The sheer immensity of information and knowledge available on the internet is overwhelming. This is a truism. With the number of headlines, thumbnails, and notifications that bombard our eyeballs every day, how do you trim the fat and focus on any of it?
The answer, at least for articles, is what have been dubbed “read it later apps.” These apps and web extensions allow you to grab articles, stories, and other content and save them for later. Instapaper is one of the best read it later apps due to its immensely user-friendly and well-designed interface and focus on readability.
Instapaper works across mobile and browser-based versions on Android and iOS to let you save and store articles whenever you want, wherever you are. You can save articles using a web-extension and then access all saved articles from the app. From the dashboard on the app, you can arrange them chronologically, by progress, and by length.
There is also a discover feature, that curates articles from the web for you to read. This is a nice bonus, but most of the time, you will be using Instapaper to do your own curation based on all the articles you see throughout the day but don’t have time to read.
Instapaper stands out for its focus on the experience of reading. Any article you save to Instapaper will be largely add-free, and the reader is highly customizable. You can change the typeface, font-size, and background color with lots of options to choose from in each of these categories. You can even set the background to slowly transition from light to dark mode as it gets dark outside.
Simply put, Instapaper’s reader is beautiful. It works on Android, iOS, iPad, and Kindle so that you can comfortably read your gathered articles when you have some quality reading time.
You can also highlight sections of text and leave citations, which can then all be viewed from a notes tab on the app. It has extensive integrations with social media and note-taking apps, allowing you to easily tweet out a quote or categorize an article into a larger personal database.
The basic features are available for free, but you do have to sign up for a premium account to make full use of the app. Premium is $2.99/month or $29.99/year and unlocks a lot of extra functionality, such as unlimited note-taking and full text search.
Instapaper is available here.