Something I’ve been working on lately is trying to stop procrastinating so much – not just at home, but at work too. In and out of work, there’s always so many interesting things going on that it’s easy to become distracted reading articles, news, opinion pieces, infographics… I could go on. It’s always good to expand your knowledge, but sometimes it can stop you being productive. I’m always on the look out for hints, tips and tools to help me, and one of my current favourite tools is the bookmarking service, Pocket.
Pocket was founded in 2007 (under the name Read It Later) in San Francisco with a view to helping people save articles, images, videos and so on to read later. There’s so many ways to use it – it’s available as an app or extension on iOS, Android, Desktop, Windows Phone, Blackberry among other devices and there are over 500 apps that have already integrated it.
The way I use it most is as an extension in Firefox on my desktop at work, which you can install from the website at http://getpocket.com. You get this icon in the far right of your address bar:
When you’ve found something you like the look of, you just click the little arrow button and Pocket saves the page you are on so you can access it later from wherever you are.
When you do get round to wanting to read something, there’s also this button on the far right…
…which you can press to quickly see your list of articles, or you can change the settings so it automatically opens the next unread article.
I also use both the iPhone and Android apps quite a bit – the iPhone for when I’m out and about and the Android on my Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 when I’m at home. A great added bonus is that you can even set it up to read everything offline! This is just so helpful if you’re heading somewhere without reliable internet access, or don’t want to use any data.
Pocket has also recently added ‘Highlights’ to the things you save – letting you know if it’s a Long Read, Quick Read, Trending or Best Of. The first two are self-explanatory; Trending is when it’s one of the most popular items being saved and shared throughout Pocket; and Best Of are the most “impactful” items in your list. Highlights are really useful to drill down what you should prioritise to read and when – if you’ve a long commute, a Long Read is perfect; but if you’ve just a couple of minutes before a meeting, a Quick Read is obviously what you want! It’ll come in particularly useful once you start saving a lot to your Pocket – though you can also use tags or Favourites if you’d prefer to create your own.
I mentioned sharing – you can share or open an item from Pocket to multiple other apps or platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, Buffer, Evernote, Mail, Safari, Evernote, LinkedIn, WordPress … the list goes on. If you want to be ÜBER productive you could even use If This Then That (IFTTT) and set up triggers to automatically do the sharing or saving for you.
Here are some things I’ve saved this year:
- The Best of The New Yorker – a Flipboard by the Pocket team
- Fatal Distraction: Forgetting a Child in the Backseat of a Car Is a Horrifying Mistake. Is It a Crime? from the Washington Post
- 30 Thing to Stop Doing to Yourself by Marc and Angel Hack Life
- The Complete Beginner’s Guide to SEO by Buffer
- How to Scale Yourself and Get More Done Than You Thought Possible by Danny Schreiber (a write up of a talk by Scott Hanselman) on Zapier.com
Have you used Pocket before? What have you been saving recently?