Monday, June 6, 2011

1 Sure-Fire Organizational Tool for the Internet Generation

Read it Later

Yes, it’s true.  I used one of the cheapest tricks in the blogging world to entice you.  Start with a number, make a promise, mention something that people need, and then declare your audience.  I’m guilty, I admit it… but I did it for a good reason.  If the headline was: “Read it Later – Internet Articles when You Have the Time,” would you have bothered?  I believe this free app is so useful that it deserved a little shameless headline tweaking.  Moving on…

You probably have been in one of the following two situations:

1)   You have given yourself 15 minutes to check your Facebook/Twitter/RSS feed, and you come across a link to an article.  You click it, begin reading, and see a link to another interesting article.  You right-click that, open it in a new tab, go back to the first article, and perhaps repeat that last bit a few more times.  Suddenly, your 15-minute session has snowballed into two hours of articles and YouTube videos!  Death to productivity!
2)   You have given yourself 15 minutes to check your Facebook/Twitter/RSS feed, and you come across a link to an article.  While it seems like something interesting, That Little Voice™ chimes in and says, “Not now.  You don’t have time.  You’ll remember it.  Come back to it later.”  Maybe you write yourself a sticky note.  Perhaps you copy the URL and e-mail it to your account.  Effective, but very inefficient.

And then you think, “Gee, someone should come up with a button to click that would instantly put this in a list.  Then I could read whenever I have time.”

Read it Later does just that.  Through a little JavaScript link you put on your web browser’s bookmark bar, you can save any webpage into your Read it Later queue.  Log into Read it Later -- well, later -- and you’ll see a list of all the pages you have queued up to read.

Even better, it syncs up across devices.  If you have an iPhone, Android, Blackberry, or any of several other smartphones, just install the Read it Later app.  Open up and there are all your articles, downloaded for offline reading (you can even set your phone to airplane mode and read your queued articles on a long flight).

Each day as I browse through my twitter feed, I queue up several articles that catch my interest and then check them out when I have time in the evening.  Not only does it save time, but I absorb more information because I get to read when I am not distracted.

Once you get used to using Read it Later, I truly believe you’ll find it an invaluable timesaver.

Have you used Read it Later?  How did it change the way you surf the internet?


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