Capitalizing on Unexpected Free Time Using Your Read Later System: A Hastily Written Case Study

Read Later on Tap Today!

What is a read later system and why should you care about one?

A read later system is an app (or large suitcase) in which you store anything you want to read later, offline. It’s trusted because it is:

  1. Available and,

  2. It’s it.

That is, it’s always available because it’s on your phone, which is always on you, and it’s the only read later app you use (eliminating the familiar “in what internet repository or phone app did I put this thing?” dilemma we all encounter when we use too many apps).

Why should you care about having a read later trusted system?

You should care for two reasons:

  1. It’s part of a larger ecosystem of trusted systems (more to follow on that topic) that allow you to clear your inbox, use your brain for thinking (instead of remembering), and keep you organized.
  2. It allows you to be OK waiting in line at the DMV, offline for three hours on a plane, or otherwise very productive when you find yourself with or without internet, planned or not.

My read later system is Pocket.

My Go To

No affiliate links or paid advertising here, I just use the crap out of it, and love it. There are of course others.

How does it work?

You share web articles to it and it downloads them to your phone. Typically text-only, and readable in dark mode (easier on the eyes). You can also share pocket articles to your kindle if you want even less lightbulb screen time. Read all about it elsewhere, the purpose of this article is the use case that follows…

So the wife and I were thirty minutes from boarding a plane to Fuerteventura for some warm sunshine and epic waves last January. Unfortunately, our Huawei 6P phones were both crapping out and in dire need of replacement. Not wanting to buy a Pixel 2 XL because of the screen issues, it struck me that I might get a good deal on the original Pixel XL. All of this occurred to me as we’re sitting in the airport, about to spend the next couple of hours on a plane.

If you don’t know me, I’m a “let’s solve this problem now” kind of person. Having this thought, but not having the time to execute a full “research and execute” plan initially seemed understandably worrisome (to me at least). That is, until I remembered my trusty pal pocket, and sprang into action.

I immediately began smart searching every permutation of “Pixel XL phone reviews” I could think of:

“Pixel XL” review
“Pixel XL” review 2018
“Pixel XL” camera review
“Pixel XL” battery review

Etc. etc.

After garnering about twenty solid search results from reputable reviewers, and opening articles in the same amount of chrome browsers, I then shared each of the articles to pocket using the share function, followed of course, by closing each of the browsers (because Chrome is unfortunately, a memory hog).

Rinse and repeat for all twenty articles.

Right about this time the Europeans were getting restless and it was becoming obvious we needed to merge into the gate-waiting mob (they don’t do lines in Europe, for whatever reason), or we would be getting on last.

No problem.

I closed out my last browser, fired up pocket, and validated all twenty of the articles I’d just shared were confidently stored on the app in my phone, ready and waiting for me to pour through them, offline, with all the time in the world as we zipped through the air to our vacation destination.

Three days later I bought two refurbished Pixel XLs from a trusted Amazon vendor (for less than the price of one iPhone) and they arrived at our home in Germany a day after we got home. All thanks to the hours of research I was able to do from the “comfort” of my airline seat with absolutely no internet connection.

If you don’t have one, you need a read later trusted system (supposing you read, I guess).

Go go get one, enjoy, and thank me later.

Oh, and for those that are curious, some pics. 🙂


Also published on Medium.

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