Readwise Reader: My Thoughts

Last week Readwise announced that they would be opening up their betas in bigger numbers. They were also ready to start sharing updates publically, this meant that I could finally share a major change in my productivity toolkit. My read-it-later apps have changed from Instapaper and Inoreader to one app, the Readwise Reader. I signed up ages ago and about 2 months ago – I got the email that said I had been granted access.

When I got it, a few things had changed from when they originally filmed the loom introduction – but that was easy enough to figure out. While I will tell you what I like, Nicole van der Hoeven did a video that showed you a basic rundown of all the features.

Features include:

  • a browser extension that lets you highlight on the page (which will save to the reader) or go to the Readwise Reader app and read it there, in the tradition of a read-it-later app
  • The ability to save articles, epub ebooks, emails, pdfs, Twitter, newsletters and RSS feeds

What I Like

I listen to my fiction books on audio – so when I hear a quote that I like, I can use the eBook feature and mark it through there in stages as I go about reading. When I can’t remember the full quote but a few words, I use Goodreads to find the quote which allows me to search the epub and highlight it.

I love newsletters – but I hate how they clog up my inbox. I am a writer and reader on Substack, so I use my Reader email to sub to everyone. That way I get to read the posts, whether it be newsletters or RSS feeds, without clogging up my inbox.

What Particular Things I Have Set Up In My Account

The Homepage (a new feature since last night). Screenshot by Author

There are certain features that you can custom to your needs, for example where you sent the feeds, tags and the like. I am not sure whether the tags in the Reader carry over to the Readwise app – but that may be something they do in the future. This is how I have set up my account:

  • By default, Twitter saves your threads both to the Reader and to the Readwise app – I have turned off the Reader as I save threads and tweets and read them later in Logseq
  • I have my newsletters sent to my feed which is separate from my library, which is where all the books, saved articles and pdfs live. I like to keep them separate so I can tell whether I have books or blog posts that need catching up on
  • I have a specific filter with my RSS feeds

Everything Is In Flux

Just as I write this I went to check my Reader and saw a new envelope that wasn’t there yesterday. They have added a homepage which is a dashboard, which from first glance gives you a snapshot of your reader and includes:

  • Continue reading
  • Recently added
  • Shortlist
  • Quick reads
  • New in feed
  • Long reads
  • Recently highlighted

As with every beta program – things have the possibility of changing. However, with the vibrant community and hard-working engineers – this is definitely an app if you want to keep everything in a central place. I am aware that when the Reader is finally released that there may be a price increase – but the functionality that it provides me, it is worth it.

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