Managing my “Instapaper not yet read” guilt with ReadNow

“I could have read this months ago”

Last July I sent a promising mac.appstorm article to my Instapaper queue. Its title? “ReadNow: Native Instapaper and Read it Later Management” I just recently read it … and after having read it, I acted on it immediately. But I could have acted on it at least five months ago.

Lack of diligence sabotages my Instapaper use

That situation illustrates one of the main issues I’m having with the excellent Instapaper app and Instapaper service Marco Arment has designed.
Let’s be clear, my issue is not about Instapaper at all. The solution is excellent and scratches a serious itch I have. The problem is that Instapaper for me has turned into yet another bucket which, if not regularly emptied of its contents, starts festering and getting on my nerves. The usefulness of Instapaper, combined with my lack of diligence in emptying it on a regular basis (i.e. reading the contents or at least scanning through them and retaining or discarding them) results in a subconscious resistance to its use. There is a significant risk that I substitute Instapaper with sent to mail, where the articles just start clogging up my mailbox. That pressure on my mailbox will result in an ever more decreasing likelihood that I will empty my Instapaper queue, … and that’s where my system breaks down.

What I really needed

Absurd as it may sound, I needed a solution such as Reeder, but for my Instapaper queue. I need a solution which will allow me to read my Instapaper queue, ideally offline, when I am at home with a couple of minutes to spare or on a train with an article written and some time left before disembarking with an open MacBook on my lap.

Again, Marco’s iPad and iPhone solutions are excellent, but they do not allow me to crunch the articles at the same speed I normally go through my RSS feeds. And in essence, my Instapaper queue is filled with Reeder articles I wanted to save for later reading.


Enter ReadNow. I downloaded the app to both my iMac and my MacBook Air the moment I knew of its existence. And I see my reading list shrinking. Opening ReadNow and scanning through the articles, easily reading, then filing or discarding an article has resulted in a significant reduction of my open to read list in Instapaper. When behind the screen of a Mac, ReadNow has become my preferred means of accessing and going through my Instapaper queue. It has significantly augmented the added value Instapaper has for me, and has resulted in a tangible reduction of the fear of putting interesting information in a bucket out of sight, out of mind. ReadNow has provided me with a low resistance way of accessing that information, and is an interesting and to me essential addition to the Instapaper apps I have available on both iPhone and iPad.