Home > Uncategorized > Web content & PDFs – Instapaper & Kindle Miracle Solution

Web content & PDFs – Instapaper & Kindle Miracle Solution

Its been a while since my last post….sounds like a confessional..however I’ve not really been drawn to write a post until now and blogging for blogging sake is a waste of everyone’s time.  Hopefully you’ll find the following information/solution as useful as I have.

The problem part 1: loads of RSS feeds, iGoogle dashboard widgets with tantalising headlines, pdfs with industry analysis, MS Word based thought leadership papers etc.

The problem part 2: I want/need to read it all but not in 3 or 4 different locations (ie. Instapaper for web files, Goodreader/Evernote on iPad for PDFs, Laptop for either and/or Word files)

The problem part 3: I need to prioritise reading below other recurring daily tasks (ie normal work) but still be able to consume the content.

The problem part 4: Serious eye strain from looking at backlit screens (laptop, desktop monitor, iPhone, TV, iPad).

The solution:


  1. Get a Kindle
  2. Use Instapaper as the one stop solution.  Set up an account here
  3. Install the bookmarklet in your browser.
  4. Install Mobipocket Creator from here – sorry PC only.
  5. Install dropbox – why haven’t you got it already?
  6. Install Ephemera from here if you use OSX – or Wordcycler if you’ve got a PC [Note: I use ephemera as I collate/collect content during the day on my PC and sync my Kindle with my Mac when I get home]


  1. For every blog post / web page that you want to read, open it, clip it with the bookmarklet, close it.
  2. Use Mobipocket to convert PDFs into an ‘instapaper’ folder within your Public dropbox folder. [Note: only do this with documents which are not confidential as by saving them within your public folder you’re placing them in the public domain.]
  3. Open the instapaper folder and then the converted document folder, right clicking on the html file and choose the ‘Copy Public Link’ from the dropbox contextual menu.
  4. Open a browser, paste, and use the Instapaper bookmarklet to clip it for later.
  5. Plug Kindle into Mac/PC and Ephemera/Wordcycler will sync your content to your Kindle for reading at your leisure.

The real genius with the above solution is getting PDFs converted to text by Mobipocket Creator so that Instapaper can do its magic and Ephemera can get it onto your Kindle with the minimum of fuss.  Googling, I noticed a lot people wanted to ‘clip pdfs to instapaper’ but found no solutions – I hope the above workflow works for you.  It may seem onerous but initial set up is 15 minutes max and the main workflow is actually very quick.  The key is that I can capture information I want to read but not have it interrupt my working day.

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