The Power of Pocket

July 29, 2013 § Leave a comment

Pocket iOS App Icon Cookie

Image Source: Garrett Gee, iOS App Icon Cookies

I recently penned a post regarding my habit of not recognizing the unproductive things that I do on a continual basis.  In the piece, I mentioned an online tool that helps one to organize her, or his, reading life: Pocket (formerly Read It Later).  At the time I wrote the piece, I had downloaded Pocket onto my laptop (unbeknownst to me, a new feature) and had begun to Pocket articles to read later.  I thought this was the best thing, well, ever.

Not long after, I was at a meeting during which I learned that I was not the only one who had been keeping 39 tabs open, in perpetuity, so that I could keep track of what I wanted to read.  (There was some relief in that conversation, as there is most definitely a generational divide, of which I am on the far side).  I (extremely enthusiastically) mentioned my discovery and followed up with an email and link to the site site.

But my excitement about this new tool, and my rush to start using it, exposed another of my time sinks – not liking to read instructions, at all.  This latest shortcoming was revealed to me in two phases.  The first came as a nudge.  After having used Pocket for a few days, I was checking my Twitter feed when I noticed that the menu of actions I could take had grown by one, namely Pocket.  No clue. Of course, I had to test it.  I clicked on a link to open the page, “Pocketed” it.  All good.  And then I did the same, by simply clicking Pocket on my Twitter menu. Yes, it worked.

The second phase came serendipitously via Pocket itself.  I was reading an article that I had discovered via Twitter and saved to read later, “Apps for College Grads.”  Pocket was one of the tools listed.  Along with the description came this quote from one of the grads surveyed:

“I can’t live without Pocket,” said Marc Phillips, a marketing graduate from Ithaca College. “It allows me to save interesting links and stories to the cloud so I can access them on-demand from any of my iDevices and laptop.”

Really?  You see, I did not read the iTunes product detail or the site detail or the FAQs, and, thus, did not realize this.  I spent the next 15 to 20 minutes downloading the app, signing in to Pocket on my phone and iPad, and connecting them to my Twitter account.  Voila.

Now, my life really has changed.  Now, I don’t go mad standing in the interminable checkout line at the drug store. Instead, I pull out my phone and read one of my “Pocketed” articles.  Now, I know that I need to spend 15 minutes reading the prompts and product details to properly set up an application in order to get the most out of it from the get-go.

This is the power of Pocket.

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