It’s so easy to find interesting things to read online, but it’s tricky to find the time to read them. Fortunately it’s a snap to send all those great articles to your Kindle so you can read them at a convenient time.
There are tons tools that offer some sort of send-to-Kindle functionality, but they aren’t all created equal. Rather than give you a single solution and call it a day, we’re going to highlight a few tools we’ve used over the years with great success and suggest (based on their long track records and stability) you can pick the one that fits best with your work flow. The first is Tinderizer, a simple one-click article formatter. The second is using a service like Instapaper or Pocket, which let you save your articles for reading later on Kindle and in mobile apps for iOS and Android.
If you’re looking for the most dead-simple tool around, we’d strongly suggest you check out Tinderizer (formerly known as Kindlebility).
It’s been around since 2011 (we’ve been using it since then without a hitch) and the project is completely open source. If you were so inclined you could download the source code, read over it, and even host your own personal Tinderizer system on your private server to maintain total control over the system.
Tinderizer is a bookmarklet and is completely browser/OS agnostic. As long as you’re using a modern web browser, you can use it. When reading an article, you can click a single button to send it to your Kindle, formatted and optimized.
To use Tinderizer, just visit the main page and follow the little six-step walk through. You’ll need to log into your Amazon account and navigate to Your Account > Manage Your Content and Devices and click on Settings tab.
Scroll down to the “Approved Personal Document E-Mail List” section. This is where you whitelist email addresses you wish to give permission to send documents to your Kindle account. Click “Add a new approved e-mail address” and input email@example.com like so:
Once you’ve whitelisted the Tinderizer email, the next step is to create the custom bookmarklet. First, grab your Kindle email address. You can find your Kindle email on the same page you created the whitelist entry. Look at the top of the Settings tab for “Send-to-Kindle E-Mail Settings”. There you need to locate the specific email address linked to the Kindle you wish to send the documents to (typically it’s your firstname.lastname@example.org and a variation thereof like email@example.com for your secondary Kindles and Kindle apps).
Enter that address into Tinderizer and click next to generate the bookmarklet.
Drag that huge “Send to my Kindle!” link, by clicking and holding, right up to your browser toolbar.
Once the bookmarklet is in place, you can click it while reading any article you wish to send to your Kindle. When you do so, you’ll see a little notification window in the upper left corner telling you what’s going on:
Make sure your Kindle is connected to either Wi-Fi or the 3G network. The new item should download automatically (select Menu > Sync and Check for New Items if it doesn’t appear). Here’s a screenshot of how nice one of our articles looks:
Once you have the bookmarklet set up, you’re good to go for…well, forever. We’ve been using Tinderizer since 2011 and the only time we’ve had to even check in on the site is when Amazon’s legal department made them change from Kindlebility to Tinderizer (and even then, it took 20 seconds to make a new bookmarklet).
That’s all there is to it; for every article you want to read on your Kindle, click the bookmarklet, and the Tinderizer server will ship a neatly formatted document to your Kindle. If it’s so simple, why even bother with anything else? Well, if you use Tinderizer a lot, you’ll notice one thing right away: every article you clip and send to your Kindle is its own document. If you clip a ton of articles to read later you’ll have pages worth of them on your Kindle. If you’re not a big fan of clutter, you might want to take a look at our next technique.
Now, Tinderizer gets the job done, but if you use a read-it-later service like Instapaper or Pocket, you can integrate those with your Kindle instead. That way, whenever you send an article to one of those services, it also gets sent to your Kindle. You can even combine articles into one tidy digest with the articles arranged like chapters in a book.
If you’re looking for a read-it-later solution for your Kindle, Instapaper is a free and streamlined option that covers both the send-to-Kindle bit and the archive-for-later bit in an easy-to-use package—no third party tricks needed. Even more enticing, Instapaper recently consolidated their free and premium user accounts into one so all users now get the premium feature bundle.
You’ll need to visit the Instapaper website and sign up for a free account. In order to take advantage of Instapaper’s Kindle-friendly delivery services you’ll need to set up two bookmarklets: one to send articles to your Instapaper account (which will build up your queue for the digest) and one to immediately send articles to your Kindle (for those articles you want sent immediately, skipping the digest).
