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How to manage your digital list to read later before it’s too late

How to manage your digital list to read later before it’s too late

Most of us have some kind of system to store articles online that we want to read … over time. Maybe your favorite tweets, employ a dedicated application like Instapaper, add links to a bookmark folder, or leave some billions tabs open in your web browser.

There is only one problem with this habit: you add stories to your list faster than you can mark them, which increases your summary every week that passes. Eventually, “read later” lists can become as obstructed as email inboxes.

It’s time to finally finish your pile of saved stories, or at least reduce it to a manageable size. Here are some strategies to help you work through your self-assigned reading.

Consolidate your list
Before you can begin to eliminate your pile of reading later, you need to know where everything is. Take your time to audit your collection so you know where to go when you want an entertaining, educational or entertaining reading.

For example, suppose you have saved stories with Twitter, Facebook, web browser bookmarks, and emails. You want to make sure you do not forget any of these sources. To track, you can mark all these places in a folder or group the relevant applications in your phone. Or start transferring all those links to a dedicated real-time reading application.

Applications like Instapaper or Pocket will help you collect everything in one place. These late-reading services can collect stories from multiple sources and keep them together. Saving articles is easy: use the web browser extension of your chosen application, add a link from your phone or send articles to the application by email.

If you prefer to save links, you can consolidate your entire reading through a general application to take notes. We recommend Evernote or OneNote. Or you can save an email draft with a list of links. Applications or emails will allow you to access your list from multiple devices when you need it.

You could even hack your own solution using IFTTT (If This Then That), a free service that connects a variety of applications. In this case, you can configure a process, called “applet”, where sending an email to an IFTTT address will automatically activate an update of your reading list. Start by registering to obtain a free account. Then access the main menu by clicking on your avatar in the upper right corner, select New applet and set Email as a trigger. For the action, choose the application where you plan to store your reading list: you can have these emails activate a change in Google Drive, Dropbox or the iOS Reminders application.

Either approach will make your reading list easily accessible at any time. Simply choose the option that works best for you.

Plan ahead
When you need to make your way through a stack of items, advance planning will really help you. For example, if you have a long plane or a train trip, in reality, any trip you are not actually driving on, be sure to line up some items so that they are ready when you do.

This may require you to make your articles accessible offline, before your trip begins. The applications we have mentioned so far (Instapaper, Pocket, Evernote and OneNote) can store text and images to read offline. Or you can press “Print” on some articles and then save them as PDF files.

In addition to ensuring that you can access your stories, you may want a device that makes reading more enjoyable. If you have a Kindle, you can send items directly to your device. For example, the Send to Kindle browser extension will transmit articles to your e-reader with one click. Amazon also allows you to send stories by email to your Kindle from other applications. To do this, first log in to your Amazon account. Then click on Your devices and press the Actions button (three points) of your Kindle. This will give you a unique email address where you can submit articles.


A feature of Instapaper that you do not have to pay for is called read speed, and it works both on the web and in applications. When you click or touch the quick read button (the speedometer icon), the current item will appear in front of your eyes one word at a time. You can adjust the speed with a slider below the word.

Even if you are not using Pocket or Instapaper, other applications offer useful options, such as simplifying the interface or organizing articles more intuitively. As for text to speech, you do not need an application for that: you can find browser extensions that do the same job.

If you have a particularly long list, you may need to reduce it before you start reading. You may be surprised at how much content you are not interested in anymore. Do not waste time reading the previews of the end of the season that you’ve seen for a long time, the latest news that has been old for months, or the research cuts you’ve completed since then.

The next time you have five minutes to spare, do not start an extensive article that you know will not end at once. Instead, spend that time removing items from the oldest end of the list to read later. Or simply try to destroy everything that is prior to, say, a year; It is unlikely that any information that changes your life will be lost.

That said, you should not try to completely erase your read list later; You never know when you’ll be stuck somewhere that needs entertainment. When you mark old items, add new ones, so you will have a story online every time you need reading material.

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