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15 Pocket Tips and Tricks to Master Your Reading List

Nancy Messieh
Nancy Messieh / November 16, 2016

Pocket is a great way to save all the interesting things you find online. Originally named Read it Later, Pocket is designed to let you save articles, videos, and websites in a click. It saves just the text, videos, or images, for a content checklist of great things you want to see later without distraction.

It's more than just a bookmarking tool, though. Scratch beneath the surface, and you'll discover features and add-ons in Pocket to supercharge your read-it-later experience.

You're likely already familiar with Pocket's core features, so in this article we'll dig into Pocket's hidden features to save anything to Pocket, organize content, and create the reading experience you want.



Save Everything You Come Across on the Internet to Pocket

Pocket

When you want to save an article to Pocket, the quickest way is to tap the Pocket button in your browser or mobile apps—something you're likely already familiar with. But there are other ways to save your emails and links to Pocket–and you can even save links without clicking anything.

Save to Pocket via Email

Add articles to Pocket with an email

If you always have your email inbox open, saving stories to Pocket with an email could be very convenient. To save links to Pocket via email, just send the link in the body of an email to add@getpocket.com, and send the message from the email account you used to sign up for Pocket.

Want to add articles from other email addresses? Just open your Pocket account's email settings and add the extra addresses there.

Batch Save Web Pages

Have a whole bunch of tabs open and want to save them all in one go? The Save All Tabs to Pocket Chrome extension will do exactly that. Just tap the button and it'll save every article—so you can exit Chrome without losing your reading material.

Or if you’d rather batch save a list of articles to Pocket, the aptly named Batch Save Pocket Chrome extension will help. Just copy and paste links into a list in the extension, along with tags if you'd like, and it'll add them to your account.

Automatically Save Links

Instead of manually saving items to Pocket, automate that process by connecting Pocket to your favorite apps with Zapier, an app automation tool. It can watch your RSS feeds, emails, social networks, and more for links, and save them to Pocket automatically. That way, you could just favorite a Tweet, and it'll be saved to Pocket without any extra work.

Organize Your Pocket Reading List

Once you’ve started adding all your articles to Pocket, you'll want to keep your reading list organized. Pocket offers some great tools to keep track of what’s on your reading list without overwhelming you with information overload.

By default, you can filter your Pocket content by type (articles, videos, or images), add tags, star posts, and archive them. Here are a couple of other suggestions:

Organize Articles by Length

View Pocket read length

Read Ruler helps keep your Pocket reading list tamed by showing you exactly what you should be reading. It displays how long it will take to read each article you've saved, and you can filter stories by reading time to find, say, all articles that would take 10 minutes to read. That way, you can decide how much time you have to read–from 5 minutes to 2 hours–and Read Ruler will present a list of your Pocket articles that will fill that time.

This is a great way to finish reading items on your Pocket list whenever you have time to read, then archive them to thin the list out.

Edit Items in Bulk

Bulk edit in Pocket

You can archive, favorite, delete, or tag any piece of content you've saved to Pocket. Instead of doing that one by one, however, quickly clean up your Pocket collection with the built-in bulk edit tool. It's the pencil icon at the top right of the web app or in the menu of the mobile apps. Select each item you'd like to change, and then click or tap to apply the changes to all of the items in one go.

Turn Your Content into Actionable Tasks

The content you gather in Pocket isn't there just for reading–it's for acting upon. Your reading list might be part of a research project or include sites that you need to share with your team. Connect Pocket to other apps, and you can get that information exactly where you need it—and turn it into actionable tasks.

Add Pocket to Your To-Do List or Notes App

Connect Pocket to your productivity apps—Wunderlist, Trello, Evernote, and more—and you can turn your reading list into a to-do list or an action plan.

This is particularly useful if you’re writing a research paper or article with a wide range of sources. You can add relevant articles to Pocket with a specific tag for your paper and send them to an Evernote notebook, where you can add notes about each piece. Or you can share a suggested reading list with your colleagues on a Trello board, complete with due dates to ensure everyone reads the material.

