As I browse the Internet, there are a lot of stories, articles and different websites that interest me, but that – for whatever reason – I’m not able to immediately look at in as much detail as I want. Sometimes I’ll grab a sticky note and write down the URL, but I’ll often copy the address and paste it into a blank text documents. Other times I’ll actually bookmark the address. None of those options, however, really reminds me that I still need to visit the interesting website. A popular solution for this is a website called Read It Later, found here:
The whole point of Read It Later is to create a single reading list for you, no matter where you are. There are Read It Later applications for the iPhone/iPod platform, Android devices, Blackberry, WebOS, as well as an official extension for Firefox. There are also a number of third-party extensions for Google Chrome, which allow users to add items to their list, read items from it, and manage their Read It Later list, all from the web browser. The one thing these have in common is the requirement to sign up for an account, if you want to sync your reading list. For some people (like me), this isn’t a big deal, as the only reading I do on the Web takes place on my laptop. So I went looking for an extension like Read It Later, but that would store my list locally. And I was happy to find Local Read Later, an extension that does exactly what I want.
Local Read Later is very simple to use. When you find a website that interests you, but for whatever reason you’re not going to read it now, simply click the Local Read Later icon in the Google Chrome toolbar, and then choose the top option: Add Current Page To LRL List. The URL of the site will now appear in your list, along with the title of the page and the site’s icon. As confirmation that the site was added, the icon will temporarily get a flashing red badge that reads NEW (this badge will quickly change to show how many articles/pages are in your list).
When you want to read an item, all you need to do is click the Local Read Later toolbar icon and then the article that interests you. The page will load, and you can start reading.
As it is a fairly simple extension, Local Read Later has very few configuration options. One that I found useful was the ability to toggle the setting for what happens when you click to read an article. I chose the option to delete the item from my list once I clicked to read it, but if you want to be sure you finish the article before deleting it, you can. You can also add items to the Local Read Later list by using a keyboard shortcut when you’re on a page you want to save. By default the shortcut it Ctrl-Alt-R, but that can be changed to whatever you want.
I found Local Read Later almost by chance, but am glad I did. It makes it simple to keep track of articles I’m interested in, helps clean up the clutter on both my virtual desktop and my actual desktop, and makes it easy to remember what I want to read, without getting in the way or requiring any extra sign-up or set-up steps.