Instapaper and Skitch are two useful tools you should get to know

Many thanks to Mitch Joel for introducing me to Instapaper on his Six Pixels of Separation blog.  It’s a simple tool that lets you file web pages to read later.  It works on your computer with a “Read Later” tab that instantly saves the article, and it can be synced to your iPhone.  So items that you come across on both devices can be filed, accessed and managed from both.

I love Instapaper because I receive many links to online articles and blog posts through Google Alerts and Google Reader and the amount of stuff coming in can be overwhelming.  This lets me quickly run through the items, delete the ones of little interest, and quickly save the ones I don’t have time to read at the moment.

I also like that Instapaper re-formats web pages for the iPhone, making them easy to read on the screen.  Instapaper also lets you organize your finds into different folders by topic, and it has an archive for the things you want to keep.  For anyone doing research on the web, this can be a fantastic tool.

Skitch is a new application that lets you quickly capture a screen shot and then edit or resize it, as well as superimpose text, pointers and other graphic elements.  Skitch lets you easily share the shot in emails, on blogs and in forums or build it into other documents.  You can also upload it to your mac.com or a personal Skitch page where others can access and work with it further.  Thanks to Dan Landin who recommended Skitch on a Twitter post.

I’m just starting to play around with Skitch.  I think most of the functionality is available elsewhere, but Skitch seems to put that functionality all in one place to eliminate steps and save time.  Here’s my first experiment with Skitch, in which I personally “defaced” my Facebook page.  A masterpiece!

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