Reading later - the random article problem
Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 11:41
martian77 in Geek

It's been a while since I posted anything geek related, but I've been struggling recently with lots of interesting articles to read, and no time to read them.

These aren't websites that I'll want to read every article on, or that I want to subscribe to. Chances are I'll read that one article and never look at the site again. But I might not want to do that immediately, or I won't have time.

I used to use delicious to bookmark the link, but that just means I've ended up with a large collection of half-dead links (the internet is not as everlasting as some people appear to believe) and unread links. Plus now my insta-bookmarking stuff doesn't seem to work any more. So that's been unsatisfactory for a while now. 

I did use Instapaper. I had it set up to send my clipped articles to my Kindle daily, which was great, but then I just ended up with a whole series of instapaper downloads that I haven't read on my Kindle. Eventually the guilt got too much, and I stopped clicking the "Read Later" button. 

Recently I've been using Evernote - but same problem of trying to remember to actually read the damn things. They sit there in my notebooks, and every now and again I get to them. 

I was talking this problem through with a colleague this morning, and suddenly had an epiphany. I currently read my RSS feeds daily over lunch. It's kind of like sitting down with a paper. I keep up to date, have a bit of a break from what I'm working on, and all is well. "What I really need" says I "is an RSS feed of my read later articles..."

Of course, Instapaper does that! Each folder has an RSS feed. So all of my clipped, read later articles can be handily fed into my lunchtime "paper", for me to decide if I really do want to read them, or thought I ought to. I also have an IFTTT.com recipe set up, so when I favourite something in my RSS reader, an Evernote note is made of that article. Bingo! A time and place I already read new articles, with the option to save them to long term interesting storage if I want!

I shall be trying this out immediately. It isn't perfect yet (I need a system for when I'm browsing on my iPad - any suggestions?) but it feels like it just might work. 

Article originally appeared on Life on Mars (http://www.martiandaze.net/).
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