DEVONthink as a Read It Later Service

While there aren't as many options as in a service to save full text for reading later as there are in RSS sync services, you've still got a few. For those of us on the Apple platform you can use their built in Read It Later system which syncs between your devices. For multi-platform/os options you've got Instapaper and Pocket, or simply saving links in a bookmarking system of your choice.

But I don't use any of those systems. Instead I opt for using DEVONthink and it's iOS counterpart DEVONthink To Go to store any content I want to read later. Today we'll dig into my system.

Capturing Content in DEVONthink

I won't go over every little aspect of capturing content in DEVONthink To Go because I've already done that previously. When capturing articles from my iPad I almost always use the Clutter Free Markdown option in DEVONthink To Go, mostly because it strips out so many ads on sites like MacWorld. In fact, I never read MacWorld and a few other sites on the web because their ads are so over the top that the reading experience is severely hampered by experiencing it on their site. This sucks, because I genuinely enjoy some of the authors.

Reading Content Later

For many people, myself included for a long time, saving articles for later is little more than an indication that you once found the content interesting. You're unlikely to ever read through your whole list and a 0 article list is like the mythical Inbox 0. It's not going to happen because more feels interesting than you're ever going to have time to read.

To combat this I give myself an hour on Saturday or Sunday to read through my backlog of articles. Whatever I don't get to gets filed in DEVONthink for later. If I don't think it's important enough at this moment to read then it's unlikely to ever become important enough in the future.

The truth is that your answer to the age old question: "If not now, when" is almost always never. I simply embrace it and delete or file articles.

Things like interesting research papers get filed for later with a few tags. I rely on DEVONthink's ability to OCR content to help me find a research study when I want to go over it for some writing project. Articles that have been stacking up from publications like MacWorld get read or deleted. If I'm not going to read some opinion about Apple now, then I'm never going to read it. I long ago gave up on aspiring to read every single thing I saved because it's not going to happen.

Why I use DEVONthink as a Read It Later Service

They key reason I use DEVONthink as a service to capture articles for later is because it's integrated into my research system. All of the articles and all of my writing in text form can be accessed through DEVONthink. I can use the macOS version to find articles that are similar to whatever I'm currently look at.

This single power feature keeps me using DEVONthink even though I'm iPad first and that feature isn't available on DEVONthink To Go.