Francisco Lobos
Versión en español: Dos bookmarklets para Instapaper

Two Instapaper bookmarklets

As a child, I read everything I could get my hands on: books, magazines, newspapers, etc. That hasn’t changed much, except that now I read mainly articles on the internet. This is where Instapaper comes into play. It helps me to keep things I can’t read right away, and check them later when I have more time. However, I tend to accumulate more than what I can read in my free time. To tackle this problem, I made ​​a couple of bookmarklets that improve my experience with this tool.1

Random article

Sometimes I don’t know which article should I read. In such cases I let the computer decide for me. Looking around I found this bookmarklet, which I modified a bit to suit my needs. Depending on where you are when you click on it, this bookmarklet can do two things:

  • If you’re not in Instapaper’s first page (, it redirects you there.
  • But, if you’re already there, it chooses an article at random from that page and clicks it.

To install the bookmarklet, drag the following link to your bookmarks bar. Instapaper: Random

You can also check the code in this Github Gist.

Highlight reading times

Unlike their mobile equivalents, the Instapaper web app has no option to filter o sort articles according to their duration. When I have little time to read something, there is no quick way to identify short articles. That’s why, according to each article’s duration, this bookmarklet colors reading times green (0-9 min), orange (10-19 min) or red (≥ 20 min).2

Here is the bookmarklet: Instapaper: Highlight times

Like the other bookmarklet, this one is stored as a Github Gist if you want to check it out.

That’s it. If you are Instapaper users, I hope these bookmarklets are as useful to some of you as they are to me. Modify them, share them, tell your friends.

  1. And I took the opportunity to remember some Javascript and jQuery. 

  2. This would probably look better as an user script that loads with the page, but I like having the option to activate it only when I need it.