Do you really Read Later?

In the past four months I’ve encountered an issue that I cannot seem to solve. I stumble upon short to medium-lenghth articles that I want or need to write, but I do not have the time or the energy to do it right then and there.

I could send them into Instapaper, but I’ve made a habit of reading the stuff in Instapaper in the order I bookmark them so, judging by the how many times I actually open Instapaper, I may read that article in 2-3 years.

I have started using Pocket for work-related stuff so I just send stuff in ther. However, that got filled up pretty quick with long articles I was never going to read because new ones come up all the time.

My last solution was to open the stuff I wanted to read faster in Chrome and just leave the tabs open. Guess what? I got to 15 tabs and my browser was too heavy for my computer to run properly. That’s because I have 2-3 pinned tabs, those 15 must-read tabs and the stuff I currently work on. That was getting up to 25 tabs pretty quick so I sterted added the tabs into a Temp folder in my Bookmarks manager.

Yes, as you might guess this is not a solution because that folder gets filled up pretty quick and I end up having just a third Pocket-like bookmarks queue that I may never go though.

A partial solution comes in the form of an article on Practically Efficient.

“Killing Read Later also means I killed the shittiest of shitty side effects of a Read Later workflow—unread counts. I permanently deleted an entire inbox. I stopped spamming myself.

Today my rule for reading internet text is essentially this: read now or not at all.”

Would you agree with this approach? I might as well because I cannot see a way out…

5 Comments

  1. Depinde… Trebuie incercat ceva nou pana merge.

    Exista o singura constanta, cele 24 ore dintr-o zi.
    Read later ramane util in situatii unde nu este net.

    Altfel, daca intr-adevar conteaza acele articole, something has to give in.
    Momentan am redus FB si Twitter time la zero.
    Gasesc ca acum am timp sa citesc si altceva.

    Deci functioneaza :)

  2. @Tzup: eu folosesc Instapaper din 2009. Problema este ca am in el inca articole necitite de prin 2011. Si nu sunt stiri, ci povesti pe care chiar vreau sa le citesc dar nu am timp. Avem mai mult timp in America. De cind am revenit in Romania nu prea mai imi iese :)

  3. (it’s common sense to reply in the same language as the article was written, so here it is)

    Back in the day, I used to have over 200 saved items, but when I realized most of them are outdated (I usually save development-related articles), I decided to delete them.

    Now, I’m following the next rule: if an article is older than two-three weeks, it shall be gone. I’ll never read it. It’s not an estimation, it’s a fact.

    This way, even if I add three to five articles each day in my Pocket, I have less than 30 saved items (right now there are 12 items, all of them are videos)

  4. @Ionuț Staicu: (That’s fine. I understand that some of my readers can read english but are not comfortable enough to write it.)

    I have some rules with my Instapaper queue: I managed to shorten it by removing reviews about products. For example, if in 2010 I saved a long review on the first-generation iPad, it would be pointless to keep it there or read it now. And that applies to other subjects. However, I am left with a few good hundreds of articles that are not related to something old. I removed the ones that were not properly saved or the ones that were too long and somewhat not interesting.

    Also I no longer add something in that queue if I don’t believe it would be an interesting read 6 months from now. I save about 12 articles each month and read about 10/month. I know I could just read the new ones right then and there, but I want to take care of the old ones first.

    LE: I now have 569 articles in my Instapaper queue and about 65 in Pocket :) Doing the math, it’s probably going to take me about 4 years to finish with that it I no longer add new stuff.

  5. The way I use this “read-later” system
    – I use Pocket as the tool for achieving this
    – almost all that I want to read goes trough Pocket for a different set of reasons (lack of visual spam from web-sites, read on the phone in spare time, etc)
    – it is true that I have a lot of unread (a couple of hundreds) articles ..
    – there are good changes that the older ones will never get read (either outdated or being always pushed back)
    – I’m starting to implement a “rule” – delete all unread articles at a certain point in a month (forced mode – “zero inbox”)
    – the reason for getting in this situation is the difference in speed (articles getting in VS getting out (read))

    What other ideas / practices do you have?

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