There is no application/plugin/program more used in my typical day than Instapaper. From my laptop to my iPhone to my Kindle and beyond, everything I save, read or archive is recorded and stored in an easy-to-access format right in Instapaper, and is accessible from nearly anywhere.
If you’re not currently using Instapaper, and you value being able to read long-form essays or stories when you have spare time between current commitments, you must hate being productive. Aside for actual productivity apps that encourage you to create content and record notes, Instapaper exists to let you read anything from your library anytime, anywhere and really any how you want.
Here’s how I use it to break up my daily reading into more manageable segments.
1. Safari bookmarklet
It’s not an extension, but a plug-in that rests just below my URL bar and allows me to, in one click, save the current page to Instapaper with all the text adapted into better-readable form. I can then catch up on my reading anywhere I have my iPhone or later on my laptop. It’s one click. It takes seconds.
2. Email to Instapaper
If I have a link to read, or my dad sends me a link with zero context, I forward the link to Instapaper and it’s ready for me the next time I open the app. No formatting, no need to specify text and no boxes to check. Just click send and I’m good.
3. Send from Google Reader
I have an aversion to anything that has more than three sentences per paragraph, in excess of 500 words, on Google Reader. It’s not that I don’t want to read it, it’s that I don’t want to read it inside Google Reader. Too many distractions. Three clicks sends the article to Instapaper from inside Google Reader, ‘though I dislike it always taking me to a new page.
4. Send from mobile Safari
If you don’t have an iPhone, I have no idea if this works, but I installed a plug-in of sorts in mobile Safari on my iPhone 4 that allows me to send articles to Instapaper. I used to have to email these articles and I tired of the extra steps. Click, click and done!
5. It remembers where you are
I read articles from Instapaper when I have time. If I close out in the middle of an article or accidentally scroll up, Instapaper will allow me to move my cursor back to the spot I left it. Awesome if you’re in the middle of a long read that gets broken up.
Instapaper is free. Why in the hell have you not signed up yet?