Posted on Mon 30 December 2013

How I read

One thing I've changed a whole lot (and probably will change again) is how I manage my reading workflow of articles online. I've stuck to the setup I have now for the past few months, so I think it's working well enough to share it with you.

Finding content

For the most part, I find content on Twitter (via Tweetbot, which lets me long press/right click on a link to add it to my read-later service of choice).

The other main place I find content lately is in my Kippt feed. I use Kippster on my iPhone and iPad, and generally read these on-the-spot.


I've tried a few content discovery services like Zite, Flipboard and Prismatic but didn't find any of them useful enough to stick with. Prismatic probably came the closest to unearthing interesting content, but the app's design didn't work for me.

Luckily my Twitter feed is interesting enough to keep my reading list full.

Reading now

Whenever I want to read something immediately on my Mac, I use either Evernote's Clearly extension or the Readability extension for Chrome.


Both clean up the text, removing any sidebars, ads or secondary content, and both let me adjust the aesthetics of the reading experience. This means I can have a content-focussed reading view, akin to something like Medium, on pretty much any website I like.


Reading later

Most of the articles I read online are saved to a read-later service first. For now, I'm using Readability. It's my go-to read-later service because it's the only one integrated with Reeder 2, and because I find the parser to be better than Instapaper and Pocket, most of the time.

I'm using Reeder 2 on my iPhone and iPad, and it's pretty much the best read-later app I've tried. It's also an RSS reader, so I can have all of my online reading inside one app. I'm hoping it'll get an option to share to Kippt soon, but that's about the only qualm I have with it.

Reeder 2

I rarely catch up on my reading list from my Mac but when I do, I use ReadKit, which also supports both Readability and RSS.

Other tools I use

A few other tools I use as part of this workflow:

Google's dictionary extension for Chrome

If I could only have one Chrome extension installed, I'd choose this one. It lets me double-click on any word and displays the definition in a bubble above it.

Google Dictionary

Alfred to define words

Anytime I'm not reading something in Chrome, I use Alfred to quickly grab the definition of a word I don't know. Alfred has a bunch of awesome uses, but this is one I use constantly. I just type "define" and the word, and I can see the definition, or tab "return" to open the dictionary and see the full definition, synonyms and the Wikipedia entry for that word.


Pinboard to save articles

Once I've read something that I really liked, or that I think I'll want to refer to later, I use Pinboard to save it with tags. Reeder 2 makes this really easy because it has Pinboard integration so I don't even have to leave the app to do so. I also have Pinner and Pushpin on my iPhone and iPad, both of which will grab a URL from the clipboard to make saving stuff easier. On my Mac, I use Diddums for quick and easy saving of my front browser tab.


Day One for saving quotes

When I come across a quote I really like in something I'm reading, I save the quote, the author and a link to the article as a Day One entry. I often come back to this same entry and add more quotes as I go, particularly for Paul Graham's longer essays that are full of nuggets of wisdom. This isn't a very smooth process, but I'm determined to keep these quotes in my Day One journal so I do it anyway. I'd love to find an easier way to do this in the future.

Day One

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