Monday, 13 April 2015

Pocket – Save everything from the web

Pocket is a simple but effective tool for storing content including text, images and videos that you have come across whilst surfing the internet may not have had time to view straight away. Rather than send yourself a link of the site or bookmark the page to come back later, Pocket offers an integrated solution within your desktop or mobile (iOS and Android) web browser to save content for viewing in the future in offline mode.

Pocket is simple and easy to use with one click content is saved and you also have options to email links to Pocket which it will save for you. Saved content can be marked as read or you can delete content that has already been viewed.

Pocket is integrated in over 500 different apps on the web, making it easier to save from different places. Check out their full list of apps.

Create an account

1. Create a free account by visiting and then clicking Sign Up Now. Click Sign up with Google if you have a Google account then select this to speed up the process of account creation and it will also automatically ask if you wish to install the app on your Android phone.
2. Add the browser extension or plug-in for Chrome, Firefox or Safari. When I created the account I was automatically directed to installing the browser button to Firefox:

Once you click the Add To Firefox button a message in the top left corner will appear asking you if you wish to enable the Pocket service in your Firefox toolbar, simply click the Enable Services button.

You will now notice a Pocket icon in the top right corner of your Firefox browser:
After you have created your account and installed your plug-in you will be directed to your Pocket homepage:

3. When surfing the web you come across something you want to save for later you can either use the Ctrl-Shift-S keyboard shortcut or click the Pocket icon in the top right of the screen. You will then be asked to give the saved page a tag:

4. The saved page will now appear under my list in your Pocket account:
Hovering over the web address of the saved page allows you to share, archive, delete, edit tags or favourite it.
As you save more content Pocket will automatically file them under Articles, Videos or Images:

Items can also be saved to your Pocket account  by selecting the Save an item to Pocket option and then pasting the URL link of the item:

If you have saved a vast number of content then the use of Tags is efficient way to drill down on what you are looking for in your saved content:

You can also search your saved content via the search tool which is situated towards the top right corner.
The Pocket App

After the app installation on your mobile, login into your account by entering your email address and password whereas if you have Google, simply click the Sign In with Google button.

Once logged in you will be presented with the following menu options to navigate your way around the Pocket app which is similar in appearance to the desktop version. Any items you have saved on the desktop version of Pocket will be synced with the mobile app so you can read those articles you saved for later on your mobile.
  • Highlights - this feature creates automatic categories which contain the most popular items you have saved to your List. Please note that items will only appear once you have enough items saved to your List.
  •  My List – saved items will be displayed in your List. Items are sorted with the newest at the top however you can amend this to show oldest if you wish.
  • Content Filters – you can filter content in your List by Articles, Videos, and Images.
  • Shared to Me – this option lists items that have been shared with you from a friend.
  • Tags – use Tags to organise your items in Pocket. You can use this to filter what items you wish to view by selecting a particular tag.
  • Favorites - mark important items as a Favourite.
  • Archive – use this option if you wish to file away items that you want to keep and read in the future.
  •  Inbox – any item received from a friend will be displayed here. Items will remain in the inbox until you Add it to your List or select Ignore it.
  • Premium – paid for service which includes Full-Text Search, Suggested Tags, and a Permanent Archive of everything you save.

Mobile app
In the example below I am using the Android version of Pocket.

To save items using the app when in your web browser from the option menu select the Share via list:

From the following pop up window select Add to Pocket option:

The article saved article is now be listed in your Pocket account and appears as the first item in the list:
When you click to view the article you will be presented with a clutter free version of the saved article with just text and images:

Final thoughts

I found that the mobile app showcases the tool best as it provides greater freedom to login anywhere and anytime to view what you have saved without the need for an internet connection. This is a useful app for those long tube journeys when you wish you had access to the Internet!


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