How to improve marginalia in Instapaper

Do you enjoy writing notes in the margins of books and articles? The quest for an online marginalia system continues with Instapaper.

Instapaper offers the great service to export articles to their service. You can even highlight passages and leave comments on the article. However, your comments are buried underneath a blue word bubble.

Here’s a screenshot example of comments on an article in Instapaper:

Screenshot of comments in instapaper

You have to click on the blue bubble to read your comment. Blah. I want to read it right alongside the article! I would soooo love to be able to export my @instapaper articles with my comments alongside the article.

Another solution within Instapaper might be the export feature. You can export out all your comments on an article. Pretty cool, right!? However, the comments are amputated from their original context of the article. Yeah, I have a bunch of comments I wrote, but where are they in the original context of the article?

Instapaper would be really smart if they made their comment system look like medium’s where the comments appear alongside to the right of the article. All comments are positioned according to the individual paragraph.

A screenshot of Medium’s commenting system:

Screenshot of comments in Medium

However, even Medium doesn’t allow you print out the article with all the comments showing. Maybe I like to archive things too much. But I just want an easy way to read my marginalia and other’s marginalia in articles.

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2 thoughts on “How to improve marginalia in Instapaper”

  1. It’s also curious that the desktop version of instapaper does not have the export features “Share All Notes”. The mobile version provides this option at the bottom of an article. However, the desktop version is missing this important feature.

  2. It’s kinda crazy, but my best method for keeping my marginalia still stands as exporting articles to be read as PDF files and then annotating those PDF files.

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