Posted by: lsinrc | June 17, 2010

iPad Tools for Info Junkies–Part 2

With the previous one (iPad Tools for Info Junkies–Part 1) we covered a variety of tools to better handle large volumes of web information. So why bother? With the overwhelming amount of information on the internet, info junkies need to find efficient ways to sift, process, and share. Because the iPad has some limitations compared laptops or desktop computers, it takes a little more prep to handle these tasks very efficiently:

  • scan dozens or hundreds of web resources (RSS-NewsRack & Twitter-Osfoora)
  • target the articles/sites you want to view more closely for later–online or offline so you can read them anywhere/anytime (ReadItLater or Instapaper)
  • tag (categorize) the sites to find them easily  long after you have forgotten where to find them (Diigo or Delicious)
  • post the sites on Twitter/Facebook  (Hootsuite–including delayed postings  & Facebook)

(Here is a Prezi presentation that describes the process)

When you make the effort to set up these tools on your iPad, you can literally do all these tasks with a large number of web resources in just minutes (not counting the reading/scanning). That kind of time savings is worth the work up front. All of this on a mobile device, which means you can process info in times and places not accessible with traditional computers.

In the first part of this series, I shared how to add bookmarklets to iPad’s Safari:. These browser tools are extremely important for managing web information on the iPad–depending entirely on apps is cumbersome, especially with no multitasking. These browser tools accomplish two tasks: 1) tagging websites for future reference and 2) posting to Twitter or Facebook about the websites.

We also covered a practical RSS reader (NewsRack). In this part 2 of the series, we will examine how to connect these multiple tools, including a Twitter client, using temporary holding bookmarklets.

Tools for Temporary Holding

Occasionally you need a temporary holding place for information gathered from websites, particularly when moving from one tool to another. Sometimes you don’t have time to deal with the resource at the moment, or maybe you want to capture the content for later use offline. Here are three web bookmarklets (as well as iPad apps) that can fill this need. The bookmarklets can be used for capturing the website, the apps can be used for reading more completely later (often even offline).

ReadItLater is a great resource to temporarily hold articles for reading at a later time. While there is a ReadItLater app, having the bookmarklet in Safari is useful for tagging web resources.

Update: It appears copying the scripts from the blog below causes problems. Try copying the scripts from this Bookmarklet Google Doc instead.

ReadItLater:
javascript:(function(){ISRIL_H=’dbc4′;ISRIL_SCRIPT=document.createElement(‘SCRIPT’);ISRIL_SCRIPT.type=’text/javascript’;ISRIL_SCRIPT.src=’http://readitlaterlist.com/b/r.js’;document.getElementsByTagName(‘head’)[0].appendChild(ISRIL_SCRIPT)})();

Instapaper is similar to ReadItLater for temporarily holding reading information.

InstaPaper:
javascript:function%20iprl5(){var%20d=document,z=d.createElement(‘scr’+’ipt’),b=d.body,l=d.location;try{if(!b)throw(0);d.title='(Saving…)%20’+d.title;z.setAttribute(‘src’,l.protocol+’//www.instapaper.com/j/rc0i21lt1Ior?u=’+encodeURIComponent(l.href)+’&t=’+(new%20Date().getTime()));b.appendChild(z);}catch(e){alert(‘Please%20wait%20until%20the%20page%20has%20loaded.’);}}iprl5();void(0)

Evernote comprehensively covers many platforms and web browsers with their software and tools. It can play the temporary holding role as well as a tool for storing more permanent information in notes, and even has an OCR capability to read text from images.

Evernote Web Clipper:
javascript:(function(){EN_CLIP_HOST=’http://www.evernote.com’;try{var%20x=document.createElement(‘SCRIPT’);x.type=’text/javascript’;x.src=EN_CLIP_HOST+’/public/bookmarkClipper.js?’+(new%20Date().getTime()/100000);document.getElementsByTagName(‘head’)[0].appendChild(x);}catch(e){location.href=EN_CLIP_HOST+’/clip.action?url=’+encodeURIComponent(location.href)+’&title=’+encodeURIComponent(document.title);}})();

Maneuvering Content Between Tools

NewsRack app is an great tool for gathering information from RSS feeds. Twitter can also be in important source–my program of choice is Osfoora $3.99. Once you spot interesting content, both can “push” to ReadItLater. ReadItLater is a holding tool for reading the content in greater depth at a later time within the iPad app, and eventually push the web resource to Safari. Once in Safari, you can then process each item through your bookmarklets, including Diigo or Hoot.

While sharing on social bookmark sites, Twitter, and Facebook are straightforward with these tools, one weak link is blogging.  I have tried two apps for Word press blogs–the free app WordPress and Blogpress–and find these programs too cryptic to be usable for anything beyond simple text. The HTML styling for formatting, links, and inserted media are too cumbersome for practical use:

Other bookmarklets are available for use with Safari. A couple resources to find the right tool (not all work with iPad Safari):

32 Incredible Bookmarklets for Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer
http://marklets.com/

The  iPad portability and form factor allow info junkies to gather, read, and process information at times and places that would be difficult with laptops or desktops. Using a combination of apps, browsers, and bookmarklets, iPad users can work with greater ease with high volumes of information and web resources.

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