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7 best read-it-later apps

Benefits of read-it-later apps

The web is an interesting place, but we don’t always have the time and attention to immediately read through an interesting article or link when we first come across it. And there’s nothing more frustrating than half-remembering an interesting article we saw a few weeks or months ago, then fruitlessly googling for way too long to try to find it again.

Having a reliable place to save articles for later reading (secure in the knowledge that we can easily find this information again later) is an integral part of an effective personal knowledge management system.

💻 New to the world of personal knowledge management? Simply put, personal knowledge management means having an intentional, mindful way to organize and manage all the information that flows into your life on a daily basis. You can learn more about personal knowledge management in this guide.

What to look for in a reading list app: key features

But how do you choose the right read-it-later app? Choosing the right app can feel overwhelming if you don’t have a clear framework in place as you browse through note taking and read-it-later apps. There are plenty of options to choose from. Here are some attributes to keep in mind as you browse:

Articles should be quick and easy to capture.

An ideal read-it-later app should be as frictionless as possible. You should be able to save articles in a single click (with a bookmarklet, browser extension, or mobile app).

Make sure your read-it-later app is as simple as possible (but no simpler). Effective read-it-later apps have both tagging or categorisation abilities as well as robust search.

Cross-platform access.

You never know when you’ll have a pocket of time available for catching up on your reading queue. The best read-it-later apps are available seamlessly on mobile, tablet, and desktop— ideally with offline access, too. Universal access is a key attribute to creating a sustainable personal knowledge management system.

Beautiful aesthetics.

Read-it-later apps should make building a reading habit feel like a joy, not a chore. Choose one that has a theme and aesthetics you enjoy and/or customizations available.

The 7 best read-it-later apps in 2023

Perhaps you’re new to this area, and you’re trying to find the best read it later app. Or maybe you’re already using an older reader app like Pocket or Instapaper, and you’re wondering about newer alternative apps.

Here are 7 established and up-and-coming read-it-later apps (organized from A to Z) to organize your links and articles to read in the future:


Alfread

Website: https://alfreadapp.com

About: “Saved 99 articles but haven’t read one? Then Alfread is for you. It helps you to actually read articles. Or skip them. No pressure.”

Platforms/available for: Mac, iPhone, iPad


Instapaper

Website: https://www.instapaper.com/

About: “Save all of the interesting articles, videos, cooking recipes, song lyrics, or whatever else you come across while browsing. With one click, Instapaper lets you save, read, and manage the things you find on the Internet.”

Platforms/available for: web, iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle


Matter

Website: https://hq.getmatter.com/

About: “Matter pulls everything you want to read into one beautiful place. With powerful tools, curation, seamless audio and more, we’re building a reader for today’s internet.”

Platforms/available for: web, iPhone, iPad


Pocket

Website: https://getpocket.com/

About: “If something catches your interest, there’s probably something to it. With our save button for the internet and our award-winning Pocket app you can save anything from across the web in a distraction free space, for you to focus and let the ideas flow.”

Platforms/available for: web, iPhone, iPad, Android


Readwise Reader

Website: https://readwise.io/read

About: “The first read-it-later app for power readers. Save everything to one place to overcome content overload, search instantly, and highlight like a pro.”

Platforms/available for: web, iPhone, iPad, Android


Refind

Website: https://refind.com/

About: “Our reading list is explicitly designed to help you actually read what you wanted to read. One great piece at a time.”

Platforms/available for: web, iPhone, iPad, Android


Up Next

Website: https://www.getupnext.com/

About: “Save anything, and actually get to it later. Upnext is a radically better reader for the information age.”

Platforms/available for: web, Mac, iPhone, iPad

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