Simplenote Loves Instapaper

Geeky Quick Tips is a series of simple, code-free tips and tactics for doing more with your Mac or iOS device. For more detailed geekery, be sure to checkout the Techie Scheky series.

Simplenote’s latest update is a good one. While you won’t notice anything obvious, a lot has changed “under the hood.” As Shawn Blanc points out, it is dramatically faster. But, better yet, they’ve added in what are known as a URL scheme which allows it to integrate with other applications. Many will be excited by the tie-in to Launch Center, but this geek is thrilled about Instapaper integration.

Thankfully Marco Arment, the man behind Instapaper and Simperioum, the team behind Simplenote, anticipated the release and have added integration.

How Is This Helpful?

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I do a significant amount of reading and writing on my iPhone on the subway and one often informs the other. I’ll be reading and I will want to add my own context to someone’s post. The goal has always been to get the source text into a document as quickly as possible and start writing. In the past, there were a few ways to go about this, but all of them were a little clunky. Now, my reading app of choice, Instapaper makes it seamless to highlight text in Instapaper and share it to a new note in Simplenote along with the title and a link to the original post.

Step 1 – Hightlight Text In Instapaper and Hit Share

Step 2 – Select “Create a Note in Simplenote”

Step 3 – Your Note Is Automatically Created In Simplenote

Step 4 – Name Your Note, Add Any Formatting and Start Writing

This subtle change lets me capture an idea on either my iPhone or iPad, like the post above from Yuvi Zalkow on using Twitter, and lets me begin expanding on it instantly. It also works offline, so it’s ideal for working in circumstances where there is no internet service (a common occurrence not only on the subway, but in many ares of Manhattan thanks to the joys of AT&T). Once I’m back at home or at my office, my work will be synced through nvALT to my other devices.

It’s a tiny bit of pleasure for a heavy user of both Simplenote and Instapaper and should make my contextual writing significantly easier when on-the-go. This is also a trick that should work with any other iOS text editor that includes a URL scheme and has taken the time to coordinate with Instapaper.

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18 Responses to Simplenote Loves Instapaper

  1. This is great, Michael. 

    My one big concern is this: if I send this blog post (which references my blog post) to Instapaper and then to Simplenote with the intent of making a blog post about your blog post about my blog post, will it cause some kind of blog-based vortex in the universe?

  2. Oh, you do a significant amount of reading and writing on your iPhone on the subway. Please, tell me more about how cool, urban and modern your lifestyle is.

    • Point taken, but not really what I was going for… Trust me, one look and you’ll see that of all the things I am, cool and urban don’t really make the list. If we’re counting geeky or techie as modern, then yes. Very modern.

      The reality is, I spend a good bit of time underground that could go wasted to something like Angry Birds and try to use it to make something. I’m slowly getting less crappy at doing that and I try to share those tools with anyone else who may find them useful. Sorry it wasn’t your cup of tea.

      • I was kidding. I’ve read that sentence and I couldn’t help but make a little joke about it. Actually, your post kind of made my day, as I’m also a geek and heavily rely both on Instapaper and Simplenote in my daily routine.Still preferring books and observing people during my commute, though…

        • Oh, no worries. On reading it back, I realized you were spot on. It sounded like I had a long beard and skinny jeans :) Then again, I think I would have had to have been writing in a Moleskin…

          I used to love people watching on the 6, but the B train is essentially a cattle car and that kind of took the joy out of it. Plus the two little kids have made sure that the subway is the only place things get done :)

  3. This is exactly what I was looking for. You sir, just earned a permanent place in my feed reader. Thank you.

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