Wouldn’t it be great if you could have TIVO for your browser?
That way you could save articles later so they don’t interrupt your busy day and distract you from what needs to get done.
There is such a way. Tivo, of course, allows you to save TV shows for later consumption. Back in the good old days (when there was Tivo and ReplayTV), the boxes would even strip out commercials.
It’s the reason I used to *love* my ReplayTV. The unit would “sense” the breaks between commercial outro and into and jump completely across the advertising content. It drove the advertisers crazy and was bullied out of the product.
Anyway, those early DVRs effectively stripped out advertising (it wasn’t perfect, but 70-75% was freakin fantastic).
Now there’s a way to do this to the articles you consume on the Web. You know the ones – those tabs that stack up because your curious intentions motivate you to read every cool thing known to your favorite online rag, mag, newspaper or Twitter (or Facebook) leader.
Here’s how it works.
First, check out this nifty little service: Read Later
Read Later (or Instapaper) allows you to click a bookmark/script and save articles for later on your Instapaper.com account.
You can then close out the tabs immediately, knowing that they’re waiting for you later.
At a time of your choosing, you can come back to Instapaper and select the “Text” link in your article list. The program formats the text as beautiful, clean, advertising-free, seriphed black text on a clean white background (perfect formatting if you’re familiar with research on eyestrain, comprehension and retention). The article contains a subtle link back to the original article, in case you want to Tweet it, Ping.fm it, or “Share on Facebook.”
There’s another tool you can use to do the same text clean-up trick immediately. It’s called Readability. The slick app allows you to choose the font, point size and format of your text to be read. The buttons on the side allow you to easily and quickly get back to the original article (for Tweeting, sharing or Facebooking purposes, for example).
Both of these are cool. And they help me “get clear” and get back to work.
Have you tried either? What do you think? Please share your thoughts below.
P.S. The two solutions go great with RSS feed readers, too. Good way to filter articles and read later in a clean, consistent format.