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INSTAPAPER HIGHLIGHTS TO NVALT ACTION WITH IFTTT

I read stuff all the time. In the morning, in the evening and in between, when time allows. I feel most comfortable reading on my iPad and secondly my iPhone (but not for longer periods of time). I have 3 primary sources when I read:

  • .pdf files which I read using iAnnotate on my iPad or PDF Expert on my iphone.
  • the Kindle app for both iPad and iPhone.
  • the Instapaper app which gives me access to my Instapaper account.

With some of the stuff I read (specifically the non-fiction stuff) I do highlights. Now, as I’ve described in earlier blog posts I use DEVONthink Pro to manage all kinds of information, including .pdf’s, web archives, Office documents and what not.

I also use nvALT for jotting down smaller notes, often formatted in markdown, and I’ve configured it to use a Dropbox folder for storage. This enables me to let iOS apps (like Notesy, Nebulous Notes or SimpleNote) access the notes when I’m on the go. As part of this setup I let DEVONthink Pro index my nvALT folder, which will include it’s contents in the database along with all the other files.

I also like to import my highlights to DEVONthink Pro. For the Kindle website and .pdf’s I have Apple scripts which gets the job done. So my Instapaper account was the odd one out.

But just the other day, IFTTT released a new Instapaper channel which enables a couple of triggers.

  • New item saved: Fires when you save an item to your Instapaper account.
  • New liked item: Fires when you like a new item in Instapaper.
  • New highlighted item: Fires every time you highlight a piece of text in Instapaper.
  • New archived item: Fires every time you archive an item in Instapaper.
  • Item moved to folder: Fires every time you move an item to af specified folder.

And one action:

  • Save item: Saves a new item to Instapaper

What’s most interesting to me is of course the New higlighted item trigger. With this I’ve created an IFTTT recipe which appends the highlight to a text file in my nvALT folder. The filename is created if it does not exist, and is named by the article title with ‘-InstaHigh’ appended. The format of each highlight goes like this:

##Daring Fireball: Only Apple
>"Google’s mindset a decade ago was centered around web apps running in browsers. Google didn’t need its own platform because every PC had a browser and people would use those browsers to do everything Google provided in browser tabs. That meta-platform approach has limits, though, particularly when it comes to post-PC devices. Their stated reason for buying Android wasn’t because they wanted to design and control the post-PC device experience, but because they wanted an open mobile platform on which their web services could not be locked out." 

*on June 17, 2014 at 10:47AM*, [via Instapaper](http://ift.tt/1pt4jCt) 

which will render it like this in html (of course depending on the stylesheet):

Daring Fireball: Only Apple

“Google’s mindset a decade ago was centered around web apps running in browsers. Google didn’t need its own platform because every PC had a browser and people would use those browsers to do everything Google provided in browser tabs. That meta-platform approach has limits, though, particularly when it comes to post-PC devices. Their stated reason for buying Android wasn’t because they wanted to design and control the post-PC device experience, but because they wanted an open mobile platform on which their web services could not be locked out.”

on June 17, 2014 at 10:47AM, via Instapaper

This way, the highlights of my 3 reading sources all go into DEVONthink Pro, either through Apple Scripts (.pdf’s and Kindle) or my nvALT folder on Dropbox.

Steps:

  1. Use a Dropbox folder as storage for nvALT
  2. Activate below recipe and modify to suit your needs
  3. Ensure that DEVONthink is indexing the nvALT Dropbox folder

You can get the recipe here:

IFTTT Recipe: Append Inst. Pap. Highlights to nvALT folder in Dropbox connects instapaper to dropbox