Instaconnected

In my rather fanatical devotion to connecting technology with my language learning, I keep trying to find new ways to remain connected even when there is no internet or, say, on a commute. How do you keep yourself reading, even if you don’t have books to carry (or that you want to carry)?

Lately, I’ve been getting into using RSS to save a few websites that I like to read, as much as they offer RSS capabilities. While it’s a short selection, I keep them all organized within Google reader:

There’s still plenty more out there that I have yet to add. I had always wondered if there was a way to connect an RSS reader with Instapaper to automatically load the files into it. While there doesn’t seem to be such an automated system yet (aside from the apps Instapaper lists, but I haven’t had the chance to go through those), you can still go through Google reader and (begrudgingly) manually add the files to Instapaper. To quote the Instapaper blog:

Google’s new Send-to feature includes built-in support for Instapaper. Thanks, Google Reader team, for the inclusion in this handy feature.

Simply invoke the Read Later bookmarklet when you have an item in Google Reader selected, and Instapaper will automatically save that item. This even works on Google Reader’s iPhone version.

With this option you can send your articles from Google Reader to Instapaper to read it later, at your convenience. So, I will typically read articles I save over breakfast, on the MRT or between classes. It’s really quite convenient.

To set things up on the Google Reader end, Google provides some sort of not very clear instructions here. However, since you’re all handsome and smart lads, I’ll link you to a Chinese blog that provides much better instructions. At any rate, you can at least look at the pictures and figure out how to do it. Plus, as a bonus, another article from the same site that describes using Instapaper and Google Reader together.

Once it’s all set up, it’s nice to flip on my iPhone or iPad and have my articles all set up and ready for me to read. Plus, I can organize them in folders by language/subject:

Also, Instapaper provides a bookmarklet feature so you can instantly add any article that you’d like to read later, without having to go through the RSS feed process.

This is, of course, mostly based on iOS devices because I own those, though we know Instapaper works just as well with Android devices, too (though there is no “official” Instapaper app for Android, there are some 3rd party ones available). Plus, it can be exported to ePub, Kindle, HTML, Printable, CSV and other formats, too, while supporting wireless delivery to Kindle devices. All of this makes Instapaper it probably one of the most versatile read it later services available.

Update:

To quote a comment below:

Kendall 阿楓 (@LITMK)

Do you have an e-reader? I use calibre [http://calibre-ebook.com/ ] to instantly convert and sync my e-reader with my Google Reader account. It automatically converts my feeds to epubs and transfers them over!

Try it. Takes some figuring out, but well worth the effort!

I still have to try this out myself, but I wanted to share it with anyone else that might be interested in giving it a shot.

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2 thoughts on “Instaconnected

  1. Do you have an e-reader? I use calibre [http://calibre-ebook.com/ ] to instantly convert and sync my e-reader with my Google Reader account. It automatically converts my feeds to epubs and transfers them over!

    Try it. Takes some figuring out, but well worth the effort!

    • Oh! That sounds like a pretty awesome idea! I’ll have to look into that. I’m going to add your comment to the post above in case anyone else is interested in it :)

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