Wednesday, September 12, 2012

WotW: Stick It In Your Pocket and Read It Later

Once upon a time, people read books, magazines and newspapers. Today, people read online news feeds, blogs, Tweets, status updates, eBooks and more. There are so many different sources out there and so little time in the day. I'm sure, if you're like me, you've reluctantly glossed over many a story or blog post that seemed interesting, but you just didn't have time.

I have a solution for that. No, it's not extra time. As soon as you figure out how to make that happen, let me know. It's a website/app called Pocket, formerly known as Read It Later.

This free site and app allows you to bookmark stories, images and videos that you would like to read or see, but just don't have the time. It stores it in a digital "pocket." The idea is when you have some time freed up, you can quickly open up your pocket and read/view whatever you'd bookmarked. This is especially useful when you install the app on a mobile device because you can view it when you're stuck in waiting room or are suffering through a junior high band concert.

To get started, register for a free account from

As soon as you register, you will be taken to a screen with bookmark options. This is a very important page so don't skip it. Look at the yellow +Pocket button below. You need to drag this to your bookmark bar (it will work in all major browsers). This little bookmarklet is unique to your account and is the way you bookmark information to your account. You can also get a browser extension specifically for Chrome if you'd like.

This is what it looks like in your bookmark bar.

Let's demonstrate how this would work. Let's say you came across an amazing blog post and you want to read it, but just don't have time right now. That's OK, simply click on the little +Pocket bookmarklet in your bookmarks bar.

A little dropdown will appear underneath the bookmark bar that will tell you it saved the page/video/image (yes, it even works with YouTube videos). Here you can also add tags to help you categorize all the stuff you might throw into Pocket. You can also directly view your list from here.

Let's take a look at what your Pocket list looks like. You will see a listing of all the things you have bookmarked. If you hover over a specific link, you will see a checkmark (mark a story as read), an X (delete it) or a star (mark as a favorite). If you click on the link, you will be taken to the viewing panel.

The viewing panel gives you a nice, clean reading view, stripped of all the background distractions on whatever site it came from. This is especially nice when you get stories or videos from very busy sites. It makes it so easy to read. You can also adjust text size and brightness to maximize your reading comfort.

One of the best uses of Pocket is its app. Save all your bookmarks on your computer and then when you're stuck somewhere, whip out your mobile device and you can read everything right there. You never have an excuse to be bored again.

Perhaps you're wondering why this is better than just doing a normal bookmark in your browser. It's essentially the same idea, but the beauty of this is you can better organize your stories with tags. This makes it easier to find stuff later. Plus, the mobile app brings it to a whole new level, allowing you to read what's interesting to you whenever is convenient for you.
Post a Comment