Annotating online content + read later: new app solutions?
November 6, 2015 3:04 AM   Subscribe

I read a lot of content from articles/essays I save online. Sometimes I want to annotate these articles and organise them for research purposes. At the moment the best way to do this is Evernote, but I find the iPad / Android app clunky for reading and highlighting. The interface is designed for writing, and is a constant frustration. Are there any better solutions?

Other 'solutions' I have tried:

Pocket: a fantastic service, I just wish they would add highlighting and notes!

Instapaper: offers a paid highlighting service. The app is great for reading, but for organising and extracting notes later it isn't good. Plus, the fee is too high.

Kindle: for a while I saved articles to Kindle for later highlighting. Is worked pretty well until I wanted to extract my notes, at which point I came up against the closed wall of the Amazon system.

Diigo: their online highlighting service is pretty fantastic, but the iPad app is just awful, and hardly works as it is supposed to.

Convert to pdf: I could convert everything I want to read/highlight to PDF and use an app like the fantastic PDF Expert to highlight and save. But this feels like too much hard work.

This is a question that has been asked before. But I am hoping that something new and extraordinary has come along!
posted by 0bvious to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
How to move notes from Evernote to iCloud Notes as popularised by David Pogue
posted by Lanark at 3:21 AM on November 6, 2015

Response by poster: I generally avoid the Apple ecosystem (or any closed-walled software), but I have an iPad because it is still the best tablet out there. I don't own a Mac, so these Apple scripts are useless to me, sadly. Thanks though
posted by 0bvious at 3:25 AM on November 6, 2015

Then you need to clarify: do you want to do your highlighting on the iPad or on a Windows computer?
posted by megatherium at 3:53 AM on November 6, 2015

There is a better way to read on the internet, and I have found it

(This depends on paying $29.99 per year to Instapaper. With, obviously, no knowledge of your personal financial situation, I think that is worth it to get this kind of system working smoothly.)
posted by oliverburkeman at 6:22 AM on November 6, 2015

Zotero with an app for highlighting might work (Zotfile - maybe?). I've only used Zotero for organizing articles, not to include highlights, but it may be worth looking at as an option.
posted by typecloud at 6:25 AM on November 6, 2015

…oh, and is $1.99 per month. You could just use that part of the system Ezra Klein describes, to export your highlights from Kindle to Evernote, though.
posted by oliverburkeman at 6:27 AM on November 6, 2015

Response by poster: Looks like we're still no further along with this simple task. Sigh. I hope Evernote manages to ride its current storm. That is the last hope.
posted by 0bvious at 7:03 AM on November 7, 2015

Do you have Windows 10? You can annotate webpages and save them using Microsoft Edge. I'm not sure how the save functionality work, though it also works with OneNote which is pretty great. I'm not exactly sure how well this system would work with your iPad, though. I suspect not well.
posted by thebots at 7:12 AM on November 7, 2015

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