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Cool Tool: Save Web Content for Reading Later on Your Computer, Smart Phone or E-Book with Instapaper

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the number of interesting links to web articles that come your way each day? You may quickly skim the articles but do not immediately have time to read them in-depth. If you have ever wished there was an easy way to save articles for later reading, then you may want to take a look at Instapaper (http://www.instapaper.com).

Instapaper is a simple to use free tool for saving web content to “read later.” You will also be able to read the article in a text format without the extraneous content on the page such as ads and sidebar links (Instapaper does retain the images in the body of the article).

Besides saving web content to read later in your browser, Instapaper allows you to download the content to a Kindle, Sony Reader, or other e-book readers. This is particularly useful for long articles that would be tiring to read on a computer screen; instead, you can read the saved content just as you would any other e-book.

Instapaper is simple to use. Here is a brief tutorial to help you get started.

  1. Go to http://www.instapaper.com. You will see this screen:
  2. Instapaper

  3. Click on “Log In” and sign up for an account. You can use your e-mail address or any other log in you prefer.
  4. Drag the “Read It Later” icon to your bookmark tool bar.
  5. Browse to a page you’d like to “read later.” Click the Read Later bookmark in your toolbar. You should see a pop-up window indicating that the page was saved.
  6. Return to the Instapaper site. Refresh the page. You should see the article listed under “Unread.” Click on “Text” to read the re-formatted version of the article. In the screen shot below, the Latitudes article has been saved under “Unread.”
  7. Instapaper

  8. You can now read the text of the article, archive it for later (you can also organize archives in folders), or delete the article.

Download Content to An E-Book Reader

Instapaper

You can download saved content to an e-book reader either in Kindle or ePub format (the ePub format is compatible with the Sony Reader and many other e-book readers). Click on the appropriate link in the right hand column labeled “Download”:

The Kindle and ePub links will prompt you to save your articles to your computer hard drive for later transfer to an e-book reader. Files can be transferred via USB to a Kindle with no charge. Instapaper also allows you to transfer the file wirelessly to a Kindle, although there is a small charge levied by Amazon when you transfer files wirelessly.

Other Features

Instapaper is very simple to use, but also has some other useful features:

  • iPhone / iTouch / iPad version: Instapaper also has an app available for the iPhone, iTouch or iPad.
  • Send to e-mail: once you are logged in, Instapaper will provide you with a “secret” e-mail address where you can e-mail links or forward long messages.
  • Google Reader: You can send items from Google Reader by highlighting the item and then clicking the Read Later bookmark. This is useful when you want to read a long article from your RSS feeds later.
  • Other Features: View more features at http://www.instapaper.com/extras.

Similar Tools

A similar tool called Read It Later (http://readitlaterlist.com/) is also available; if you like the concept of Instapaper, you might compare the two tools to see which one works for you. However, if you plan to use the tool with a Kindle or other e-book reader, Instapaper is the preferred tool.

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