Reading is the the quintessential habit for self-improvement. It’s an activity conducted alone and with total freedom in the choice of materials and knowledge to absorb. If you’re not reading frequently, you should start doing so – the merits are boundless.
Whether you’re an avid reader or just beginning to pick up the routine, there’s bound to be times where the right articles arrive at the wrong time – for example, when your mum calls you for dinner just as you click on that motivational article on Facebook. Or when there’s plenty of time but no articles to read – think of the last time you lost 3G connection on the train.
Instead of opening your mobile game to play, try Pocket.
What is it?
Keep articles in your Pocket (literally, ha ha) and read them later.
How is this different from bookmarks?
The most important features the Pocket excels in, for me, are:
Pocket strips out the unnecessary junk in an article, providing you with a distraction-free mode to read. This allows you to focus on the article itself. This mode doesn’t work 100% (it rarely removes parts of the article), but you can always switch to the full web view, and there’s an option to report the error. Neat.
When an article is synced to your devices with Pocket, it’ll be available offline on the device. This has proved immensely useful when I’m on flights.
I really like my data organized, but doesn’t like to spend too much effort arranging everything in order. Pocket’s tagging system is perfect for me to do some light ordering.
Pocket recommends articles in a weekly email digest, so I never run out of things to read.
But wait! There’s Instapaper!
Lifehacker has done a great comparison of the two popular platforms. Personally, I prefer Pocket for its better image support in reading mode, tags, and for just looking more colorful in general. Instapaper’s greatest strength in my opinion is its note-taking and highlighting features in articles, but I like to re-read articles in their entirety, so it’s not that big an issue to me.
To a certain extent, Evernote is also a suitable replacement – but I feel Pocket and Evernote serve different needs and I haven’t used Evernote before. Heck, someone even recommends using both for maximal organization.
Ultimately, if you don’t read often, it’s not the app you use, but the cultivation of the habit that counts. And if you read regularly but haven’t found a solution to keep track of articles for later use, I hope this helps!
P/S: Lifehacker is one of the websites I strongly recommend to subscribe to.
Featured photo credit: Pocket