I read a number of magazines and newspapers daily on my iPad, using a number of different apps. I generally start out in Flipboard, then read the New York Times using the dedicated app in Newsstand, then often read bits from The Week UK, again using their Newsstand app. I usually end up in Safari, reading something further on a regular website.

I'd like to archive some of the articles that I read, and ideally I'd like a single mechanism that works in all of these apps. My strategy at the moment is to use the ubiquitous "Email" button in almost any iPad app to send article links to Evernote by means of the Evernote email service.

That causes a link to the article to be archived into my Evernote database, sometimes together with a little blurb about the article.

What I'd most like, though, is for the full text of the article, ideally even with a nice layout, to be archived into Evernote. As a PDF would be a huge bonus.

I'm aware that I can go through various mechanisms of opening up the links on my desktop computer, then printing the articles as PDFs and having them added back to Evernote. I'm also aware that this could be a quick process, if I utilize folder actions or a "PDF to Evernote" service. But ideally, I'd like this whole process to be a single step from my iPad itself. I don't relish the idea of going back to my desktop for constant administration of this system.

I should mention that I'm not a regular Instapaper user, though I know it's a well-loved service. Instapaper seems designed for "time shifting" reading, which isn't something I do. I'm more interested in archiving and referencing. I use Evernote because I like that it is agnostic to the kind of information I put in (I can combine text snippets, images, and whole PDFs), I like that the database is on my computer and not solely in the cloud, and I like its search functions.

So my questions are:

  1. Is there a way to email article links to some service which will convert those links into full PDFs, then email them on to Evernote?
  2. Is there a better way to keep articles and snippets than Evernote, one which I can send things into by email?
  3. Is there a wholly different way of doing this that may be more efficient and avoid the problems of emailing links instead of PDFs?


Thanks to the suggestions I've gotten here, I've tried exploring more options. I'm still stuck, and perhaps someone here can help move me forward.

The critical piece was discovering a website called "If This, Then That,", which acts as a glue between other websites. I've set up an action on IFTTT to monitor my Instapaper RSS feed for a new article, then to automatically add that article to Evernote. Since Instapaper also provides an email address for adding items to the reading list, this should allow me to simply email to Instapaper, and have everything automatically download in Evernote.

Unfortunately the Instapaper RSS feed doesn't seem to pick up updates to my Instapaper reading list. Furthermore, links sent from the New York Times are not translated into the full articles by Instapaper, they're just kept as links. So close and yet so far!

I've been experimenting with Pocket and Readability for the same problem. So far nothing works. But I feel I'm on the right track with IFTTT.

  • 3
    I use Instapaper for at least some of what your question asks. I like the fact that it caches articles and I can read them offline and it's iOS app works much like iBooks in that it has typographic control. I cache up a lot of stuff before flying, then avoid the inflight wifi and read to my heart's content.
    – Richard
    Commented Apr 19, 2012 at 21:23
  • Thanks for the suggestion, Richard. I can see that Instapaper is an easy way to have the articles offline, and even somewhat archived. It looks to me that Instapaper keeps your archive on its own servers, though, and I want local copies. I'm also aware that Instapaper will send articles to Evernote, which is EXACTLY what I want -- except that this action from Instapaper requires using the Instapaper website and asking it to "share" every individual article with Evernote. So this isn't by any means an automatic, one-step solution.
    – Ash
    Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 13:32

4 Answers 4


I find the Send to Instapaper button to be perfect for archiving because it's so ubiquitous. The glue that gets your articles from there to Evernote is IFTTT.

Just create a rule that says anything you save to Instapaper gets imported to Evernote and you're set. I believe you can automatically have it add a tag at the same time.

  • Re. the NY Times... I've had their links show up in Instapaper sometimes as "login..." and not text and sometimes as the full text. (but more often the full text, which is encouraging?) I'll see if I can spot a pattern and figure out the rule to make this work every time Commented Jun 10, 2012 at 0:09

You might check out pinboard.in. The have an inexpensive "pro" account that gives you a permanent archive. I've never used it but Jon Gruber was raving about it the other day.

  • Pinboard.in looks interesting, but it's very much a social bookmarking website. I've seen the archive feature mentioned, but I can't get a good sense of how it works or what it looks like. It also looks like a single-developer working away, which is great but less reliable than a bigger operation. Finally, it also seems to store its archive on the cloud, and I'd like my archive on my own computer.
    – Ash
    Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 13:34

If you're on a Mac then you should have a 'Send PDF to Evernote' option in your Print dialog.

On the other hand if you're willing to look at Instapaper combined with Evernote as a solution, then the following link should show you how you can have Instapaper on the iPad automatically post an article to Evernote just by you Liking it on the Instapaper app without going to the Instapaper website: http://www.techguzzle.com/living-in-harmony-flipboard-instapaper-and-evernote

The New York Times is a problem for almost all solutions because of their paywall unfortunately.

Hope this helps!

  • Thanks for the suggestion, Srinivas. I'm using the iPad, not the Mac, when I do most of my reading. And I don't mind using Instapaper, I'll look into it more.
    – Ash
    Commented May 10, 2012 at 22:14

Zite on iPad has an option to send to Evernote. It allows you to to choose the folder to store the item in.

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