I touched on the web interface when I wrote about the Read It Later Android app, but there is definitely a lot to explore with this fantastic “DVR for the Internet.” As a quick refresher, Read It Later allows you to save bookmarks to articles you find on the web so that you can, well, read them later.
This way, you don’t have to clutter up the bookmarks on your main web browser and, better still, you’re able to save these articles for later offline viewing on your portable device of choice. It all gets synchronized seamlessly. But what about the Read It Later experience on Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and other desktop web browsers?
The Official Web Version
Your reading list, by default, will be displayed in standard list format, only giving you the name of the page and its domain. However, you can optionally switch over to the “new” digest interface. This “magazine” style layout is similar to some of the WordPress themes that you may have encountered, pulling a thumbnail image and a brief snippet for each link.
Naturally, the search function is there, too, if you want to look for something specific that you saved. The ability to star, delete, and “mark as read” is easy too: just hover over the item and the three icons will automatically appear.
The easiest way to use Read It Later from your web browser is to use the provided bookmarklets. You simply drag these to your bookmarks toolbar and click on them as necessary.
I’ve highlighted the “Read It Later” bookmarklet here. When you get to an article or webpage that you want to save, you simply click on the bookmarklet and it gets added to your reading list. There are also bookmarklets to “mark as read” and to open up your reading list.
User Created Chrome Extensions
The great thing about the online community is that you can capitalize on the collective knowledge and efforts of your fellow web users. The developers of Read It Later have opened up its API to allow develoeprs to create extra applications, mostly in the form of Chrome extensions.
The example displayed aboved is Orbvious Interest. It adds a small icon to the navigation bar in Google Chrome and clicking on this opens up your reading list. From there, you can easily delete and organize your list, as well as add new items.
Another neat Chrome extension is the Check It Later New Tab Replacement. When you install this, a new tab in Chrome won’t display the usual “most visited” thumbnail page. Instead, it will show you your unread Read It Later links. This is certainly an efficient way to handle all the things you have to read…later.