There are all sorts of creative ways you could use your Pocket list when connected to your other apps, using Zapier's Pocket integrations. Here are some ideas to help you get started—or make your own integrations with your favorite apps:

Get Reminders of Content You Haven’t Read

If your reading list is growing faster than you can read, there are a few handy ways to get reminded of what’s in your Pocket account, re-discover buried content, and clear out your list over time.

PocketRocket

PocketRocket, for example, is a 3rd party app that sends you one of your unread Pocket articles each day via email. You can choose the time the article is sent, so it will arrive when you'll have time to read it. PocketRocket will then archive the article for you in Pocket automatically—and if you're traveling or will be too busy to read your daily article, you can pause the service at any time.

ReRead

If you want more than one article a day, check out ReRead. It operates in much the same way PocketRocket does, reminding you of what’s left unread on your list, but offers more control over the email you receive. With ReRead, you can choose to receive anywhere from 1 to 10 links, on a daily basis or a specific day once a week. You can also set how old the Pocket items should be (from 3 months to 1 year), and whether to automatically archive those stories, among other settings.

AcceleReader

Another similar Chrome extension is AcceleReader. It shows your unread article count along with the estimated reading time for each article (like Read Ruler), and lets you filter articles by length and age. Then, instead of sending you an email with a Pocket article, AcceleReader includes a "Surprise Me" feature to grab a random article from Pocket to read.

Optimize Your Pocket Reading Experience

We’ve finally reached Pocket’s bread and butter: reading articles. Whether you're reading in a browser or using Pocket's mobile apps, there are some great ways to make the reading experience faster and more efficient.

Read Articles Faster with Keyboard Shortcuts

When reading your Pocket articles on your computer in a browser or the Pocket for Mac app, use the following handy keyboard shortcuts to quickly manage your content:

  • Archive: a
  • Favorite: f
  • Bulk edit: g then b, then use your mouse to select the items to bulk edit
  • Increase text size: Command + or Control +
  • Decrease text size: Command - or Control -
  • View original web page: o

Read Articles Offline

Pocket's iOS, Android, Mac, and Chrome apps let you read your articles anywhere, even without an internet connection. Just fire up your Pocket app while connected to Wi-Fi or cellular data to download your articles. Then, when you’re offline—perhaps on your commute in the Subway, or on a flight—you can still whittle that reading list down.

Prefer to read on an eInk reading device? The Kobo eBook reader includes built-in Pocket support. Just add your account and sync when online, then you can read articles offline along with your Kobo eBooks. Or, if you have a Kindle, use a 3rd party tool like P2K to sync your Pocket articles for offline reading.

Whether you use an app on your phone or a dedicated eReader, offline Pocket is a great way to get caught up on your reading, anywhere.

Listen to Your Articles on Your Phone

Pocket TTS

Ever find yourself wishing your long articles were podcasts instead? Turns out, Pocket's mobile apps can read any article aloud, whenever you want.

Just tap the menu button in Pocket (the one with the three dots), then tap the Listen (TTS) button. It’s worth mentioning that TTS in Pocket is what you would expect: a robotic voice, similar to Siri's. It might be a bit disconcerting at first, but if you want to keep up with your reading list while doing other things, it's a great way to make some progress.

Speed Read Your Pocket List

Another way to make quick work of your reading list is to speed read it, with a tool like the iOS app Outread. The $2.99 app offers tips and tools that train you to speed read your articles. Then, connect your Pocket account to the app, and it'll help you speed read your way through your reading list. According to Outread, you should be able to get through your articles faster than usual without any loss of comprehension.

Share Pocket Articles with Others

Keeping up with your online reading list may be a solitary exercise—that is, unless you're reading articles for a project—but odds are you'll want to share your favorite articles and quotes with Twitter or Facebook friends. A combination of native Pocket features and integrations with other apps streamlines that sharing process, so you can spend more time reading.

