Reading things online is my favorite work distraction. While researching for this article, I went down a rabbit hole of tutorials for setting up Google Analytics. I should've sent it to a read-it-later app (also known as a bookmarking app), where I could return to my reading queue after I've finished my work.
While read-it-later apps are great for storing articles you intend to read later, the problem is that you need to remember to actually open the app in order to read things. This is where many people fail, myself included.
A solution: Use Zapier to automatically send those articles to an app you're more likely to check. Our automatic workflows, which we call Zaps, send information from one app to another, helping you reduce manual tasks.
We've collected a few Zap templates—our pre-made workflows— to help you get the most out of your read-it-later app, no matter how you prefer to use it. Just click on a template, and we'll guide you through the set-up process. You can read more about setting up Zaps here.
You'll need a Zapier account to use the workflows in this piece. If you don't have an account yet, it's free to get started.
Collect and organize source material
Read-it-later apps are helpful for gathering research, whether it's for a presentation, competitor research, or writing a blog article. Try these workflows, which will automatically add saved item links to Evernote, WordPress, or wherever else you'll need them.
We're using Pocket for most of these examples, but you can set up similar workflows up with any app that helps you save links for later that's on the Zapier platform. To find out if the app you use is available, browse the collection of bookmark managers available in our App Directory.
If you need to take action on the items you save as part of your research, you can also send bookmarked links to your task or project management tool.
Share your favorite content
Are you the person who's always sharing interesting industry articles in the team Slack channel? Do you manage a social media account for work and share relevant content from other sources? These workflows make it easier to share your favorite content elsewhere, without the need to copy and paste links.
Save content from other apps or feeds
A benefit of read-it-later apps is that many of them have built-in integrations with browsers and mobile devices, so if you're browsing something on your phone and you find something interesting, it only takes a few taps or clicks to save it for later. This can get repetitive fast, though, if you find that you're doing this often with the same sites, such as Tumblr or Reddit.
These Zaps will save you a step by automatically adding your Tumblr likes and other content to your read-it-later app.
If there's a specific site you need to closely follow, you can also set up a Zap that will send all the items from its RSS feed into your read-it-later app so you never miss a post.
Send your reading list somewhere else
The "set it and forget it" nature of read-it-later apps means that you'll likely forget to go back and read the article. We spend a large chunk of the workday in other apps, such as email or team chat tools. These Zaps will automatically gather saved items in your reading queue and send them in a chat message or email at a specific time.
Another way to use Zapier to see important posts or updates from sites you follow is to get those updates in your inbox, even if they don't have a newsletter. Learn how to create your own newsletters from almost any website.
Make sure later becomes now
Bookmarking and read-it-later apps keep you from drowning in a sea of tabs, but they're only useful if you follow through. Whether you're bookmarking source material, things to share, or curating your reading list, automation can help you put your research to work.
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