This week has been quite busy, both at work and in people on the web publishing interesting articles. Since work pays the bills, working was the priority over reading things on the web [special note: work pays the bills every week, so that priority isn't special to this week]. I started an email thread to myself with the subject "Read Later." After it had about 10 messages with a few URLs each, I realized that I had to find a better solution.
A quick Google search led me to a few applications, but Instapaper stood out, because I had just heard that it was one of the applications threatened by iOS 5. I'm not an iPhone user, so that didn't really matter to me (and I don't think it really matters anyway, as you'll see later). It was a quick sign up and I was ready to go.
Instapaper provides a bookmarklet which basically adds the page you are reading to your Unread Items. I use Chrome as my web browser and there are a few extensions which put a button that does the same thing. I went that route, because it just looks a little nicer than the bookmarklet and it also will automagically close the tab of the page I'm marking to read later.
It wasn't until I was away from my computer, waiting for my kids after swim practice that I recognized the true magic of Instapaper. I had some time that I was looking to fill and on my Android phone, I went to the Instapaper website. There was my list of web articles to read, even with a specially formatted text only link. I read a few things, archived them (removing them from my unread list) all quickly and easily on my phone.
This was my resultant tweet. It's that kind of cool. Excuse the funny grammar, it was voice transcribed and I was walking at the time and didn't correct it.
Because we discovered the magic of @instapaper this evening.
One of my friends replied to this tweet with "seriously? Just now?" Yep, there are technological solutions out there that drive productivity that I've not started to leverage yet.
There is an iPhone application too, but I can't say much about it, as I use an Android powered smart phone.
But this is a big time saver. With two quick clicks, I can mark something as interesting to read later, when I have more time. With the nice mobile interface, that could be anywhere, like when standing in long line.
With everything we have coming at us these days, services like Instapaper can really help manage that information fire hose.