Instapaper is Amazing

I’m subscribed to a slowly-expanding list of something like 230 RSS feeds (I take the firehose approach to news-gathering, apparently), and for all practical purposes, my internet experience centers around NetNewsWire. Most mornings, I sit down, skim through the headlines of some subset of my feeds, and open tabs for all the the articles think I might find interesting. Tabs are NetNewsWire’s killer feature, so far as I’m concerned. I can pop open a few tabs and NNW happily keeps track of them across restarts so I don’t miss out on whatever it was that I found interesting if I don’t read the article immediately.

Unfortunately, this is sometimes as far as I get. On Friday, I had 97 tabs open; some had been sitting there since January, which is a bit absurd. These were articles that I’d almost certainly find interesting, but that I hadn’t made time to actually read. Reading ought to be the entire point of the tab-opening process, but here I was, opening tab after tab after tab, regardless of the queue of content I’d already identified. Obviously something has gone seriously wrong with my workflow.

Carlo has been singing the praises of Instapaper for a while now, this mountain of built up content seemed like a perfect test case. After digging around a bit, I came up with a script to “integrate” my Instapaper queue with NNW (NNWInstaPost), and I started pushing articles to Instapaper, and closing tabs. This worked halfway decently (I’d like a ‘to Instapaper’ toolbar button in NNW. Or a keyboard shortcut. Or anything other than clicking through the Scripts menu for each article individually). After a day or two, I’ve come to the conclusion that Carlo was right: Instapaper (in particular, on my iPhone) is gobsmackingly brilliant.

I think I’ve read more articles with Instapaper in the last two days than I have in the last two weeks with NNW alone. Walking around with a queued-up list of content in my pocket is really quite wonderful. I can read on the bus. I can read while waiting for the bus. I can read while walking from the bus to the subway. I can read on the subway. Etc, etc.

I love it. I think you will too, go try it out.