Instapaper + Kindle = Total Winner

February 19, 2012

I migrated everything to a new PC this week, and have used the migration to switch a lot of the services I’ve been using. One service which I couldn’t live without was  ReaditLater . Basically its a browser extension that does exactly what it says – 1 click and the current page is saved to your list for later reading. Quite honestly, I don’t know how people operate without such a service these days. The amount of interesting blog articles that cross my desk every day (courtesy of Twitter, Facebook and a zillion RSS feeds) is frightening. A lot of the links are off-topic junk, but now and then there is a “long-form” piece which is really worth reading. You can usually tell this by a quick scan of the page. But, if you actually work at your computer, as I try to, and your work doesnt take well to constant interruptions – then reading the article There-and-Then is just plain destructive. So what I do throughout my day is add about 3 to 5 articles to my Readitlater list and then when I need a break or in the evening I… you guessed it : Read it Later.

Recently I purchased an entry level Kindle – no 3G, no net connection and no touch or keyboard. Although I prefer real-paper books wherever I have the choice (and there is still a choice after you’ve purchased your kindle, something a lot of commentators, in their Either/Or thinking, completely forget), getting a kindle was inevitable. I buy a lot of books from Amazon and besides the extra cost, they take ages to get to me. I specifically chose Kindle over reading on an iPad, because I actually find it a huge advantage to read without the ability to click somewhere and disappear down a rabbit-hole. Reading books requires “Staying on the Same Page”.

Enter Instapaper (which I recently switched to): Instapaper is very similar to ReaditLater – a 1 click bookmark list for reading stuff at a later stage when you not so busy. What made me switch though is that Instapaper has awesome integration with Kindle. Here’s what I’ve done: I’ve set up Instapaper so that every day at 4pm it sends my Kindle a digest of all of the articles/blog posts I have bookmarked since last time. They are perfectly formmated for the Kindle – crisp clear text minus all the adverts and boiler plate. Then, every evening, I can escape my monitor and, in a place of my choosing, I can “curl up” and read all my long-form stuff. OK, so if there’s a juicy link in an article I can’t follow it – but, hey, that’s the whole point!  I end up actually reading the full articles right ’til the end of the page. And then, even with the keyboardless Kindle, I have an option to “Like” the article which automagically sends it to my evernote account if I want to snip some stuff from it or follow some links. (you can set the “Like” action to tweet or Facebook too)

Try it out, I’m tellin’ ya, Kindle + Instapaper has been one of the smarter enhancements to my digital lifestyle sanity.


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