Sometimes I come across an article or video I want to view, but don’t have time at that moment. I don’t want to add it to my overgrown, untended pile of bookmarks which have accumulated over the years, I just want to come back to it later, watch it or read it, and be done with it. Pocket is a free cloud based app/service that makes it easy to do just that. If you see something you want to read later, send it to Pocket in one of the ways shown here, then pull it up later on any web-enabled device.

Introducing Pocket from Pocket on Vimeo.

This may sound similar to Evernote, and there can be some overlap depending on how you use them, but I tend to use Pocket for things I wouldn’t use Evernote for, things that I’m interested in reading or viewing later, but that aren’t related to any projects I’m working on. Or if I find that it actually is something I might want to use later, it’s easy to send it from Pocket to Evernote. In either case, whenever I’m done with it in Pocket, I click a button and it goes to the archive, locatable but out of the way.

I find Pocket indispensable for minimizing distractions while browsing the web by allowing me to shelve interesting things for later, knowing they’ll be there when I have a free moment to get back to them. Pocket plays well with all my devices (Chrome, Mac OS, iPhone, Kindle), but it may not work for everyone. If this app doesn’t suit you, there are a couple of other services I can recommend that might work better for your own personal tech menagerie.

Instapaper was the first of these read it later services, and I used it until I decided to switch completely to Pocket. Readablity functions much the same as the other two with slightly different options and functions. They all have the same basic functionality, it just depends on which one works for you. And they are all free (with the exception of the iPhone/iPad Instapaper app, which is $3.99). 

Brian Patterson is a graphic designer and trial consultant at Barnes & Roberts. He has created and overseen production of multimedia presentations for well over a hundred courtroom proceedings since 1998. He is Assistant Editor of The Jury Expert, and is founder and contributor to the blog Information Graphics & Litigation.