Combine Instapaper and Evernote to Truly Personalize Your Search

Search is, and some would argue always has been, the backbone of the web. As the web changes, then, so must search. Even the company synonymous with web search- Google- realizes that, and has made attempts lately to evolve its product to keep up with the paradigm shift. The recently introducted Knowledge Graph and the inclusion of Google+ results exemplify this shift. Still, though, to truly harness the power of personal search, a little tinkering is required.

Instapaper is the most well-known service to save web articles to read later. The service can also become a powerful resource in personal search when combined with Evernote. Once set up, every Google search you perform could also yield articles you've previously read and enjoyed. Here's how to make it happen.

To start, you'll need an Instapaper and an Evernote account, if you don't already have them. If you're not familiar with Instapaper, the idea is simple: install the bookmarklet in your browser, and once you come across an article you'd like to read, but don't have time to read at the moment, click the bookmarklet, and Instapaper will save it for you to read later.

Now, head into your account settings and find the 'sharing' section. Link your Evernote account, and make sure 'Save it to Evernote' is checked.

Next, make sure the Evernote extension is installed in your browser.  The browser add-on is perhaps the most useful resource of the Evernote ecosystem. When installed, it will search your Evernote account every time you search Google (just make sure that option is enabled in the extension preferences).

The result of this setup is quick access to any article you've favorited in Evernote alongside any relevant web results. So, if I do a quick search for 'Dostoyevsky' on Google, I also see the three articles I've read that mention the Russian author not only in the headline, but in the text of the article itself.

Clicking on the results from the Google search results takes me straight to the articles in my Evernote account

This can be a remarkably useful hack, often presenting relevant information that I'd forgotten already existed within my personal web archive- and in true Sssimpli spirit, it's a set it and forget it technique.

Note that this hack can also be implemented using Readability or Pocket, but since doing so requires the use of IFTTT, only the first few lines of an article are saved to Evernote. Instapaper's built-in support means the entire text is saved, making it all searchable.

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