Saving Links to Read Later

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One of the best parts of the internet is the access to, and supply of, an abundance of information.  I continually find great, but distracting articles, “to read later.”

The “read laters” end up as browser tabs, which remain open for days, or even weeks, until I get a chance to read them. When the tabs are for research, I’m torn between investing time to organize them, or leaving them open until I can finish.

Here are five distinct challenges with “read laters”.

Challenge #1

Out of sight, out of mind.  I’m so busy handling the daily onslaught of things to read, that putting them aside for later means they get forgotten.  Or move to the bottom of the pile.  I never have enough time to read everything.  And finding that one special link later can be difficult.

Challenge #2

Links come at me from everywhere – emails, social media, notifications, surfing, recommendations, etc. Aggregating is difficult.

Challenge #3

Three distinct deletion requirements.

  1. Links that will have no value after I’ve read them and can be deleted immediately.  Of course, assuming I have the time to read them!
  2. Links with short-term value that I’m saving for research or a particular project (e.g. travel, purchase).
  3. Links with long-term value, like recipes and commonly accessed reference materials.

Challenge #4

Sometimes links lead to downloads, which must be managed in their own way.

Challenge #5

Syncing saved links across 3 devices: smartphone, laptop, and tablet.

 

I use a 3-part solution, but it doesn’t address all my challenges, like a continually open browser window and a hefty reserve of cool things to “read later”.

  1. I set time aside to read some articles.  Then I delete, or bookmark, them.
  2. Anything with retaining value gets bookmarked and tagged.
  3. For everything else I give myself a deadline, then I delete it and move on.

Occasionally I review my bookmarks and clean them up.  This is a great Friday afternoon project.  And offers a good chance to catch up on some reading, or rediscover something.

I searched for some new options and discovered a family of “Read it Later” apps.  After some research, I learned that bookmarks are the best way to save long-term links, which I’m already doing.  However, I can be doing better with my continuously open browser windows.

 

Stay tuned for next week’s posting on my trial run with a Read it Later app.

3 comments for “Saving Links to Read Later

  1. Irene Gelyk
    8 August 2017 at 10:12

    Lisa:
    Some excellent ideas here. Have you considering using a tool such as Evernote? I use it all the time to save links, articles, clips, etc., into subject areas and I can add tags. And does the syncing as well.
    Works with most browsers (Chrome, Safari, FireFox, etc.) and the have apps for iOS, Android and Microsoft.

    Links to Evernote: https://evernote.com/

    … just my two cents.

    • The Deletist
      9 August 2017 at 11:28

      Hi Irene!
      Thanks for the great suggestion. I did actually use Evernote for a while, but I never fully “clicked” with it. Downloaded items get organized a separate way. I guess the real challenge is that most stuff has such short-term value that I don’t like to invest anytime in organizing it.

  2. jamesw2965
    9 August 2017 at 10:13

    Deletist,

    I like how you always break down the issue/problem and tell what the strengths and weaknesses are. As i have been in the Computer Business for over 10 years, and have heard of your issue before. I think i have a easy solution. First let me state a few things.
    Bookmarks. Bookmarks are good but they need up keep too. I myself have bookmarks of web sites and web pages on all kinds of stuff i wanted to keep. Some of these bookmarks are over 10 year old. Yes they are still useful. This is where the up keep comes. You will need a good URL checker. As some of these sites will be moved and some will no longer be good. The URL checker will redirect the moved URL’s and delete the expired links. Helping to keep your Bookmarks up to date. But this is time consuming and something you will need to do on a regular basis, like once a month. Too Much.

    Here is my solution to all your changes. First get a cloud based solution like gdrive (Google Drive) or dropbox. I prefer gdrive myself. if you find a article that you may want to keep or save it by printing it and saving it to you cloud solution. This way you can already put your article in one of your organized folders under whatever topics you may have made. Whether you save the website or the web page all the links will work until they expire. I find this a much easier solution then keeping tabs of web site and articles you want to read. Keeping tabs eats up memory. The reason I say use a cloud solution, is because your cloud solution should be available to you on all your devices. Which then means all your sites and articles are available to you at all times also. Well I hope this is a good solution or at least gives you an idea how to better handle your challenges.

    jamesw2965

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