Every time I’m about to rich Evernote, something like Lightly comes along to stop me. Lightly is an iPhone app from Ignition Soft, who you may know from such awesome iOS apps as Everclip and Everclip HD, and it lets you clip and highlight parts of a webpage, and save them to your Evernote account.
I love Everclip. It runs in the background for up to ten minutes and grabs anything and everything you copy to the clipboard. When you open the app again, you see all your clippings. These can be sent to Evernote as is, or concatenated onto one note before sending. It’s just about the best way to collect research snippets as you go.
Lightly is similar, only it works with highlights. You select and copy a piece of text in your browser, and that’s it. Meanwhile, back in the app, the whole webpage is downloaded and cleaned up (like Instapaper does), and the highlight is applied to the text you selected. You can then sun straight to Evernote, or add tags first (tags are saved for autocomplete). You can also specify a default notebook.
I tried this in both Safari and the browser view in the RSS reader app Mr Reader. It worked even better in Mr Reader, presumably because most of whatI’m viewing there are text-heavy blog articles. In fact, Lightly choked on many of the pages I saved from Safari. In short, if it would break Instapaper or Pocket, it won’t work too well in Lightly either.
However, there’s a workaround even for this. You can install a bookmarklet in Safari and use it to send the current page to Lightly, whereupon you can add multicolored highlights just like you would in iBooks.
It’s pretty good, and might even be enough to get me using Evernote again for stuff other than PDF instruction manuals and boarding passes. Right now I’m saving quotes in the notes field of Pinboard, which works but is a little clunky.
Lightly is currently iPhone-only, but works just fine pixel-doubled on the iPad. It’s $1 for now, going up to $3.