Bookmarking, Saving Entire Pages for later usage, Organizing your To Do List and sharing with others….just a few of the capabilities of services like Evernote, Instapaper, Read It Later and the upcoming Spool (now in Beta mode). If you spend a lot of time reading on the internet, twitter, …and up until now were just bookmarking everything and then had an issue with how to read those bookmarks from another device/browser, then you should give a try to these quite amazing cloud apps that allow you – with just a click – to save everything you find interesting and would like to read later. The days of the links copy/paste in the email client are gone – now we can share with others content or bookmarks or even reports built on existing content. It is true that like with any “respectable” cloud service – once your broadband connection is gone only some of them will be working offline – unless you pay a premium fee like any respectable user.
So, lets just go shortly through them:
Evernote – great organizer tool, some call it project management and private library tool. This is the place where to store your TO DO list, projects data (e.g. emails related to those projects). Evernote will categorize your data (megatagged, indexed data) – in order to allow searches for topics, you will be able to share your TO DO list – and for example even have check points for items that can be completed by the family. Works offline – but just as a premium feature. Also interesting there is a feature called “Clearly” allows text conversion (eliminating ads, images…) prior to saving.
Instapaper – a great destination tool for all the content you would like to see later. Data can be uploaded through Instapaper browser bookmarklet, Reeder, Google Reader and the interface of the iPad app is brilliantly designed and easy to use. Works with offline access.
Read It Later – works with content accelerators/content gathering tools like Zite and Pulse. Also Read It Later is much more focused on multimedia. Text, images and video. Its iOS app has a feature called Digest that creates a sort of virtual newspaper front page – for better view of your content. Offline: only for ipad and firefox
Spool – the new comer, still in beta use (to be tested by invitation only) – works on ios, android, chrome, …Saves video as well – so you can save entire articles. One cool use – you can save twitter conversations with just one click – the spool icon will appear next to the twitter feeds. The service reads the webpage the way a human would and extracts the relevant parts, while discarding the rest (like the ads, the header, the footer, etc.). Also, very important it converts video into mobile-friendly, HTML5-based formats that play within any modern smartphone or tablet browser. The videos and other content are also cached to the device, for offline access. Works offline.
Conclusion: Evernote is by far the most advanced of these apps but is advisable to be used in combination with one of the Spool, Instapaper and Read It Later apps – because these apps are much better in content viewing. After the content is viewed in Spool/Instapaper/Read It Later the content can be sent to Evernote for storing as part of a project/collaboration/content classification. The new graphical interface of Read It Later makes this decision fast in it’s favor – but Spool is coming up these days.