How to . . . save your favourite articles for later

Discover apps and services to help you make the most of your reading time online

Reading online can lead to endless distractions.Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Reading online can lead to endless distractions.Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

 

It’s easy to get stuck in a loop of reading endless articles online. It starts with five ways to speed up your computer and before you know it, you’re reading about Kim Kardashian’s latest exploits. But what if you just don’t have the time to read things then and there? There are plenty of apps and services that will sort that for you.

Apple:

On iOS and Mac, the Safari web browser offers you the opportunity to save articles to a reading list that you can go back to later. Best of all, they’re available offline, so if you are about to head to a mobile data deadzone or a plane without wifi, you won’t be cut off.

On your iOS device, open Safari and go to a webpage you want to save for later. Tap the Share icon at the bottom of the screen - it looks like a box with an upwards facing arrow on it. Tap Add to Reading List. To view it later, tap the open book icon at the bottom of the Safari screen, then tap the glasses icon. You’ll see a list of your saved articles.

Once you have read it, go back to your reading list and swipe left on the link to mark it as read or remove it.

On Mac (Mavericks or later), open Safari and go to the web page you want to save for later. Hover your mouse over the address bar; you’ll see a plus icon appear. Click on the plus icon to add the page to your reading list. To view your list later, go to View>Show Reading List Sidebar. You can choose to view all items or just unread ones.

Android:

When Google first introduced Keep, it was a syncing notebook of sorts for lists and memos. Last year, it added the ability to save links directly to Keep through a browser extension for Chrome. Your pages will be synced across all your devices that are signed in to Keep - it is available as an app for iOS too. If you’re an Android users, you can save links to Keep using the Share button.

Pocket:

Pocket is an easy to use app that will save interesting links you come across on your phone or computer through your browser or apps. You can save almost anything to Pocket, including video, and have it sit there for later when you have the proper time to devote to it.

You can download an extension for popular web browsers such as Safari or Chrome that adds a button to your browser interface, or install a bookmarklet to save your content.

For iOS, you’ll need to add it as an option for sharing. Install the Pocket app and log in to your account.Open Safari and tap the Share button. Swipe across on the list of apps until you get to More. Tap More>Pocket. Pocket will now appear as an option to share links etc.

For Android users, install the app and log in to your Pocket account. When you find an article you want to share, click the share button and select Pocket.

If you are having trouble with the browser extensions or apps, you can also email the link you want to save to add@getpocket.com.

It also integrates with productivity tools such as Evernote.

Instapaper

Similar to Pocket, Instapaper will save what you need in one place and also integrate with other tools such as Evernote. You can also create notes on the articles - a handy feature - and everything is synced across all your devices. There are several ways to save. The first is the browser extension that puts the handy Instapaper button into your chosen web browser. Then there’s the bookmarklet you can drag to your bookmarks bar. Apps such as Twitter or Pulse will let you save links to Instapaper from their apps, and a number of news organisations have jumped on board too. Users also get a unique email address they can send links to that will appear in their Instapaper account.

One of the benefits of Instapaper is that it strips all the rubbish out and presents the article in an easy to read format that’s optimised for text.

Facebook:

Facebook is a mine of links that friends and family have shared, both interesting and simply time wasting. But you don’t have to read them them and there; you can save the link for later and Facebook will give you a gentle prod every now and again to remind you that you’ve saved a few things.

To save a link in Facebook’s app, open the post you want to save, and click on the arrow in the right corner. Click on Save Link. To access the saved links, tap the menu icon - three lines - in the bottom right corner. Scroll down and tap Saved.

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