Internet is good, and bad at the same time.
There is so much to read for any topic of interest that you will hardly notice team while doing it. Although good for knowledge acquisition, that is bad for productivity.
You take up any work, search for some related solutions that lead to other topics, and suddenly 6 hours will be gone in browsing the web. You will be left bewildered at the power of the “content chaining”.
I find “read me later” apps invaluable to exercise self control – without the fear of “missing out on what is happening”. I can simply bookmark things, and go back to them at a fixed time. Batching what to read also makes me a quick reader, and an effective isolator of good from the bad.
As you would know by now – there are a zillion bookmarking apps out there – excellent, good, and not go good. I use pretty simple guidelines to segregate what I want to use –
- Get work done in minimum number of clicks
- Really nice interface that works without glitches
- Application runs fast
- Support for multiple devices – for me this would mean Chrome/Firefox on desktop (preferably an extension), directly on the web without need of any extensions, and Android
Pocket is supported on web browser (Chrome extension has saved my life a couple of times), on the website, or on your mobile device.
The biggest benefit of Pocket for me is the ability to tag as I bookmark. That keeps my bookmarks well organized, and easy to locate.
You can view your bookmarks as a grid/list, instantly search for tags, add/modify tags, or add new bookmarks on the Pocket website.
Pocket has been on the forefront to support most devices, operating systems and platforms out there. And, I don’t mind that at all. I can easily use the same Pocket at my home, while travelling, and while at work.
Pocket is free. You can bookmark as many links, use it in as many devices, and not pay a single dime.
For $4.99 per month you can get the premium version of Pocket. Premium lets you enjoy better search (search anything not the tags alone), save the copy of web page/image rather than storing a bookmark alone, and you get tags suggested by other users automatically tagged at the time of bookmarking pages.
If you always looked at all the “who’s who” out there praising Instapaper but could not afford the $3, here’s some good news – Instapaper is now free for Android.
Instapaper can also be used on Android, using a browser extension, on your phone, or simply on the website. The app looks cool, is fast, and simply to use.
The bookmarking experience is slightly different though. You cannot pretty much do anything apart from clicking a button to bookmark. This has made me push Instapaper to the second spot.
Instapaper website looks good, is functional, and get the job done.
There are three noticeable differences in Instapaper as compared to Pocket apart from the bookmarking difference.
- Device support: Instapaper lags in device support. But as of today, this is not an issue for me.
- Lack of search: There is no search, you should get premium for that.
- Instapaper has a highlight feature to err.. highlight things on the web. This is limited to 5 per month in the free version
Along with these, the subscription also gives you website recommendations based on your behaviour.
Premium version costs $2.99 per month.
I limited the applications here to 2 since these are the only two that you will ever need! Know of any more bookmarking/referencing tools that I should be mentioning here?