There are a lot of great bookmark-and-read-later services out there, but if you want to switch from one to another, you probably want to take your old articles with you. Here’s how to import your old Instapaper or Readability articles into Pocket.
All three services — Instapaper, Readability and Pocket — offer options to export your data, but Pocket is the only service with an import function. Fortunately, it’s really easy to use:
If you use Instapaper, just head to Instapaper’s home page and click the “Export CSV” button in the right-hand sidebar. Choose the “Download HTML File” option, save it to your computer, then head to pocket.com/import/instapaper and click Browse. Choose your Instapaper HTML file, click Import, and you’ll find that all of your articles appear in Pocket. It just won’t be able to “favourite” the articles you had favourited before.
If you use Readability, you’ll have to go through one extra step. Head to Readability’s Export page and export your list as a JSON file. It will email you your file when it’s ready. You won’t be able to import this directly into Pocket — since Pocket’s importer is designed for Instapaper only — but you can run it through the Readability 2 Pocket tool.
Open your JSON file and copy the contents into the first box on the Readability 2 Pocket page, then click Convert. Copy the resulting text, open your favourite text editor, then paste it in and save it as an HTML file. When you’re done, upload that HTML file to Pocket’s Import page using the same instructions as Instapaper users.
Unfortunately, we tried to find options that went the other way around — from Pocket to Instapaper and Readability, or between Instapaper and Readability themselves — but since the others don’t have import tools (for whatever reason), it’s much more complicated. There are a few scripts that claim to import from Pocket to Instapaper or from Pocket to Readability, but they require a little command line work, and we haven’t tried them. If you know of any other options, tell us about them in the comments!