A while ago, I got into “save for later” tools, and wrote about 3 handy tools which are not Instapaper to save interesting webpages for later. For some reason, I never liked using Instapaper or Evernote, and I’m always on the lookout for simple and lightweight methods to save webpages for later.
After writing that article, I heard about Read Later Fast for Chrome, a “save for later” extension from diigo, and was told it’s one of the best around. Imagine my frustration when, by the time I decided to check it out, I found out this extension is inexplicably no longer available. If you’re frustrated by the disappearance of this extension, or if you’re still on the lookout for easy ways to save interesting reads for later, here is a list of 3 Chrome extensions that provide a great alternative.
To Be Read is a very simple, bare-bones extension, suitable for those who uphold minimalism and responsiveness above all. The graphics are not very appealing (almost non-existent, in fact), but this contributes to the extension’s general swiftness.
This extension lets you create a list of websites to read later, which you can then access through the extension icon in your toolbar.
If, like me, you suffer from the “too many tabs” syndrome, you’d be happy to hear that To Be Read also helps solve this problem. Not only can you save interesting webpages for later, the extension also automatically closes the tab you’ve just saved. When you encounter a webpage you don’t have time to read right now, click on the extension’s icon and then click on “SLC” (Save for Later and Close). The page will be saved and the tab will be closed, helping you avoid unnecessary clutter.
When you open a page from this list, it will automatically be removed from the list. You can also remove items from the list using the red X.
As you can see, the options are also pretty bare-bones: you can clear your entire list, and choose to see a confirmation before removing an item manually.
Read It is a Chrome extension powered by Klip.me, and is somewhat more sophisticated than To Be Read. Using the extension doesn’t require you to set up a Klip.me account, or to store your links in the cloud, but those things are possible and we’ll get to them shortly.
The first you’d want to do with Read It is access the settings and set up your hotkeys. There’s a hotkey to preview a saved page (it attempts to make the pages more readable), for saving a page and for accessing your list of saved pages. You can also set a default action for clicking the Read It icon.
If you choose to preview a page before you save it, you’ll be presented with its stripped form, which, to be honest, is not extremely readable in my opinion, but is the only downside of this extension. From here, you can click Save to save the page.
This is what your list looks like. You can star important items and filter your list accordingly. You can also archive items when you’re done with them – they will be deleted shortly after (but not immediately so you can always change your mind).
So far, all these features are offline, meaning your links are not saved in the cloud and you can’t access them from anywhere else. If you create an account with Klip.me, you can save your links in the cloud, and then access them from iOS or Android devices, and also push them to your Kindle.
Postpone Page is another very simple Chrome extension, which is a great example of how an interface doesn’t have to be ugly in order to be responsive and useful. After installing it, click the extension’s icon when you want to save a page, and the click on “Postpone Page”. This will add the page to the list.
Every time you add a page to the list, an icon changes to reflect the number of pages you have saved. When you’re visiting one of these saved pages, the little number turns red, so you know this one is already saved. When you open a page through the list, that page is automatically removed from the list. If you postpone a page but then change your mind, you can “Unpostpone” it. You can also click on the X to remove a page from the list without visiting it.
As you can see, the list only displays up to 5 items. No worries, though, Postpone Page includes a handy live search box, which you can use to look for pages using keywords from the title. Unfortunately, you have to remember a keyword from the title, the extension doesn’t search within articles. I only wish there were a way to view the entire list, and not just the most recent five.
In the option, your are offered the option to grant the extension additional permission and get additional features. For me, this didn’t work, but I would rather grant as little permission as possible anyway. The extensions works great just as it is.
What do you use to save pages for later? Do you go for the big and famous services, or do you prefer the small and less known ones? Let us know in the comments.
Image Credit: Scissors image via Shutterstock