The read-it-later wars are on. Pocket is taking territory while Instapaper has gone for an alliance with Pinterest. But information overload is taking its pound of brain cells. So, how do you remember everything you read? By using simple tools.
An online highlighter is one of the simpler tools you can use to focus on specific chunks of text. Liner is a web highlighter that is available as a Chrome extension and an iOS app. All your highlights are synced across the web and mobile.
Read and Highlight Anything
After you install the Chrome extension and sign-in, the process is simple. The highlight mode toggles on and you select the part of the text you want to highlight and drag. There’s also the iOS app that opens Liner from within other apps and any mobile browser.
The mobile app also lets you pick the highlight color from a choice of six. Go through the iOS app and the instant guide on how to set up Liner to work with other reading apps on your iPhone.
Liner not only highlights. It helps you build a collection of highlights and annotations which you can treat as bookmarks. You can create your own folders and categorize your highlights for easier reference. Mark the special ones as favorites. Export them to a notebook on Evernote. Or share them via Twitter and Facebook.
Here’s a thinking man’s tip: Send them to Evernote and annotate the highlights with your own comments. Critical thinking is an important part of effective recall.
Liner adds another notch to your read-it-later flow. You can connect Pocket and Instapaper with the app and annotate the best points from the articles you have read. A beta feature is in the works which allows you to upload a PDF file and highlight it.
Highlighting has been a learning aid for a long time. Over the decades, many studies have trashed the effectiveness of highlighting. A Times article in 2013 cited a study by the Association for Psychological Sciences:
[…] highlighting can get in the way of learning; because it draws attention to individual facts, it may hamper the process of making connections and drawing inferences.
The solution? Selective highlighting. Don’t color it all over.
A highlighter can help you annotate the main ideas and use them to make connections. Saving them to your Liner account or to Evernote helps to re-visit those saves. You don’t want to ace an exam but just do enough to retain and recall everything that you read on the web.
How do you like Liner so far? Do you have a terrible time storing the little bits you read online every day?