Imagine this. You look at your mobile and you see a bunch of notifications. You start with, let’s say, LinkedIn notifications. You start moving through them quickly only to stop at a post that has a link that opens a long article that looks interesting. But, you had set out to just clear the notification and now you can not sit down and read those ten pages and get back to notifications. Anyway, the easiest way out is to promise yourself that you would revisit it later. Well, we invariably get leisure time to read but do not remember what all was to be read. We end up missing good content. It’s easy to imagine the value of reading a good article or the loss of missing reading a good one.

The same thing happens with all those contents we keep getting regularly through emails from friends & colleagues, newsletters, and other social media. Also, once you start reading an article, because of its inherent nature, every content on the web is full of hyperlinks to some other content.  Sure enough, it becomes overwhelming to remember to cover that cross-referenced content.

Well, here comes the role of “Read Later” Apps that help you to manage your reading content. There are two popular Apps – Instapaper & Pocket. Both are almost equal in features, but I happened to continue using Instapaper. This is how you work with Instapaper.

You install Instapaper on all your mobile devices, that you use to read. Now once you are on a webpage and want to read it later, you simply “SHARE” it to Instapaper. On computers, you can visit the Instapaper page (https://www.instapaper.com/u) and use “Add Link” menu on top.  You could make it further easy by installing the Instapaper Chrome extension. Then you need to only click on the Instapaper extension icon on the Chrome address bar to save an article for reading later. No matter, what device you save an article on, it gets available on all the others too as long as you use the same account everywhere.

Some of the social Media Apps also have their own readers so they may load the article inside the App and not the browser, in such cases too, you could share to Instapaper using the share menu. The other way will be to open the article in the browser and then save it to Instapaper.

Once you get a longer time window to read, you open Instapaper App on mobile or visit the Instapaper home page in Chrome browser on the computer and read all the articles that have been collected from all of your devices together. Instapaper has its own reader which is quite reader-friendly as it gets rid of several distracting banners around and inside the article and changes it to a linear reading experience. But just in case you want the same “colorful” experience while reading, you could open the same article in the browser through Instapaper, as well.

Instapaper also offers “Speak” function with which you could listen to the saved article.

After reading an article you should delete it from Instapaper to clear the clutter and in some cases, you may bookmark it in your browser for future reference.

This habit not only organizes your reading better but also makes you productive as now you have split your work into two tasks. 1. Scan your inputs and save articles for reading later 2. Reading all that you have saved. You could use several small time slots to keep clearing your inputs and just one long time slot, when you have fewer distractions, to read.

(featured image: Photo by Sam Lion from Pexels)