In mid-September I wrote that I was going to give Instapaper a whirl. And for a day or two I did but it didn’t stick. Turns out I was doing it wrong. I was trying to use Instapaper as a way to sync a “reading list” between two computers (in this case, my iPhone and my Macbook Pro). Instapaper is a good solution for this problem but it wasn’t a problem that I had – since I rarely read anything of length on my iPhone. In short, I was creating a problem so that I could use the solution.
After ditching it for a month or so, but leaving the bookmarklets, applications, etc. installed on my Macbook Pro I finally had an epiphany one morning over coffee; I had a problem. I was storing a “read later” list on my computer a few different ways and not even realizing it. On my desktop I had a “Shortcuts” directory full of .webloc files (for the unaware, these are files that if you click on them they open that location on the Web in your browser). In Google Reader I had a fairly extensive “starred” list of blog posts that I either wanted to read later, wanted to write about or link to, or wanted to “watch” later if they were video.
With Instapaper, I can combine all of these lists and have them accessible from any device.
So I had now found my problem and now I needed to make Instapaper my solution. It didn’t take long, maybe a day or two, and I had all of my .webloc files, all of my starred items, and a few other URLs stored in Instapaper. Then I changed my workflow a bit to fit my needs and poof; I’m an Instapaper addict.
I figure Instapaper is sort of like drugs. Your friend offers you some crack and immediately you turn it down thinking that you don’t need crack. He says he’ll just leave the crack right here, on the table, in case you want to give it a try. For weeks the crack sits on the table and every so often you look over at it wondering what it is like. Then, one day you get home from a long day and you feel like you just need to escape all of this mess… and there it is. The crack. Before you know it; addict.
So, new slogan for Instapaper; The drugs, no side-effects.