I only realised that I was possibly onto something useful to others, when I found blogger Fraser Speirs had written up the exact same recipe as mine. Only he wrote it a year after I started usingit. So I don't feel bad about quoting the salient parts from his post at 
http://speirs.org/blog/2011/5/28/a-web-to-evernote-workflow-that-works-everywhere.html to spread the word about it:


I recently decided to start collecting archives of articles that I read on the web. In the past, I have depended on memory and Google but either my memory is not what it was or Google is not what it was or the web is just getting too big. ...

Everyone knows Instapaper, right? You save web pages for reading later. There’s a website and an iOS client for Instapaper and support for the service is built into many, many Twitter clients and RSS readers. ... Instapaper is great.

The second thing that’s great about Instapaper is that it does a reformatting for readability. So here’s a service that I can insert a URL into from just about anywhere I’ll encounter one on Mac OS X (Safari, usually) or iOS (Safari, Twitterrific, Reeder) and it makes it pretty and readable for me.

But what about having my own archive? One thing Instapaper doesn’t do all that well is searching through your archived articles. Well, it turns out that the Instapaper site has a couple of very useful “Sharing” options. Whenever you “like” an article in Instapaper, you can set up one of five actions for the server to take: post to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinboard or Evernote. [And we both chose Evernote.]

Turning on auto-share to Evernote means that my workflow now goes like this:

  1. Find interesting article
  2. Save into Instapaper
  3. Read it at some point
  4. If it’s good, hit Like in Instapaper
  5. Article automatically gets stored in Evernote

The nice part about this is that what gets stored in Evernote is not the original HTML but Instapaper’s pretty-printed version of it.


My favourite thing about this is that the capture workflow is deliciously non-annoying and it separates capture, reading/reviewing and storage/retrieval into three distinct places: capture wherever I find the link; read and review in Instapaper and storage and retrieval in Evernote. All synced, all the time, everywhere. Wonderful.

I find it wonderful too. I never need to worry about finding articles again, as long as I have a network connection and my Mac or iOS device. Come to think of it, you don't even need one of your own devices: you can get your Evernote data from anyone's browser. Just pick a good password!

AuthorJonathan Clark