We’ve all been there. You’re being productive on your laptop when all of the sudden you click a link one of your friends sent you. One link becomes two links and before you know it, today has become tomorrow and you still have a paper to write.
The problem exists not because you can’t focus, but because you are worried that if you don’t go check out that link right now you will forget about it and may never see it again. Wouldn’t it be great if there were a way to save that article, video or picture for a later time when you aren’t working? Well, turns out there is and it is called Instapaper.
Instapaper is an online service I have been using for a very, very long time. Marco Arment, founder and single developer of Instapaper, describes his service as “A simple tool to save web pages for reading later,” and it does just that. See an article you want to read, but don’t have the time? Just click on the “Read Later” bookmarklet (bookmarklet. n. a small bookmark that performs an action on the current webpage, rather than directing you to a new one.), and watch a small box appear that reads “Saved!” Your article is now saved in the unread section of Instapaper’s website. You aren’t limited to just articles however, Instapaper can save any link you throw at it, be it video, image or text.
Now, being able to deflect possible distractions while working online is a blessing in and of itself, but where Instapaper really shines is in it’s mobile app. Officially available for the iPhone, Instapaper’s mobile offering allows you to use either your iPhone or iPad to read your saved articles on the go. However, instead of just serving up the normal webpage that you saved, Instapaper parses through the article for just the text. This means that when you load up an article in the Instapaper app, you won’t have to wait for ads or the whole webpage to load, instead, you will be greeted with just the text. This makes for a great reading experience.
The app costs $4.99 and is a universal application which means it has been designed with both the iPad and iPhone in mind and a specialized user interface for each. You might be put off by the higher price, but this is only if you want to take your articles with you on your device. The basic services of Instapaper, the bookmarklet and the website, are all free for you to use.
So go now and check out Instapaper and set up an account. The next time you see an article or link you want to follow, save it for later instead of checking it out now. Once you finish with whatever you had to do, just head on over to the Instapaper website and all your cool links will be there waiting for you.
Loved by hundreds of thousands of users, Instapaper has changed the way I work for the better and made me more productive. I highly encourage to give it a try and check it out.