Today, the guys from Pocket send me my yearly statistics saying that I “skimmed” 3.5 million words or about 47 books (lets be honest, I didn’t really read all that text). I use Pocket for quite a while and over time it became the most important resource on my phone. Still, it is surprising how much time I spent with it! If you don’t use it, read further. You might want to give it a try…
Pocket is very simple, but very powerful reading app. I do believe that it is the best save-for-later service. It is flexible, available for all mobile and desktop platforms, and integrated with hundreds other applications (including Feedly). Pocket can store links to various types of content: text or videos, and its phone app will even read you saved articles aloud, using really good voice synthesizer.
After a while, I developed couple strategies for effective use of Pocket that help to improve and organize the collection. They are simple and might help you to enhance your Pocket experience as well.
Set your limit at 1000 articles
Always keep the library below 1000 articles (or any other arbitrary number you like). Once the collection reaches this limit, I take time and review saved stuff (randomly, but starting from the oldest items) searching for outdated or no longer interesting articles. If I find something boring, trivial, or no more relevant it gets deleted. Each time, about 20-30 articles go away, making space for the new ones.
This continuous distillation gradually improves the quality of the library. It will simply get better and more attuned with your interests. Nowadays, every time I use “Surprise Me!” on my Pocket phone app, I am quite happy with the result. It will work for you too!
Organize stuff with useful tags
In the old times, my collection of articles was a mess of random web pages. Now, the Pocket has tags and they made organization so much easier. There are many ways to implement tags, but it is not good to use too specific. With too many options to choose from, saving will stop being friction-less. If it takes more than a second to select a tag, collecting process becomes to much hassle. Introduce a few tags accurate enough to define the frame for the entire collection. Everything else can be easily found with search.
For quite a while, I just used productivity and leadership, as two main categories. Recently, I added minimalism. For example, reading list tag is for book reviews and recommendations. It became my someday/maybe list of things that I want to read in the future.
It is free, check it out
If you like to read and at the same want to keep high level of content organization, you might want to test Pocket. It provides reasonable balance between simplicity and usability. The free version offers enough features to satisfy the needs of most users. Give it a shot.