Question

How do you handle your web content library?

I feel like I have tried everything and I'm never feeling completely satisfied. I've tried:

Read later apps, like Instapaper or Pocket. They do great for reading without distractions, they help with annotations when needed. Pocket seems to struggle with content behind a paywall and I ended up bookmarks in there instead of a copy of the article.

Bookmarking Apps: Google Bookmarks, Lasso, Diigo, etc. They do well track URLs, tagging them, and commenting in some cases. But you don't preserve a copy of the article and you don't benefit from distraction-free reading.

Web-clipping: For a while, I was simply using Evernote web-clipper and it did a good job. As I migrated my notes to Notion, I struggled with their web-clipper. Instead of going back to Evernote I went back to Instapaper (detecting a pattern yet?).

Scientific paper products: I read research paper for work so I've once attempted to user Mendeley, Zotero or Paperpile as a more generic library. It accomplished a lot of what I need:

  • Saving an article for later
  • Reading and annotating
  • Tagging/classifying when needed
  • Could handle combination PDF and web articles

But the intake process was tedious. Most times I need a fast way to dump a URL in so I can close the tab and move on.

I feel stuck in a circle, where I constantly switch because not completely satisfied. Anyone else struggling to find a good solution? Did anyone find one?

I recently looked into a new player in the field, Polar Bookshelf which on paper has the features I need. But it didn't stick for some reason. Maybe I should revisit...

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ybbond's avatar
2 years ago

I do web archiving, highlighting and annotating. I like to annotate and highlight right on the website, so if in the future I stumbled on the post again, I can see that I have highlights/annotations on the post (happened few times).

I do highlighting and annotating with Memex 2. The service is currently in active development, and this year is the best of their feature, performance and bugfix release.

Highlighting on the website has risk of link rotting. So websites that I annotated/highlighted also archived with Historio.us, but I use SingleFile for Medium related links. That is because Medium by default use redirecting to avoid web archiving (even for Wayback Machine). The .html file generated by SingleFile will be stored on my private archives site(to avoid copyright issue).

I use FSNotes to make local notes, it supports wiki linking and will make you feel at home if you use nvALT. I use Zettelkasten note taking system recently, and FSNotes serves me good.

Memex 2 (paid browser extension, with free plan available) https://getmemex.com
Historio.us (paid web service with free plan available) https://historio.us/
SingleFile (free browser extension) https://github.com/gildas-lormeau/SingleFile
FSNotes (macOS version offer free build, iOS $4.99) https://fsnot.es/

5 points
ybbond's avatar
@ybbond (replying to @ybbond )
2 years ago

I used to use Instapaper too. When I switched to the method I am using, it took a good weekend to reread my important annotations and rehighlight it in Memex.
I still use Instapaper's distraction free reading, but I am looking forward for Memex's reader view.

2 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @ybbond )
2 years ago

Can Memex import new articles + highlights from Instapaper automatically, or does it just import once and assume you'll switch to saving new stuff to Memex?

1 point
ybbond's avatar
@ybbond (replying to @maguay )
2 years ago

Sorry to state something unclear.
Memex cannot import from Instapaper, but it can from Pocket. What I did was: Instapaper → Pocket → Memex.

That means, it is the second point. Memex doesn't (haven't?) provide any continuous integration

1 point
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @ybbond )
2 years ago

I see, gottcha, that's quite a workaround!

1 point
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @ybbond )
2 years ago

Wow I'm amazed they got the name Memex. Interesting they're sponsored by Mozilla, especially now that Chrome has a new feature to share a link to any text on any page. Feels like deep linking to anything on the web is close to going mainstream.

1 point
maguay's avatar
2 years ago

Frankly I don’t have a great solution here either.

Right now my web reading goes into Instapaper. I read eBooks on Kindle, and then copy highlights from their site, or read PDF eBooks on PDF Expert which pulls highlights into a list you can copy out as well. I used to clip websites with Evernote and used that instead of bookmarking; when I stopped using the Evernote web clipper, I never started bookmarking stuff regularly again, beyond saving stuff to Instapaper and my browser’s build-in bookmarks. I used Pinboard for a while for bookmarking, but again didn’t keep it up.

And then text notes tend to be scattered between Apple Notes (for quick ideas and store lists and the like), iA Writer, and Ulysses.

So I’m now trying two apps that might help. For notes, Roam Research is an interesting take on connected notes + outlines, lets you build a wiki from your notes and see how things fit together. And then mymind is a new bookmarking app I’m trying out, that seems promising. Though, as always, to close the reading and highlighting loop I’ll need to copy those from Instapaper/Kindle.

3 points
siddxxvii's avatar
2 years ago

I am not a hardcore roam user, but seems like roam research may help you. I see you are coming from academic background thats why I am suggestion roam, plus they have some third party web clippers released just recently.

2 points
kei's avatar
9 months ago
1 point
_stefan_tweets_'s avatar
almost 2 years ago
  • Collect Reading List with Raindrop.io
  • Annotate with hypothes.is
  • Long-term save to Zotero (produces a SingleFile HTML copy of the annotated page with just 1 click. Zotero Storage Folder is syned to GDrive, so I don't need to use their cloud storage)

I annotate books via Kindle and Google Play Books (for .epub files). Annotations go into Notion (though I might reconsider, given how unstructured annotations within Notion are)

1 point
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @_stefan_tweets_ )
almost 2 years ago

@stefantweets_ Do you have a way to pull Kindle highlights into Hypothes.is or Zotero? And how do you get your Hypothes + Zotero notes into Notion?

1 point
_stefan_tweets_'s avatar
@_stefan_tweets_ (replying to @maguay )
almost 2 years ago

Nope, Kindle highlights and hypothes.is are not compatible. (Hypothes.is has an epub-function; if you do your reading in .pdf ZotFile could pull these in Zotero )

Web-annotations stay in primarily in Hypothes.is and as a back-up with full-text search in Zotero. I suppose readwise could get those into Notion

1 point
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