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Read it later

Pocket reading app

Pocket reading app

Years ago, I spent a lot of time commuting and listening to motivational and time management gurus (on cassette tape!). I remember Brian Tracy talking about how to fit in all the reading a successful businessperson must do. One of his tips was to go through your magazines, look at the table of contents, tear out the articles you wanted to read, and then get rid of the magazine (please recycle).

The next step was to put all the articles into a file, and carry it with you everywhere so you could read any time you had a few minutes to kill.

Nowadays, most of the articles I’m tempted by are online, but there are several applications that allow you to take Mr. Tracy’s time-saving approach to reading what has been dubbed “time-shifted content”.  Think of it like recording your favorite TV show on your DVR for later viewing, but for reading material.

Instapaper reading app

Instapaper reading app

Smartphone apps like Pocket and Instapaper let you mark an article or blog post to save, then make that page accessible from your computer, tablet, or smart phone.

Now, instead of wasting precious writing time reading blog posts like this one, you can read them while waiting at the doctor’s office, riding the Metro to work, or sitting in the kiss-and-ride pick up line after school.

If you love the article and want to keep the information, send it to Evernote. Otherwise, delete it and move on to the next article. The apps let you organize the articles by folder or tag, and are compatible with other applications like Evernote, Flipboard, Twitter, Zite News Reader, and more.

Even better, sites like Longform reformat long articles from magazines and newspapers for easier reading on these “time-shifted content” apps.

I’m pretty sure Brian Tracy would approve.

{UPDATED 9 July 2018 to remove now-defunct Readability app}

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  1. Reply

    Hi Gwen,

    Great tips! Thanks you.
    You might like the little free program called Tofu. It makes a web-page easier to read by formating text into newspaper width columns.


  2. Reply

    Gwen — Thanks for the advice and links to some great and helpful apps! 🙂 Will have to check them out because I am forever printing off blog posts to read later. These apps will help me keep them in digital form and be able to find them when I have time. 🙂

  3. Reply

    Thanks for the suggestions, Gwen. I’m familiar with Evernote and use it fairly often. I like the idea behind Pocket, Instapaper, and Readability. I’ll have to give them a try and see which one I like the best.

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