When a friend or colleague emails you a link to an article or website, you routinely move it to your ‘To Read’ folder for reading later (yeah, right!) Alternatively, you may use bookmarking services like Delicious or Xmarks to save your web reading or maybe you simply leave pages open in your web browser to come back to later. If you truly want to be more productive with email AND you really do want to read something later, try a different approach for your online reading activities.
Originally, I began using ReadItLaterList and switched over to Instapaper when Google Reader added it to their list of ‘Send To’ options. InstaPaper is a “simple tool to save web pages for reading later.” It allows you to continue what you’re currently working on but move your reading to another location for addressing at the right time. I now use it to mark web content and feeds that I may want to blog about, research further, or simply spend more time on. Plus, they’ve got a neat little ‘bookmarklet’ button that makes it easy to do from whichever web browser I’m using.
And, InstaPaper has been in development overdrive- they provide the option of reading articles without the ad & visual clutter, integration with Google Reader, a version for your Kindle and my favorite, an iPhone/iPodTouch app. In a future post, I’ll talk more about how this helps you to be on time for appointments.
One final word of advice: If you simply set aside reading to occur ‘later’, it will pile up no matter which tool you’re using. Scheduling time to read is imperative. Here’s my criteria for weeding reading:
If it’s important enough to save to read later, it’s important enough to schedule the time for. If you aren’t making the time, then perhaps it’s just not important.
Are you an InstaPaper fan? Or is there another tool/method you’re using successfully to manage your online reading?