Are you always in transit? Can’t live without the latest updates on tech news? If your work requires you to stay online and you travel a lot, you can still be productive whether on a plane, train, or even on a bus with these apps and tips for offline reading of articles. As the famous adage is often quoted, “If there’s a will, there’s a way.” Here are four ways to take offline articles on the go.
1. Pocket App
Personally, Pocket has been a “work-saver” for me while on board. The app itself is popular with journalists, writers, bloggers, and webpreneurs who simply want to keep the updates from the last article they read on the web browser down to mobile browsing and reading in transit.
You can download the application across platforms for Mac OS X, Windows (via App Store), iOS, and Android. Here are some add-ons: you can install an extension via Google Chrome, the Firefox build comes with an add-on, and you can also download the Safari extension to save articles and sync them to your mobile devices (Check out the three web browsers above.).
How does it work? When you go to either the Google Chrome or Safari extension page (with Firefox you don’t need to), browse for Pocket, and it will be added to your browser. When you come across an interesting article, just click the Pocket app button to save it for offline reading. Keep in mind that the syncing feature works when you open the Pocket app via mobile devices – pull down the list to sync the links you saved when you were browsing.
So if you have saved files with any of the browsers mentioned, make sure you open the Pocket app on your mobile device to sync the latest articles before you go offline.
2. Noosfeer App
Another noteworthy and useful app is Noosfeer which has the same features as Pocket, but you can also use its web client directly when scouting for news. Like Pocket and other offline reading apps, you need to register a new account and link a Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ account (or via email) to get started. You can add an extension to Google Chrome or Firefox and access the content on a mobile with an iOS or Android app. I find the web client easy to use, and saving links offline is a no-brainer.
How does it work? When using the web client, click “Read Offline” to save the link. If it’s your first time using it, the wizard helps you choose four keywords or topics you are interested in.
3. Save Articles as PDF From Web Browser
If you don’t want to install third-party apps, you can go for this option: the Print Friendly & PDF extension on Chrome. This option allows you to download articles in PDF format. There are no installations and no syncing. It’s all offline reading by simply saving the article(s) as PDF for you to read later on your computer. However, if you’re using a Firefox browser, you can install the Save as PDF extension that allows you to convert the web pages to PDF for offline reading.
How does it work? Install the Print Friendly & PDF extension. When you come across an article, simply right-click the extension and choose the “Print Friendly & PDF” option. A dialog box appears showing the article and the link on top – either you print or download the file.
When you click the PDF button, it will automatically generate a download button for you. It’s up to you if you want to save it in letter size or A4. On the other hand, to save as PDF on Firefox, click the icon on the upper-left side and it will generate the PDF format.
Evernote via Clipper and Offline Notebooks
Evernote is rich with note-taking features, but it goes beyond the notebooks, drawings, photos, and project management tool. Did you know you could also use it to read offline articles? I’ve been using the app ever since I found that by using the Web Clipper extension, I can also enjoy offline reading.
How does it work? Download the Web Clipper extension (whether Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer (IE) 7+, Firefox, or Opera), and wait until you see the icon in the browser’s toolbar. When you click the icon you are required to sign in to your Evernote account. The extension will give you options on how to save the article.
You may create a new notebook first before saving the links to organize them. The default option is for saved articles to be grouped under the “Evernote” notebook when you clip them. You can share the web clip with everyone in your group if Work Chat is activated.
Are there any other ways you can think of for offline reading? Which among these four is your favorite?