In this golden age of the Internet, our morning newspaper routines have quickly transitioned to morning news feed routines. We sit on buses catching up with the latest news online, listen to news shows and podcasts in our cars while running errands, and read articles and watch videos in our Twitter and Facebook feeds during work breaks. And despite our best efforts to drink as much as we can from this never-ending fountain of content, it often feels as if we’re missing some of the best bits because we just don’t have the time to take it all in.
Since it can be so tough to keep up with the news and read everything you want to, finding a way to manage and access content when and how it works for you is key to maintaining a bit of sanity while still getting your news/op-ed fix.
Since I work in the realm of writing, reporting and content creation, having a set process to guide my info consumption is critical to my work. I’ve tried different services and apps through the years and have found that Pocket is one that sticks. It’s easy to use, syncs across devices, and is a great resource for offline reading and catch-up.
Pocket requires an account to enable syncing across devices. Once you’ve created your account you can install the Pocket app on your phone or tablet, go to Pocket’s website and add the Pocket extension on Chrome to ensure you’re able to save and access pages from anywhere.
When you install the Pocket app, you’ll be walked through a set of instructions that will show you how to add pages to your account from services like Twitter or a browser window. To access your saved articles (and images and videos, too!), just open the app. Pocket’s app homepage is split into two categories that are a bit dependent on what type of content you’re viewing at the time. Without any sorting, you’ll see My List (articles) and Recommended. Scroll through both sections to read, watch and look at everything you’ve saved.
There are options to customize your Pocket experience, of course. At the top left-hand corner of the app is a menu icon you can tap to access things like your Highlights, the various types of content you’ve saved, Tags, Favorites, your Archive and your Inbox. There is also an option to upgrade to Pocket Premium.
On the top right-hand side of the app is another menu that allows you to access refresh and edit options, as well as your Settings and Help.
One thing to note about Pocket is that because it’s optimized for offline reading it will automatically download content for you. There’s no way to turn this off, though you can adjust how your content is downloaded (only over Wi-Fi is best for saving data) and your offline storage limits. There is a “Clear downloaded files” option, as well.
There’s a social component, too, that lets you connect with other Pocket-using friends so you can share and receive interesting content.
This is a robust little app that has been hugely helpful in allowing me to manage my time and content consumption habits. Definitely worthy of a download!