For the month of February, TracSoft has been talking about productivity and self-improvement. We’ve discussed using professional skills courses to advance at work and using social media management tools to make your social media marketing more effective. Today we’re going to explore Pocket, an app that can help you better keep track of fun or useful content you discover online.
Pocket was launched in 2007 by Mozilla Corporations, the company that developed the Firefox browser. Initially called Read It Later, the app was a way to keep track of articles you wanted to read, but didn’t have time for right away. It had both a paid and a free version at that time, but was relaunched in 2012 as Pocket and made all of its features available for free (although additional premium features have since been added).
The way that Pocket works is similar to the way bookmarks work. If you find something you want to view later, you simply save it using the Chrome browser extension, by going to the Pocket website and saving the URL there, or by emailing the article to firstname.lastname@example.org. Once a URL is saved, it will sync across all of your devices, meaning you can access it via the Pocket website, desktop app, or mobile app. And beyond text-based articles, Pocket will let you save just about anything from a YouTube video to a Tweet.
What Are The Advantages Of Using Pocket?
Maybe you’re thinking you don’t need an app for saving URLs. After all, you could simply bookmark things. However, Pocket has some major advantages over traditional bookmarks. For instance, it offers the option to tag all content you save. This makes it much easier to sort the information in your account. For example, I personally have a “Fitness” tag where I save all the articles I want to read about working out safely, another “To Read” tag where I save information about books I want to read, and another “Professional Development” tab with articles about my job or industry.
If that’s not enough to lure you away from messy bookmarks, another benefit is that Pocket is optimized for reading. We’ve all experienced the struggle of trying to read good information on a bad website that’s overblown with flashing banners, video ads, and such. When you pull up the same article in Pocket, the app will strip away all those distractions, allowing you to fully focus on the content. You can change the font size in the app and choose from a light, dark, or sepia theme, making the app great for bedtime reading. You can even save highlighting in the app.
Is The Pocket App Right For You?
Pocket consistently rates high on lists of the best productivity apps. At first glance, a reading app might seem an odd choice for such a list, but the app really does make reading on the go much simpler. Pocket doesn’t just save a URL. It actually archives web pages, meaning you can continue reading if you lose signal or find yourself off the grid. You can even use Pocket’s text-to-speech reading feature to listen to articles during your commute, helping you maximize your time. This can be a great way to catch up on changes in your field or relevant news before you ever arrive at the office.
Speaking of which, Pocket’s “Discover” tool is a nice way to find more content that is similar to what you’ve already read. If you use Pocket to stay updated on certain fields or industries, the app will curate the best of this type of content to share with you, creating your own personalized stream of professional development and news.
For those who are easily distracted, Pocket is a nice way to stay focused. Say your friend shares a fun video on social media, but you don’t have time to watch it, yet you’re afraid you’ll forget to watch it if you put it off until later. For many people, knowing they can save that video (or status update, or Buzzfeed quiz, or whatever) gives them peace of mind to refocus on work and leave the entertaining stuff for later.
Pocket Encourages Reading, And Reading Increases Success
Whether for pleasure or education, reading is healthy. It can reduce stress levels by up to 68% and slow cognitive decline. Reading can even make you smarter by improving cognitive function and creating new pathways in the brain. Those who read often usually display better leadership qualities and tend to have better decision-making skills. Overall, reading regularly is an effective way to improve your wellbeing and performance.
Whether you constantly have your nose in a book or feel guilty that you should be reading more, Pocket is a great way to find the kinds of content that you can’t wait to start reading. After all, it’s a consistent favorite on the list of best apps for readers for a reason.
Are you looking for other ways to improve your work performance? Then check out our blog post “5 Tips For Better Business Writing Skills” on our TracSoft blog.
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