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Published on October 19, 2017

Easily Read Only What Matters to You With Instapaper

Easily Read Only What Matters to You With Instapaper

The internet has been called “the information super highway”. We have ready and easy access to the sum of the world’s knowledge. In many ways this is an incredible tool. But the sheer quantity of information out there is difficult to digest. Research has shown that the average adult spends as much as 20 hours online per week,[1] and in each second of that we are bombarded by information. We aren’t designed to receive so much information like this, so we are overwhelmed.

There is so much information out there that the good and useful information can be easily drowned out by information and articles that we have no use for. It’s easy to find yourself going through articles which prove to not be worth your time. Other times, even useful articles may be presented in ways that are difficult to read. Which in turn affects their ultimate usefulness.

What you need is a system that allows you to efficiently keep track of useful information and articles, and have them quickly accessible and easy to read. This would mean that you would no longer be distracted by useless information in order to find what you need again.

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Such system exists and it’s an app called Instapaper.

Make Reading Easy and Focus

Instapaper allows you to easily store articles and text from the internet for future reading. What’s more, the text is immediately formatted into an easy to read manner. There is even a text to speech function that allows the text to be read to you.

1. Save any form of online text

Though in this piece, I’ve mostly focused on articles, Instapaper allows you to save any form of online information. So whether you want to save the lyrics to your favorite songs, great recipes, poetry, short stories, or news pieces, Instapaper allows you to create your own library of useful information.

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    2. Highlight and comment

    Sometimes merely reading a piece isn’t enough, at times you might need to highlight particular sections or sentences of a text for future reference, some times you might need to make a comment about a section. This can be crucial if the pieces you are reading are for work or study.

    Instapaper allows you to highlight and make comment to any part of your texts, ensuring both that you save time, and the pieces you store are useful as possible for you.

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      3. Easy customization

      There is no such thing as a universal standard for readability. In fact, everyone differs. Some people like to read off white backgrounds, others like to read of brown backgrounds. Some people prefer one font, while others prefer another. The developers of Instapaper are apparently well aware of this, and I was pleased to see that it comes with a great many customization options.

      You can easily change the font, text size, brightness, background color and even line spacing with ease. Thus, ensuring you will be able to read in a way that suits your preferences.

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        How to Get Instapaper

        Instapaper has won a number of industry awards and has been featured in leading magazines such as Time, and Wired. So it is well worth the download.

        There are download options for both IOS devices and Andriod devices, and it is even available as an extension for Web browsers like Firefox and Chrome. So whatever your preference, you can get it.

        Best of all, of all, once you have saved the articles you want, you can access them both online and offline, so you will be able to access them at any time. Even if you are high in the sky or underground.

        Install Instapaper on your phone here or Get the Chrome Extension here.

        Reference

        More by this author

        Brian Lee

        Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

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        Last Updated on September 20, 2018

        8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

        8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

        You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

        Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

        When you train your brain, you will:

        • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
        • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
        • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

        So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

        1. Work your memory

        Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

        When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

        If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

        The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

        Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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        Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

        What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

        For example, say you just met someone new:

        “Hi, my name is George”

        Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

        Got it? Good.

        2. Do something different repeatedly

        By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

        Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

        It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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        And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

        But how does this apply to your life right now?

        Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

        Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

        Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

        So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

        You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

        That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

        3. Learn something new

        It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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        For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

        Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

        You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

        4. Follow a brain training program

        The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

        5. Work your body

        You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

        Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

        Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

        Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

        6. Spend time with your loved ones

        If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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        If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

        I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

        7. Avoid crossword puzzles

        Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

        Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

        Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

        8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

        Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

        When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

        So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

        The bottom line

        Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

        Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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