First, hit up the Instapaper “How to Save” guide and either install their handy Chrome extension or drag the “Save to Instapaper” bookmarklet button to the toolbar of your browser. This button will help you populate your Instapaper queue.
Second, pop over to the Settings menu and scroll down to the “Kindle” section. There’s a lot going on here, but the first thing you need to do is enter your Kindle email address. You can find your Kindle email on the Settings tab of this page. Look for “Send-to-Kindle E-Mail Settings”. There you need to locate the specific email address linked to the Kindle you wish to send the documents to (typically it’s your firstname.lastname@example.org and a variation thereof like email@example.com for your secondary Kindles and Kindle apps).
Once you’ve entered that, click on the “Get Kindle Bookmarklet” and drag the resulting “Send to Kindle” button to your toolbar.
Next, you need to get your personal Instpaper email address so you can whitelist it with Amazon. Next to the bold text “Your Kindle Email Address” you’ll see a small blue “what’s this?”. Click on the link and it will expand to reveal the following:
Take that *@instapaper address and add it to the approved email list on the Settings tab of your Amazon device settings.
With that taken care of, you’re ready to start using the Instapaper-to-Kindle workflow. You may want to tinker with the extra settings like how many articles to be included with the digest, how often to send the digest, and the threshold trigger for the digest (e.g. don’t send the digest if there isn’t X number of new articles). There’s even a handy override button “Send Articles Now” if you just want to dump the queue and get the digest immediately.
Although the default font setting is slightly different than Tinderizer, it’s still cleanly formatted and easy to read. Even better yet, the easy-to-browse compilation files make it super simple to catch up all the articles you’ve save throughout the day/week without opening and closing dozens of individual files on your Kindle.
If you’re new to using a read-it-later service and have no skin in the game, we’d recommend you just use Instapaper. Not only is the premium tier now free, but it handles everything in house. Pocket is a great read-it-later service but you do need to jump through an extra hoop to get it up and running with your Kindle, as it doesn’t have native send-to-Kindle functionality.
In order to use Pocket with your Kindle, you need to sign up for a Pocket account, and then start the process of adding the Pocket bookmarklet–you can find the bookmarklet as well as the Chrome extension here. Just install the Chrome extension or click and drag the bookmarklet to your browser’s toolbar.
The extension/bookmarklet will help you populate your Pocket queue with articles. You can read them in the Pocket apps for iOS or Android, but if you want to send them to your Kindle, you’ll need the help of a third-party service.
Officially, Pocket recommends the free Pocket-to-Kindle service, so that’s the one we’ll be using. Visit the site and click on “Start Here!” to link it to your Pocket account.
You’ll be prompted to authorize P2K to access your Pocket account. Click “Authorize” to confirm. When prompted enter your personal email address (not your Kindle email address!)
There are two tiers of service: standard and premium. For our purposes (simply getting a recurring digest or sending the current queue to the Kindle) the standard plan will be just fine. Click “Choose Standard”.
Once you’ve made your selection you’ll be inside the P2K dashboard. Click on “Create Delivery” to set up the delivery schedule you want.
The dashboard is very user friendly. Select “Daily” or “Weekly” to set up your delivery schedule, then customize the day, time, what articles (newest, oldest, time, or random), and specify how many articles. You may also want to check “Archive delivered articles”, which archives the articles on the Pocket service after sending them to your Kindle. Just make sure you actually read all the articles in your digest, because they won’t be in your Pocket queue anymore!
When ready, click “Start Delivery”.
You’ll be prompted to enter your Kindle email address and to authorize “firstname.lastname@example.org” in your Amazon delivery whitelist.
First, grab your Kindle email address. You can find your Kindle email on the Settings tab of this page. Look for “Send-to-Kindle E-Mail Settings”. There you need to locate the specific email address linked to the Kindle you wish to send the documents to (typically it’s your email@example.com and a variation thereof like firstname.lastname@example.org for your secondary Kindles and Kindle apps).
Enter that email address when prompted in P2K. Then, from that same page in Amazon’s settings. add “email@example.com” to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List.
Lastly, click “Start Delivering Now!” to compete the process.
At that point your delivery schedule is set and you just need to sit back and wait for the digests to come rolling in.