One Writer’s Process: Email to Pocket

I’ve been a news junkie all my life. Raised on the Milwaukee Journal, Milwaukee Sentinel, and the Huntley-Brinkley Report. In retrospect, I’m a little surprised I was never one of Walter Cronkite‘s acolytes, but I think NBC always had a stronger signal than the CBS affiliate in my youth.

English: American broadcast journalist Walter ...
American broadcast journalist Walter Cronkite (b. 1916) on television during 1st presidential debate between Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 23 September 1976. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Long before I ever touched a computer, I thought I might become a full-time journalist. My then-fiancee put it this way: There must be some way to combine your writing and your news addiction. I gave that a shot, but out-jostling other reporters to get a “scoop” was never my style. Covering and explaining technology turned out to be a better bet for me.

But I still keep up with my responsibilities as a citizen, and try to stay informed on a range of issues. With the US elections coming up on Tuesday, let me tell you one way I keep up: It’s called Pocket.

Originally called Read It Later, Pocket allows you to save articles and just about any other kind of web content for review when you’re not so busy. I make so much use of it, I pay for the Premium version (I get long-term storage and tagging suggestions for the privilege).

The Morning News Funnel

My news funnel largely consists of:

  • Emails that many news sites (specialized and mainstream) send me every morning
  • Newsfeeds that I subscribe to (with Feedspot, if you want to know),
  • Twitter links

I scan these over for a half-hour or so in the morning, and right-click on links to interesting stories. The Pocket extension to Firefox and Chrome offers me a Save Link to Pocket item on my context menu. A dialog box appears that allows me to tag the article (sight unseen), and then save it to my Pocket.

Following Up

I can use Pocket’s mobile app to read offline when I’m eating lunch or riding the bus home. Sometimes I’ll just go to the Pocket website after dinner and read stories in my browser.

You can also share Pocket items via email, Twitter and Facebook. Sharing to Buffer lets you schedule when you share an item. Because they save the page, you can also use any share buttons a site includes.

Oh, by the way – If you find this (or any other post here) interesting, you can save it to Pocket with the share button below.

How do you stay informed? Does your news reading habit feed your writing or blogging addiction? Add something to the Comments!

If you live in the United States, go out and vote!

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