When I first came across Read it Later and similar services, I struggled to understand what they were for. This might sound odd, because I had a long-term habit of emailing myself links to stories and videos that I wanted to deal with later. For example, an interesting link might appear on twitter when I haven’t the time to follow it. Previously, I would (really) email myself the tweet. Then I discovered a better way.
Read it Later is now Pocket, and I use it all the time for saving links that I might want to follow up later. I use ifttt.com to send all of Bobbie Johnson’s If You Only tweets directly to Pocket, and then delete them from there on the rare occasion that I’m not interested in the subject matter.
I do most of my Pocket reading via my iPhone or iPad, but occasionally I fancy reading something on my Mac. I could, of course, go directly to the Pocket website, but I like something a little cleaner. The answer to this problem is a simple app: Read Later, which works with both Pocket and Instapaper. It’s a ridiculously simple app, which shows a list of my saved stories on the left, and a simplified, easy-to-read view of the article on the right. Perfect. There’s a also buttons to share articles by any one of a number of means, be it email, Twitter, Facebook, Pinboard, or something else.
The beauty of Read Later is that it reduces the barrier to reading all of that stuff that I mean to read. I don’t have to fire up and login to a website, it’s a single click on my Dock, and I’m in. It’s fantastic, free, and worth a download.