We’re coming to the end of a wonderful year and I’ve realized that I’ve read far more content online this year than any other. That being said, I’ve also accumulated long lists of articles that I haven’t gotten around to reading and I attribute this to two factors: constant distractions and trouble retrieving my articles. Between all the advertising and cluttered layouts, most websites aren’t conducive to painless reading experiences. Still, I’ve already made a New Year’s resolution to read more and broaden my horizons, and I’ve found just the thing to help me with this.
Kippt is a new bookmarking app that aims to solve the problems we face in trying to read, keep track of and share content online. While there is already a plethora of bookmarking services on the web, Kippt brings to the table a fresh approach and an up-to-date aesthetic that is easy to get used to and fall in love with for first-timers and veterans alike. But does it have enough for you to change your bookmarking and reading habits? Let’s see what it has to offer.
Kippt is a free app that combines the common online activities of bookmarking, saving and sharing into one elegant easy-to-use service. Unlike other social bookmarking apps that concentrate on sharing what you’ve found online, Kippt focuses more on helping you get through your content. It also allows you to import your existing bookmarks from various services so if you want to give it a try, you can do so without feeling like you’ve to start your collection from scratch.
Kippt is currently in beta but you can still sign up using their short registration form or via Facebook/Twitter. On logging in you’ll be greeted by your default list of links, called Inbox. You can add bookmarks either by entering them manually on this page, by using the Google Chrome extension or by using the bookmarklets which work well if you’re on Mozilla Firefox, Safari or other browsers. You’ll also notice that the left sidebar contains links to lists and has an option to create new lists. It’s a good idea to create a few lists you might use, such as Recipes, Shopping, News Reports, Tech, Research, Gossip, etc. so the app becomes more personalized.
It’s best to install the extension/bookmarklets (Kippt also creates custom bookmarklets for lists you create) before you begin hunting for pages to read, and you can do so by heading to the Tools page. Keep in mind that the bookmarklets are tied to your account so don’t share them all over the place!
Kippt employs a very clean design with a simple color scheme and minimal graphics, that makes for fast browsing and a painless reading experience. To the left is a sidebar with all your lists, including the default Inbox, Read Later, Starred and All Clips lists as well as your custom lists below. To its right is the main bookmark view, which displays bookmarks with their titles and descriptions that you’ve added. Hovering over each bookmark shows buttons on the right to view the page in Kippt’s Reader mode, edit the title and description, share the link to the original page via Facebook or Twitter, star the bookmark and delete it.
To use Kippt, you just need to start bookmarking pages while browsing, with either the bookmarklets or the Chrome extension. When Kippting a page, you can choose which list you want to save it to and enter a description. Markdown is also supported, meaning you can add basic styling to your description text using simple tagging just like you would in HTML. You can also highlight any text on a page before bookmarking it to make that text your description. The folks behind the app have also added a tip on how to add Kippt to Google Reader’s Send To feature, which is a must-have for Reader junkies.
As for actually reading your saved content – you can either access pages directly from your lists or use Kippt’s Reader mode, which strips pages of formatting, headers and widgets and just leaves the main content intact so you can read without distractions. I normally use a Chrome extension called Clearly for this which works beautifully, but it’s great to have this functionality incorporated in the app itself.
If you already have a large collection of bookmarks, you can import them into Kippt: there’s support for doing so from Delicious, Pinboard, Diigo, Historious, Google Bookmarks and even browsers like Chrome, Firefox and Safari. You can also export your bookmarks easily in the standard Netscape .HTML format. Kippt also has a basic search that combs all your lists for results. Another interesting feature is that all your lists have RSS feeds, so you can let your friends subscribe to your found bookmarks and they can see your notes as well. You could even use the feed to display these links in a widget on your website!
Should you switch to Kippt?
Kippt offers easy bookmarking, sharing and reading tools in one beautiful free app. There are almost no barriers to getting started with it, since they’ve made registration, importing and usage dead-simple. But the real test of this app is in whether one actually reads more with it than without. I’ve never really been a fan of bookmarking apps before and usually stuck to my browser’s default bookmarking tool. But with Kippt, I’ve got a reading list that I can not only access later easily but can also get through it with an elegant reading interface.
If you’ve been chiding yourself for not reading articles online you might want to give Kippt a try and see if it helps change your habit. It’s free, easy to use and looks great, so sign up now and get your read on!