there are a number of alternatives if Instapaper isn’t quite your thing. Readability is their main competitor but concentrates on written articles much more than Instapaper. For instance, it isn’t really possible to save videos or non-written content to Readability.
One competitor that just got a huge update is Pocket, formally Read it Later. This app is made for saving more than just articles for later and is entirely free. It also features an Android and Kindle Fire app.
I’d really encourage everyone to find the right ‘save for later’ app for them. I prefer Instapaper, and in general find these type of services incredible useful. It keeps me focused on what’s important while working and reminds me about those cool stories, videos and sites I wanted to visit at a later time.