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What You Said: How You Snag and Store Articles for Later Reading

2012-05-25_114240

Earlier this week we asked you to share your favorite tools and tips for saving articles for later reading. Now we’re back to highlight how you snag and store interesting content.

Some readers like to keep it simple and just bookmark the content they want to read later, like Asgaro:

I have dedicated bookmark folders, seperated by each “purpose” an URL has. Because that greatly influences the time you spend on an URL ;)
My folders are:
- To watch (Youtube links, etc)
- Articles to read (pure text)
- To do (trying software, etc)
- Sites to research (sites I want to explore completely)

Others keep it simple but save the entire article in order to have it for offline reading, Lady Fitzgerald, among many other readers, uses a word processor to save content:

It may sound overly involved and primitive to most of you but I usually copy and paste the article into a Word doc. That way I can access it even if I’m not connected to the internet. If the article is one I want to keep, I’ll clean up the formatting (and, sadly all too frequently, grammar, sentence structure, and spelling) and, if I plan on reading it on my e-book reader, use Adobe Acrobat to convert it to PDF (my e-book reader won’t read Word docs). I park the results on my desktop (the desktop on my computer is a huge parking lot) until I’m finished with them, then either delete or save them somewhere (hard drive space is cheap so I usually save things).

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Tony uses a combination of curation tools:

Whenever this discussion is raised, Pocket, Readability, and Instapaperarise as answers. I feel like Pocket is in a totally different category. To me it feels like Pocket should be battling it out with bookmark services.

Pocket for me is for things I want to read later when later is a one time surface scan. Readability is for things that really capture my interest and I want to spend more time understanding. Items from Pocket may get promoted to permanent bookmarks in my browser. Items from Readability may get promoted to a notebook in Springpad.

Dragonbite emails everything to himself for archiving and later reading:

I use “Email This!” (Firefox extension) or “Send from Gmail” (Chrome extension) to easily email the link to the article, and any snippit I highlight on the page beforehand, to myself.

I can edit the subject to put down some reason WHY I think it is interesting too. I can also send it to other people if I think they would like it too.

Then my GMail account is told to put a label on it when it comes from myself and I can either leave it in my mailbox or archive it and go back to it later.

For more tips and tricks, hit up the full comment thread here.

Jason Fitzpatrick is warranty-voiding DIYer and all around geek. When he's not documenting mods and hacks he's doing his best to make sure a generation of college students graduate knowing they should put their pants on one leg at a time and go on to greatness, just like Bruce Dickinson. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 05/25/12

Comments (13)

  1. Mehrad

    ever note and google eader

  2. mick

    For short turn keeps I use pocket (read it later)
    Long turn keeps I use bookmarks or evernote to take a snap shot of the page it case it changes

  3. Michael

    I used to have a few different ways of getting things onto my Kindle or my phone for reading later, but now between Pocket (Read It Later) and Send To Kindle, it’s become quite simple.

  4. jeauxblack

    I use an add on in firefox or Waterfox it is called doPDF v7 at http://www.novapdf.com/en/dopdf.html. it will copy entire web page to pdf and save it where you want.

  5. Louis

    Any recommendations for services that will email you links to articles of interest by TOPIC, not PROVIDER?. I prefer to monitor topics of interest, with a limit if there are too many (100+) articles, etc.

  6. Craig

    If i’m on my iPhone/iPad, e-mail the article to myself.

    If i’m in Firefox, I add it to a folder on the favorites toolbar called “quick links” for future reading.
    Using Firefox Sync, it is available anywhere.

  7. lesle

    MS OneNote and Firefox add-on ClipToOneNote. If you have MS Office 2007 or 2010 you already have OneNote.

  8. Ron

    If I really want to keep the content long term, say configuration tips, then I’ll copy the content into Word and save as HTML if there are no graphics (file size is MUCH smaller than DOCX) or DOCX if has images. Web sites come and go, so I prefer to keep “important” / useful information locally. I include the hyperlink to the source article so I can revisit it and view comments that have been added. Simply doing a SAVE from a HTML page creates bloated files with lots advertising. If I do save HTML directly from the browser I prefer to use IE MHT format so that it creates a single file rather than a HTML file with the associated images folder. Selectively copying text allows me to weed out advertising, reducing the subsequent file size greatly, making the content more readable.

    If the content is more time sensitive, say prices or hardware reviews, I will just save the hyperlink. I use FireFox as my primary browser, but I have an addin called “PlainOldFavorites” that ties directly into IE “Favorites”. That way both of my browsers have access to the same set of links.

    When I save a file or hyperlink I use 6 “special” techniques.
    First, I have about 30 different categories of info I save. I use the same folder names both for the files and favorites

    Second, I create “tags” that I use as prefixes in the file names so that all files on a topic sort out in the same place. For example “Win7- “, “Word- “Hacking- ” “tuning- ”

    Third, after the tag I insert the full date in YYYY MM DD format. That way all of the tags on each topic sort out chronologically. That way I can follow the development of a news story, or I can find the newest version of specific tips. I don’t trust the file system dates because they can change for various reasons

    Fourth, I type out the full title rather than using the default names provided. It makes identifying the contents easier. I use a set of common abbreviations to shorten the names

    Fifth, I have used file redirection to point ALL userids (and browsers) on my computer to the same Favorites folder location so I have only 1 set of favorites.

    Sixth, I use a tool called “Everything” from Void Tools. It ties directly into the NT File System (NTFS) and provides truly INSTANT file name searches as I type. It has a few quirks that I’m willing to live with.

    This combination of techniques allow me to do instant file name searches by tag or filename. The descriptive long file names clearly indicate the content. Since I use IE Favorites for all hyperlinks (regardless of browser), they also show up in the filename searches.

    Seventh, every 6 months or so I run AM Deadlinks to identify hyperlinks that no longer work. I’ll redo links that have been redirected. With approaching 10,000 favorites, I typically find a hundred or more deadlinks to delete. I’ll google for them first to see if they have been moved without a redirect.

  9. Pat

    This article made me want to ask another question. A tougher question for me. How do you make time in your schedule to read and revisit the sites you have bookmarked, saved, emailed, Evernote’d to yourself? That’s a bigger problem for me than how to save them….

  10. Keith

    I love OneNote from MS Office (it integrates with IE) for grabbing whole web pages and storing in a “notebook” for later reading or for re-reading as a reference.

  11. john3347

    I just save a shortcut to the URL on my desktop. After I have perused the article, I will delete, the shortcut and either forget about the source of save it by some method according to the type of content.

  12. Frogeyes

    I’ve not seen anyone mention “Cute PDF Writer”

    Google it or – http://www.cutepdf.com/

  13. Sam Mackay

    Using Firefox, just right-click on the web page and click “Send to Onenote”. This copies the entire web page with graphics (minus background colours), as well as a link to the original article at the end. The content can be edited as required, and saved to Word or PDF. You can create many different notebooks. I couldn’t live without it!

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