Neal Cook, Front Rush
Last week I asked you “is the internet making us dumb?”.
To summarize that post, by reading so many articles online, quickly, while being distracted (by the outside world and things on your screen), without reflecting or focusing on what we just read, the things we read online might not be sticking in our brains as we would wish them to.
One tool that has helped me “declutter” the articles I want to read online, and help me manage my time, is a nifty little browser extension called Pocket.
Pocket is a free service that allows you to save articles to your List, allowing you to read them when you are ready to read them.
In the age of the 24/7 news cycle, it’s easy to be bombarded with things to read online. The amount of quality, well-written news articles and blogs available for us to read on a daily basis is outstanding.
But when reading online, we need to be sure that we are 100% focused on the article in question, as if reading a book.
Think about it. You don’t just randomly read a book that someone shares with you on Facebook, or you see in an email.
When we read a book, we are making a conscious decision to set aside time to focus solely on that piece of literature.
The same should be done when reading online.
Pocket can be used on the most popular browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer.
To install in the browser you are reading this on right now, click here.
Once you do that, you’ll see this little Pocket button appear on your toolbar (this will appear to the right of your URL bar where you type in websites to check out).
When you come across an article or link that interests you, simply click the pocket button, and it will be saved into your custom List to read later.
Now to the fun part, reading your articles. When you are ready, go to www.pocket.co and all of your saved articles will be sitting nice and neat, ready for you to enjoy.
The real impressive thing about Pocket that helps you focus and stay engaged in the article, is that they display all of the text in something they call “Article View,” which strips out all unnecessary ads and information, leaving you only with distraction-free text to read.
Once you are finished reading your article, if you really liked it, you can click the star symbol in the top left to mark it to your favorites. Then, click the checkbox to remove that article from your unread List.
Once you sign up with Pocket, they’ll also start to send you a daily email with some of the most interesting and mindful articles (which I end up saving to my Pocket to read when I have time).
I’m pretty bad at wrapping things up, so I’m taking the easy road out with a Mark Twain quote. “It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.”