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Services like Instapaper and, my favorite, Read It Later have changed the way I personally manage my time online. Not all of us want to keep a clutter of tabs open in our browser until we can get around to them. Not all of us want to bookmark every single site that we deem interesting enough to read later. Big thanks goes out to those “do it later” web services that save us so much time and effort.

Instapaper and Read It Later aren’t for everyone though. A lot of us are more simple. Our email is the headquarters where we get everything done. With that, I’d like to use this article to introduce you to the powers of toread and CC:to me, the best in-email alternatives to IP and RIL.


The toread website is incredibly straightforward and simple. The three lines on the homepage alone are enough to introduce you to usage of the service:

“toread” is an email-based free bookmark service.

You can bookmark your “toread” web pages by just clicking the bookmarklet on your browser.

To register, simply enter your email address and click “start now”.

Following those instructions, you’ll receive a confirmation email.


Go check your email (and be advised that it may land in your junk folder) and confirm your registration by clicking the hyperlink. Afterwards, you’ll be sent to an account confirmation page that will give you all necessary information required to start using the web service.

If you’re new with bookmarklets, you’ll want to simply click and drag the link up into your bookmarks bar in your browser. I’ve created an entire “Bookmarklets” folder in Firefox.

When you want to push a webpage through the toread service, you simply need to click on that bookmarklet. If you’re an iPhone/iPod user, the instructions are on that page for you as well.

Here’s exactly what emails from toread will look like. Just to test the service, I used toread on the toread account confirmation page.

It really gets the job done.

CC:to me

If you took the time to look over toread, CC:to me is an very similar process. Just like before, you’ll need to enter a valid email address. After, you won’t even need to confirm your email. You’ll be taken right to your account page.

The coolest and most noticeable difference between CC:to me and toread is that you can text notes to your email by simply sending a text message to the CC:to me phone number. If you enter your number on this page, it’ll automatically associate that SMS number with your account. Then, any texts you send in will automatically be sent as a note to your email address. It’s a very cool feature that sets the two services apart.

A bookmarklet is also available, one that you’ll use in the same way as toread’s.

By default, you can attach notes to your CC:to me pages. Those emails won’t contain the page’s content. Here’s an example:

I prefer toread, but if you’re a big note-taker then I can see why CC:to me would be your choice.

But tell us which one would you pick? Also, tell us if you prefer services like Read It Later over these simpler bookmarklets.

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  1. James Graham
    May 6, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    First time I've even heard of two it! Simple to use and saves me copying and pasting to an e-mail to myself!

  2. ender
    May 6, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    I have never used read it later.
    always been for the last 4 or 5 years fan of
    its a perfect combo with my gmail account.

  3. Scott
    May 6, 2012 at 10:59 am

    I've been using toread for at least 5 years, and in that time, I've tried other similar services, but toread has always worked best for me. My only "complaint" is that some pages don't translate well into an email (like pages with a lot of javascript, for example), but I can't blame toread for that.

    Since it appends the email Subject with "[toread]," I've set up a filter in Gmail so I can better organize what I've sent, and then easily find them later by looking through the tag.

    There's also a "tomobi" feature, too, which you can set up to send text-only versions of pages to your mobile phone, but I haven't tried that one yet.