Use Pocket's Built-in Sharing Features

Share Pocket articles with friends

After starting out as a tool focused just on articles, Pocket has become a far more interactive app with its own built-in sharing tools. Today, you can either directly share stories with specific Pocket users, or you can share all of your recommended articles with your followers on Pocket.

On Pocket's web app, click on the curved arrow button to email a saved article to someone. In the mobile apps, head to the menu to access the share button.

When doing this on the Pocket web interface, you can also simultaneously share the article to Twitter or Facebook. You can also add it to your Pocket profile as a recommended read, which shares the piece with people who follow you on Pocket. Or, if you would prefer to simply add the post to your recommendations without sharing it directly with someone, just hit the Recommend button, a speech bubble with a heart inside it.

Pocket profile

You can view your Pocket profile online at getpocket.com/@USERNAME, replacing your username for USERNAME. That gives you a simple way to share your favorite articles with others.

Share Your Pocket Account

Remember how you can add another email address to your Pocket account to save articles via email? This is also a great way to share one Pocket account with another person. Just add their email address to your Pocket account, and you can both save stories to the one account and keep up with the identical reading list.

The disadvantage to this method, however, is that your Pocket account could get messy. You’ll also have to check in with each other before deleting or archiving stories, which could prove to be inconvenient. But it could be a clever way to build a team reading list—one where you could perhaps archive all old articles each week.

Get an RSS Feed from Pocket

Another convenient way to share your Pocket recommendations with friends who don’t use Pocket is with an RSS feed. You can either share your archived items, unread items, or all items with anyone who uses an RSS feed reader app. It's also an easy way to keep all your reading in one place for yourself, since you can see news articles and saved Pocket articles in your RSS feed reader.

Pocket automatically generates several RSS feed from your account, including:

  • New, unread articles: http://getpocket.com/users/USERNAME/feed/read
  • Archived articles: http://getpocket.com/users/USERNAME/feed/unread
  • All items: http://getpocket.com/users/USERNAME/feed/all

Just replace USERNAME with your Pocket username, and share those feeds with your followers.

Automate Sharing from Pocket with Zapier

Curation is one part automation and one part human interaction—you definitely don’t want to leave all the curation to an algorithm, but you also don’t want to waste a ton of time queuing things up. With Pocket integrations, you can take the stories you have saved and read, and automatically send specific ones to email, social media, your blog, and more.

Share Pocket by Gmail
You can either automatically share all new reading items via Gmail or share only those with a specific tag.

Share Pocket on Your WordPress Blog

You can take your Pocket curation to the next level by creating a blog from your favorite articles. With a WordPress-powered site, Zapier can automatically create new blog posts from all of your Pocket items, or those with a specific tag.

Share Pocket Items via Gmail

Find yourself constantly sharing your Pocket favorites with one specific person? You could make life a lot easier by automating that process as well. As you save articles to Pocket that you think they’ll be interested in as well, just assign a specific tag, and then Zapier can automatically send those tagged items to your friend in an email. Alternatively, if you know that they’ll be interested in just about anything you Pocket, you could automate this process for all new items.

Automatically Share Pocket Stories to Social Networks

Pocket’s web interface lets you manually share items to Facebook, Twitter, and Buffer—or any other social network using your phone's sharing menu. Or you could automate it. Connect Pocket to your favorite social networks with Zapier, and your favorite or tagged articles could automatically be shared without any extra taps.


Pocket is a simple tool to help you read more without distraction, and it includes a surprising number of hidden features to make your reading time even more productive. And that's without upgrading to a Pocket Premium account, which for $4.99/month gives you an ad-free reading experience, permanent archive (even if the original page is deleted from the web), full-text search, and suggested tags (to make sharing Pocket articles with integrations even quicker).

Whether you just want a way to read more long-form articles or need a serious research companion for your work, these Pocket tips and tools should help you read, discover, and share more of the content you love. Enjoy your reading list!

Have any other Pocket tips or tricks? We'd love to hear about them in the comments below.

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