Formerly known as Read It Later, the new Pocket is the ultimate digital bookmarking service out there. While its mobile apps are fantastic to do your reading, saving and organizing is best left to your web browser. Let’s find out how to boost your Pocket experience with the right web apps and extensions.
In case you weren’t aware, Pocket is now integrated into Firefox, so you don’t need a separate extension for it. However, the bulk of good Pocket extensions is still on Google Chrome.
Still, irrespective of extensions, you can still do a lot with Pocket.
Built-in Pocket Tricks You Should Be Using
The first step to getting better is to learn keyboard shortcuts in web-based Pocket. It can be difficult at first, but knowing these shortcuts will help you get better at quickly saving a link, browse through your saved articles easily, and toggle settings while reading. The full list of keyboard shortcuts can be intimidating if you are new to it, so work your way up after starting with the basics:
- “a” for Archive
- “f” for Favorite
- “g then b” for Bulk Edits
- “Command/Control and +” for increasing text size
- “Command/Control and -” for decreasing text size
- “o” to View Original Web Page
Archiving is perhaps the most important step in Pocket that several people don’t use. By default, the Pocket app on Chrome or your mobile downloads an article for offline viewing. Once you are done reading, archive the article to delete the downloaded content. This frees up space, but you don’t lose the link itself. That is stored safely in your Pocket Archives.
Why Pocket Premium is Worth It
If you use Pocket regularly, consider the $44.99 per year Pocket Premium plan. You can try it out for a month too. Pocket Premium has a permanent library, which stores anything you bookmark even if the original page is taken down — which happens quite often as websites change their URL patterns or update an article which breaks the link.
Pocket Premium also gives you suggested tags, so that your library is maintained better and you can browse or search more easily. And the best part? You can search based on tags, authors, and even through the text of your articles, not just the headlines. Brilliant.
We hope you grabbed it in the greatest productivity pack deal ever, but if not, here’s hoping that deal comes back. Don’t think twice at that point!
Web Apps to Make Pocket Better
Your Pocket experience is only made better with the Internet. Some developers have come up with simple web apps that add small but useful functions to your reading list.
Read Ruler: How much time will an article take to read? Find out at Read Ruler, which auto-categorizes your reading list by time. By default, it’ll use the standard 250-words-per-minute average speed of humans, but you can calculate your own reading speed in the app’s settings to customize articles for you. Whether you’re a speed-reader or prefer to ditch speed-reading and be more engaged, this is tremendously useful. Plus, Read Ruler will also automatically add these tags to your Pocket! And you can even hide articles with a certain tag, like “video” or “comics”.
Pocket Rocket: Is your reading list getting too large? “Oh, I keep forgetting to check it,” you say? Pocket Rocket will send one article to your inbox every day, so that you can finally get through your list. Setup is simple; in fact, once you choose the time you want the daily email and you’ll never have to visit the site again.
IFTTT: We love IFTTT, the app to set up logic-based rules for other web apps. Pocket is part of those web apps, and you can do a lot with it, like automatically tweeting anything you favorite, send items to your Kindle, and more. Read all about it in our guide to supercharge Pocket with IFTTT.
Extend Your Pocket in Chrome
Ah, Google Chrome. I hate it, I’m stuck in it, and these Pocket extensions are a good example of why it remains the browser of choice for so many of us. You need the Pocket app for Chrome to read offline, but apart from that, there are actually so many good Pocket extensions that it would be impossible to list them all. In any case, you shouldn’t install too many extensions. So here are our picks for the cream of the crop.
AcceleReader: We’re blown away by this extension. Nothing we’ve seen has as many options as this one. Here’s a brief list, but there’s a lot more:
- Customize what the browser button does.
- Have it serve a random article from your list.
- Unread count.
- Color labels based on reading time. (We’re fans of colored labels in Gmail!)
- Articles fade based on how old they are in your reading list.
The last two are especially useful, since reading time and newness of an article are two of the major factors in deciding what you read, according to Pocket founder Nate Weiner. Get this extension, you won’t be disappointed.
Save All Tabs to Pocket: This does exactly what the name indicates. You can batch-save links to your Pocket list. Granted, tagging them becomes difficult, but it’s more convenient to batch-save and bulk-edit than to individually save and tag links.
Pro Tip: If you don’t want all your currently open tabs bookmarked, then press Ctrl/Cmd and click to select multiple tabs, drag them out as a group to open them in a new window, and then click the extension.
PickPocket: Not an extension I use personally, but several people online recommend it. With a click, you can get a pop-up tab of your reading list, quickly open a link, and set the extension to auto-archive it when you do that. However, you won’t see your tags or preview images, which means you are basically using a chronological list of your saved links.
Do You Have a Text-to-Speech App for Pocket?
On Pocket 5 for mobile, you can have your articles read aloud with a built-in text-to-speech. No such luck on the web app though. Our favorite text-to-speech app SoundGecko shut down, and the alternatives aren’t that great. So do you have a web app or extension that reads your articles aloud?
Image Credits: Pixies / Pixabay