Like many of you, I’m a consumer of information. At this point in my life, almost all my information is digital in nature and thus it seems almost all my consumption is on a screen. To help keep my life organized, I’ve adopted the principles of Getting Things Done (GTD), which at this point is all about how I manage my to-do’s via email folders. This worked well for me but as my consumption has moved more and more to Twitter, my system was failing me.
My time on Twitter is mostly in small intense bursts; I don’t have hours blocked out to leisurely view my feed. After half a day, I could be so far behind that tweets would be lost and I would worry (no snickering now) that I was missing some information I would find quite valuable, and this would cause stress, something I couldn’t afford.
As I prepared to close out on our first quarter and prepare for a winter holiday trip, I asked for advice from my social networks and GetPocket (f.k.a. ReadItLater) came highly recommended. This service allows you to save off any URLs to read later. Not only does it save them off but it will cache a copy of the page, allowing you to read the content offline. This made a huge difference for me when consuming Twitter and Facebook content. When I saw something that looked interesting on my phone, I could either email the URL to pocket or copy the URL and paste it manually into the Pocket client. When on a PC, Pocket has a great plugin for Google Chrome that allows you to one-click save a page you are looking at to Pocket.
I was enjoying the service but even after getting the hang of it, I found it cumbersome to get content to Pocket when on my iPhone. However, that all changed when I purchased TweetBot for iOS. This was my first paid Twitter client and I immediately saw the value. Not only did it offer great features for Twitter, but it also had an integration with GetPocket. Now I could save off content with only two taps. Furthermore, the source tweet would be saved with the content, allowing me to remember where this came from. When using the iOS GetPocket app, I can access that original tweet directly, allowing me to retweet, quote, reply, etc.
After two months now, I’m still loving GetPocket and TweetBot. In fact, I’ve learned to use GetPocket for all the reading I do. That way, when I’m done I can mark it read, but it will remain searchable. Days or weeks later, I can easily go back and find an article that I read. I’ve become so dependent on TweetBot that since they have no Windows client, I only do Twitter on my iPhone. When/if I move full-time to Mac, I’ll be sure to purchase their MacOS client.
So, Instapaper is a place to store things you’ll never read?
— Jason Good (@jasonmgood) February 6, 2013
My biggest problem now is that I have 30+ items waiting for me in Pocket, forcing me to be a little more picky about what I really want to read. The last thing I need is another to-do list to feel behind on.