It’s really difficult to stay on top of industry happenings. We are all busy (most of us are really busy) and weare doing well just to stay on top of our daily activities. The Internet is great for staying abreast of industry news, but it has also created an avalanche of articles to read. How does one keep up with this while still actually doing work? Enter Instapaper.
Instapaper is by far the most used app on my iPhone. I do a lot of reading on the iPhone. Not books, but articles. I have over 100 feeds set up in Reeder, but I also get tons of articles sent to my email (as well as all the links I see on Twitter. Instapaper is my central gathering for all of these articles. Instapaper can be used on any iOS device or a web browser. When an article is ‘instapapered’, it gets all the formatting stripped away and is only left with plain text. It is also downloaded on an iOS device, so it can be accessed when offline (you have to actually open the app to let it download the articles before getting on an plane, etc)
- Read It Later Button
One of the first steps is to install a Read It Later bookmarklet into your browser. Once this is done, if youcome across an article that you want to ‘read later’, you would use the bookmarklet. You then can either read it from instapaper.com or open up an mobile device to view it.
I generally get 3-4 articles emailed to me a week. It may be from a co-worker or someone else in the industry. If they included the full text in the email, I can simply just forward the email to my instapaper email address (found on the Extras page). You can also add your email address to your contacts from within the iOS app. I’ve also found this feature useful for longer emails (not articles) that I simply want to read later
- RSS Readers
Many popular RSS readers on the Mac and iOS have built in Instapaper support. I have used Reeder and NetNewsWire on both the Mac and iOS and sending to Instapaper has been very helpful. I always try to stay on top of what is happening in the industry I work in, so I subscribe to new sites that are related to my job. When I open an RSS reader, all the of headlines appear and I can simply right click on click/tap on ‘Send to Instapaper’.
Twitter has become a great place to share links. Regardless of the industry you are in, I can almost guarantee that industry experts are using twitter. They will often post links to interesting articles or news. With the Twitter for iPhone app (and many other third party apps), you can use to ‘read later’ right on the spot. The link will then be sent to Instapaper.
I do not have either of these devices, so it is a little difficult to give a more detailed explanation. BenPaper seems to be a popular choice for Android devices. The creator of Instapaper also has built in support for Kindle.
We live in an information age and all of us are constantly being showered with more and more articles to read. Instapaper should help you get that under control. In fact, I’ve enjoyed using it so much than I am now donating to further its development ($12/year)
Paid version of Instapaper (Universal application for iPhone/iPod and iPad)
Bradley Chambers is the IT Director at Brainerd Baptist School. He is married to Leah and they have one son (Sawyer). Find him on Twitter @bradleychambers