Why I’m excited about the reading app Instapaper
If you’re like me and your job is web-based, no doubt you frequently come across longer articles that you want to have a look at but can’t because you’re in the middle of something else.
Before I started using Instapaper, I would set these in a tab and leave the tab open until I got to it, which could be days. As you may have realised, if you’re a person who’s interested in a whole bunch of stuff, it doesn’t take long before you’ve got a quantity of tabs open on your desktop. And that makes you feel disorganised, and perhaps slightly pathological.
So you close the tabs off and there you go, interesting long article you’ve taken the time to curate…gone forever.
Same goes for articles from well-meaning friends. Before Instapaper, I’d intend to get to them, but then after several days of failing to, I’d clean up my workspace and close of the tabs in the name of pragmatism. A bit embarrassing when a close friend asks for your opinion on something they’d been thoughtful enough to send…
Nowadays, to decrease distractions, manage my workflow and maintain friendships, I have the Instapaper tab open to catch my must-reads, and simply add the articles as they come in.
I love the fact that Instapaper’s creators have concentrated on a single purpose. And they provide that one thing really well.”
Then, at the end of my day, I sync the day’s essays and blogs on my iPad and catch up with my reading. I also make sure my phone’s regularly synced so I have access to good quality articles of my selection on my phone. This is great for when I find myself with extra time because I’m early for an appointment or I’m waiting for the kids as they finish their swimming lessons/pottery classes/circus training.
I get asked to review a lot of apps and mostly, the amount of time it takes to master them – or sometimes even use them in a basic functional way – is more time than I have. Instagram includes some useful functions like archiving and notes (and some extras if you pay the upgrade) but that’s about it really.
I love the fact that Instapaper’s creators have concentrated on a single purpose. And they provide that one thing really well.
The design of the Instapaper screen is fresh and light, so I don’t feel burdened about reading after a heavy day. In fact, there’s a feeling of nostalgia evoked by the typographic style, which is similar to that of a broadsheet newspaper. I like it. It’s a comfort in this noisy, crowded intellectual space we’ve managed to (unintellectually) create for ourselves.
There are also no distracting ads on the copy of the articles. Plus the phone and mobile layouts are clean and clear to read.
All this amounts to a tool that will simplify your reading life, as well as afford you some aesthetic pleasure.