Add Long Emails, Newsletters, and More to Instapaper
Wednesday, March 16th, 2011
Over the past several months, I've shifted all of my long-form online reading to Instapaper. I keep the bookmarklet in my bookmarks bar on Chrome, where it's always a quick Ctrl+Shift+B away. Whenever I come across an article I'd like to read but would take more than a minute or two, I'll add it to my Instapaper queue to read later. That way, I can get rid of all the distractions and just sit down and read on Instapaper, whether in the browser or on the iOS app.
There's only one thing I haven't been able to switch to Instapaper: email newsletters. Now, most email newsletters I get go straight in the trash, but some are definately worth reading. From Smashing Magazine's email newsletter to Om Malik's Om Says, I get plenty of high quality writing in my inbox that I'd like to take time to read. I just don't want to have to read it in Gmail. But, if you try the page to Instapaper, you'll get an error message in your reading log instead of the newsletter you wanted to read.
But, there's a solution...
After several tries, I finally hit on a way to get email newsletters into Instapaper: the old Print trick. Many articles online are broken into multiple pages, so the best way to get them into Instapaper is to click the Print button in the page and then add it to Instapaper. And guess what? This works in Gmail too. Just click the Print All button to the right of your email, and it'll open in a plain HTML page in a new tab.
Close the print window that opens, then just click your Instapaper bookmarklet or browser addon in the new tab. Check your Instapaper list, and you should see your newsletter or longer email in Instapaper, ready to read with all of your favorite text settings in your browser, iPhone, or iPad.
If you're a dedicated Instapaper fan, or have just been looking for an easy way to make it easier to read long emails, this little tip can save you some time and frustration. I've personally found it much more productive to add longer reading items to Instapaper and read them later, and now that can include everything from long emails from friends, newsletters, and great long-form articles. Online reading's never been so nice before!
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