Read more, without reading…

Most of my online reading content comes from forums, stack exchange, code documentation, Q&A sites and of course blogs, such as life hacker. Most of this kind of information is not time critical, but in my experience trying to bookmark the links and read it later never works… and different website layouts, adverts etc can be a pain.

Boom, Instapaper!

It’s an online service that doesn’t just collect the websites you want to read later but also intelligently strips out the content from the crazy websites for easy reading. They have an iPhone app, web interface, API etc. Really easy to use, saves your location, social buttons, reading time estimation, with auto scrolling see you can even catch up with one hand while riding the London Tube.

I’ve now made it a personal rule to read at least three of these instapapered articles each day, as over a couple of months, I managed to stack up about 500 unread articles! 😛 (some of the stuff I’ve got from life hacker has completely changed my life – so glad I got around to reading them)

However, is still requires reading from the screen of an iPad or computer… Mostly at night, before bed.

Thanks to a new discovery, on a MacBook Pro, you can select any text, right click and get the computer to read it. If you go poking around in the settings you can even assign a key combo to this and tweak the voice to be remarkably human (I’m looking at you Serena).

So when I’m doing mundane tasks, such as; accounting, market research, social marketing or whatever. I can have the articles read to me in the background! It takes some getting used to, being able to do one task and still retain the information on the articles… but I’m getting better and you can always repeat sections!

This has massively increased my productivity, and made my life so much easier due to the new things I’m learning on the go with very little effort. You can even get the Mac to save the speech as an MP3, slap it on dropbox, and play on headphones whilst on the go.

Perfect, most of the time anywho.

Read more, without reading…

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