Readwise and Instapaper

February 27, 2020 • #

Discovering Readwise a few months ago caused me to resurrect my long-dormant Instapaper account. Instapaper was my go-to “read later” service, but I also used it as a general bookmark archive. After a while I’d fallen into only using it for the latter, which then made me go back to Pinboard since the single function of bookmark tagging is its specialty. I’m still using Pinboard heavily to archive interesting things, but I’ve found a new use for Instapaper with Readwise’s integration.

Readwise’s main feature is to sync all of the highlighted passages from your Kindle (via your Amazon account) and sent you a daily digest of 5 highlights from previous reads, with the goal of increasing retention of things you read. For any high-volume reader, you’re well-familiar with the problem of forgetting most of what you read, certainly any details beyond the basic gist of a book.

I didn’t know how much I wanted a tool for this until I started using it.

Readwise & Instapaper

With its Instapaper integration, it’ll sync articles and their highlights into your Readwise archive, which then can be included in your daily reminder digests. Over the years I’ve toyed with tools like Evernote or Google Keep for clipping quotes or passages from web content, but none of them stuck for me or were that useful. The information going into an archive solves only part of the problem. What you want is a way to remember and reference those bits you clip from the web.

A related feature Readwise supports that I’ve used a few times now is archiving Twitter threads. Replying on a thread with @readwiseio save thread will store those posts in your Readwise account and include them in your daily highlight reviews alongside Kindle and article content. It works best for threads of things that are time-insensitive like ones on history, advice, business strategy, etc.

The Instapaper support has filled a gap in making bookmarking of articles more useful when you can play back interesting things you read that are worth remembering.