for the love of instapaper

November 19, 2009

Every once in a while, I have one of those What apps do you have on your iPhone? conversations. It’s kind of the 2009 version of How much can you bench? I thought Instapaper was mainstream, but it’s not seldom that I talk with someone who isn’t using it. You might not know about it either…but you should.

Most of us have small windows of time that arise everyday that we look for ways to fill. But we also have times where we are overloaded with information and we can’t take it all in. Instapaper is the bridge between the two — a conduit of information from our overloaded moments to our idle time.

In short, Instapaper can grab the content of a webpage and add it to a list of reading material to be accessed later on your iPhone. It does it’s best to strip away everything but the main content of that website, so all you have to do is read. One click of a bookmark on your browser is all you need to file that content away for your next window of spare time. (Of, if you use Tweetie for iPhone, you can connect it up with Instapaper to file links that way too.)

As I scan through blogs, or find interesting links via people I follow on Twitter, I usually am not of the mind to stop right there and read longer items. With Instapaper, I have the means to set them aside and come back when I’m ready to give them the attention they require. Once I’m through reading, I can archive the link, or even email it to OmniFocus if I want to remember to follow up on something from the article.

There are free and Pro versions of the iPhone app. I started with the free, but upgraded to the paid version since I use it so often. The most important feature of the paid app? It can remember where you were in a longer article if you run out of time to read and have to come back later. If you have a Kindle, you can schedule Instapaper to deliver your articles to it, though I prefer the quick access of reading on my iPhone.

Give it a look…it won’t cost you anything. Once you get in the habit of Instapaper‘ing, you’ll have a better way of keeping up with the content you care about. And maybe a leg up in the What iPhone apps do you have? showdowns.

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