Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?
You’re browsing online and discover a fantastic article or post you’d love to read… later.
You email yourself links daily, only to have your already clogged inbox receive dozens more emails… from you.
You bookmarked a great video on your desktop earlier… but now you’re using your tablet before bed.
This was me several months ago before discovering Pocket, a website/app combo that shifts your bookmarking into overdrive.
Save For Later… to Pocket
Pocket (formerly Read It Later) is a free reader application allowing you to save content to a single location – your Pocket – for viewing later. You can then access your saved content anywhere – even offline – from your phone, tablet, or browser. It’s like a PVR for the web.
Pocket currently supports iPhone, iPad, Android, and Kindle Fire devices, along with a Mac OS app. For other platforms, such as Blackberry and Windows Phone, there’s a handful of 3rd party applications available.
4 Ways to Save
There are several easy ways to add articles, photos, and videos to your Pocket account from most devices and browsers.
- Browser extensions & bookmarklets – Browser extensions, in the form of Add to Pocket address bar buttons, are available to install for Safari, Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. A Save to Pocket bookmarklet can also be added to any bookmarks menu, allowing links to be queued to Pocket via simple bookmark.
- Read Later services – Many apps providing mass content, such as Twitter and Flipboard, offer a Read Later setting. Simply activate and verify Pocket from the list of Read Later services available through each individual app’s settings. Read Later should now appear among the tweet link, copy link, mail link, etc. actions available for sharing articles. Pocket is currently integrated into 300+ apps across many platforms.
- Send an email – Email a link to email@example.com from any email address verified with your Pocket account, and the link will be saved in your queue. You can add multiple email addresses within your Pocket settings.
- Add link from clipboard – If you’ve copied a link to your clipboard and open the app, you’ll be prompted to add copied URL to your list. Just click the add button beside the prompt to do so.
Pocket is like a PVR for the web.
Features Within Pocket
Using a simple, clean interface with only the essential menu options, Pocket lets you tag, search, organize, and share content easily.
- Tags – add custom tags to your saved links, then search by each tagged category
- Favourite – star your favourite content to add to the favourites directory
- Archive – once you’ve read an article, archive it from your homepage into a tagged category
- List view/tile view – toggle between a larger, Pinterest-style tile view and a more compact list view
- View articles, videos, or photos only – view each type of content separately
- Newest/oldest/title/site – view by newest, oldest, or alphabetically by article title or source website
- Send to friend – email an article to anyone, straight from Pocket
- Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn – share directly to these popular accounts, plus other key sites like Evernote, Reddit, & StumbleUpon
- Buffer – what is this Buffer you speak of?
Share Content Later… with Buffer
Buffer is a free post scheduling application that currently connects to your big 3 networks – Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. [Update: Posting to Google+ Pages was recently added; Google+ Profiles are still forthcoming.] It is also both web and app based, so you can schedule your posts on the fly. Buffer can be linked directly to your Pocket account, so you have a wealth of relevant content at your fingertips to use when scheduling meaningful tweets and posts.
Filling your Buffer from Pocket
- Select an article from your Pocket account and share it using the Buffer option.
- A window will open with the article’s title and shortlink in the post body (see above).
- If you like, you can edit the text, add to your post, or expand the shortlink here.
- Above the post, you can toggle on/off the accounts you’d like to share the post with (the thumbnail is for Facebook & LinkedIn posts only).
- Hit the Buffer button to add it to your scheduled posts. The Share Now button will immediately send your post or tweet out through the selected accounts.
Buffer will suggest posting times for each of your connected accounts. You can roll with these, change them, and add or delete post times. (For a free custom report on your optimum tweet times, try a Tweriod or FollowerWonk analysis.) You can also select the days of the week that the schedule applies to. The free version of Buffer allows for 1 posting schedule. I have mine set to post 7 days a week to Twitter, at 6 different times of the day. My Facebook Page and LinkedIn accounts are also connected, but i use Buffer mostly for sending scheduled tweets. A cool recent update allows for retweets to be added to your Buffer, so you can schedule and track them as well.
Analyze Your Posts
Once a scheduled tweet or post has been sent out, the post is moved from the Buffer tab to the Analytics tab. You can now follow the impact of your tweets and posts. Various metrics tracked include:
I’ve tripled my (albeit meagre) number of Twitter followers in 3 weeks using the Pocket, Buffer, Twitter trifecta. Give the system a test run, and let me know in the comments how it affects your posting habits and interactions.