I could kick myself ten times around the block for not having discovered Pocket sooner. The truth is, the pocket icon was sitting undiscovered at the top of my browser screen for several years before I accidentally clicked on it and said “whaaaaat?”
Instead of immediately clicking away I took a few minutes to read and WOW what a difference that has made in my daily productivity and especially in my article writing flow.
I have become a power user.
Do YOU know what Pocket is? Have you tried it yet? If not … keep on reading.
What is Pocket?
Pocket allows you to save a website page or article in “your pocket” so that you can read it later. Your Pocket list can be synced to all of your devices., so you can catch up on your reading anywhere and anytime.
One of the BIG benefits of Pocket is it WORKS OFFLINE!
You read that right. Trapped in an airplane seat or sitting in the car waiting for your son’s baseball practice to end? Use the time to read all the articles you saved.
Sitting at MacDonald’s and don’t want to hook up to their insecure WiFi? Use the time to catch up with no danger of being hacked.
I actually go to MacDonald’s for coffee and an egg muffin just to be able to go through my article list without any distractions.
How to Use Pocket
One of the obvious questions that you may have is how to use Pocket. If you are using a browser other than Firefox, you will need to get a Pocket extension. This extension is available for Safari, Microsoft Edge, Opera and Google Chrome. When you have Pocket installed, you will see the pocket button on the toolbar.
You simply click on it when you find a page or article that you want to save for later.
You can also add Pocket to your smart phones or iPads. Click here for download instructions.
What Can You Use Pocket For?
The best things about Pocket is its versatility and convenience. Save articles, recipes, webpages, youtube videos, tweets and more. So far my experience has been … if I can see it on my screen, I can save it.
One of the big negatives for me is the fact that I can NOT add notes to my saves. Really … I have NO idea why they would not have added this feature since you CAN create your own tags.
What you CAN do is use Pocket along side Evernote to make a seamless system of archiving items and making on the fly notes. Here is an excellent article from LifeHacker on how to integrate Pocket and Evernote.
Here is a concrete example of how I use Pocket. In my writing program (Scrivener) I have approximately 300 article titles. I have divided them into four sections.
My process goes from: IDEA >>>> NOTES >>>> DRAFT >>>> PUBLISHED
Pocket really helps me generate ideas and then when I am ready to get going … helps me collect research (notes) tidbits.
Here’s how it works: As I am working on various projects and doing research, I am constantly coming across ideas for my own articles. In the past, I used to either bookmark the page (which was totally useless because I NEVER went back) OR I would put the idea into my Scrivener idea list along with the URL of the page that sparked the idea. The fact that I had to interrupt my work flow to open Scrivener and copy/paste was a big deterrent to idea collection.
Now I simply click on my pocket symbol and record the page along with several tags, the most important of which is *article idea. Once a week … I look at my accumulation of ideas and if I still like them, I add them to my Scrivener idea list.
Pocket really works well for doing research for both fiction and non-fiction books.
In my Favorites list, I have collected websites that I come back to again and again.
Pocket takes seconds and is MUCH smarter way of bookmarking pages and sites you want to return to.
Why Go Premium?
The free version of Pocket is amazing enough, but you might want to consider investing in Pocket Premium. When you go premium, you have access to a wide variety of features that may be useful to you.
For one thing, you will not have to “suffer” with annoying ads cluttering your pocket list. This is a little thing, and a pitiful reason for spending good money. It’s not as if the free version is overwhelmed with ad content!
The big benefit with Pocket Premium is the permanent library feature that backs up all of the websites and articles that you have saved. It even goes so far as allowing you to see the original pages even if there are changes made to them later on.
Pocket Premium also has a topic search and an Advanced Search option that helps find what you are looking for more efficiently. I have hundreds of saves and finding stuff was getting time consuming … so the search feature was the reason I got Premium.
FREE or Premium, Pocket is an amazing tool that will help you keep organized, reduce frustration and save you a boat load of time.