April 7th, 2009

Fear of (bookmark) commitment? Try I Need to Read This

I Need to Read ThisWe’ve all been there. There’s that one article that you need to remember to read. You simply don’t have time to read it, right now. And you’re not sure if you’re going to want it after you’re done reading it.

In short, you can’t commit to saving it to your bookmarks because you’re not sure if it’s bookmark material, yet.

Currently, I have a system set up in Evernote that involves a lot of clipping and organizing—and then reading and deleting—to manage my list of “read this later.” Honestly, it takes a bit of effort to simply remind myself to go back and read a particular page. And the Evernote saving process has a couple of steps to it.

Portland’s own Marshall Kirkpatrick, vice president of a blog called ReadWriteWeb and one with quite an appetite for consuming online content, has a delicious tag called “toread” that he uses to manage his “I’ll get to this later” list.

There has to be a better way. And as we all know, it’s usually the simple—and well implemented—ideas that can have the most impact.

Enter Portland-based I Need to Read This.

I saw I Need to Read This demoed at a recent Portland Web Innovators Demolicious, and I was blown away by how drop dead simple—and incredibly effective—the tool could be.

I Need to Read This is about as simple as you can get. Just register (either with a username and password or with OpenID) and add a I Need to Read This bookmarklet to you Web browser toolbar. That means it works for any browser—unlike a Firefox add-in (and since I generally run Camino, I’m addicted to bookmarklets).

The next time you’re browsing content and you come across a page you need to read? Simply click the bookmarklet and the page will be added to your list things you need to read.

Have a free minute to catch up on your reading? There’s another bookmarklet that will take you to the first item on your list of things to read.

So simple. Yet so effective.

Don’t trust me? What about Webware?

What’s nice about I Need to Read This is that you can use all of its services through bookmarklets instead of having to install anything in your browser. There’s simply “I Need to Read This” and “Read an Article” bookmarklets, which you drag up to your browser’s toolbar, and on any story you want to bookmark you just hit the former bookmarklet to save it. Then, to read what you have saved you click the latter “Read an Article” button, which takes you to the latest story. Clicking it again takes you to the second most recent, and so on.

Or maybe that little blog called Lifehacker?

We love the previously mentioned Read It Later Firefox extension, which offers a simple method for saving bookmarks to read later. The I Need to Read This bookmarklet offers similar functionality without the extension dependence.

I Need to Read This even made Techmeme.

Can I get a “Yay Portland!”?

This is just an early start for the tool created by Benjamin Stover and Jason Grlicky, but it’s got all the functionality you need to get started.

For more information or to register for an account, visit I Need to Read This or follow them on Twitter.

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4 Responses to “Fear of (bookmark) commitment? Try I Need to Read This”

  1. Thanks for the flattering post Rick :) We’ve received a lot of buzz in the past couple of days (just this Sunday, we had about 30 visitors to our site O_o).

    I just wanted to say that we greatly appreciate the warm response we’ve had from the Portland tech community. We’re overwhelmed. Jason and I know it wouldn’t have been possible without PDX, especially without our slot at Demolicious. It’s been incredibly encouraging, so please keep doing the good work and we’ll do our best to earn the attention we’ve received.

  2. Can anyone offer a list of differences or features that this has over Instapaper (which would seem to be the biggest “competitor”)?

  3. [...] started to write a comment to the post Fear of (bookmark) commitment? Try I Need to Read This over on Silicon Florist, but what I found myself writing started getting longer and longer and I [...]

  4. Jesse says:

    An interesting idea for sure. But “read” is only one verb. I use _read, _watch, _listen, _download, etc. in my delicious bookmarks and that works well enough.

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