I’ve been a consumer of RSS content with intermittent intensity for, when I stop to think about it, almost 10 years1! Recently I’ve become a fan of Pocket too. Dave has been quizzing me about this and I thought I’d try and write it down and see if anyone has any suggestions to improve my media consumption workflow.

I define offline reading as being able to read somewhere that doesn’t have an internet connection. I’m sure a lot of people would think of offline as being on paper, but I’m pretty into reading on my Kindle or Nexus 7 (or even on my phone).

Tl;dr. I save articles to read later, in a cafe or on a train, here’s how I do it.

Offline reading process

So here’s a stab at a process diagram. As you can see, flowcharts are something that aren’t in my arsenal of Things I Do Really Well.

There are two starting points for places that I get things to read: general internet browsing about2, and my RSS feed, that I get through Feedly.

I’ve found that if the first paragraph looks interesting that I can just throw it over to Pocket and read it later. This frees me from all kinds of angst. If I should be doing something else then I can carry on safe in the knowledge that I haven’t missed out.

If I’m not all that into the page, but I think that it’d be good for someone else then it goes to G+, generally to Public, and the person that I think would like the link. I also send things that are essentially just link lists to G+ too although I’m not really happy with that solution. I’d prefer another way to deal with link lists that doesn’t make them public just yet, but doesn’t muddy my offline reading. (Link lists aren’t any use in an offline situation anyway!)

Now you need to imagine some kind of cinematic device for the passage of time. I’m now on the train, or in a cafe, on a plane, in a cave (with a solar charger). I’m reading the saved articles. If I think it’s really good3 then I’ll mark it as a favourite in pocket, then IFTTT will tweet it (to complete the cycle of narcissism.)

This isn’t really about telling you how to do this, more about me making my process explicit. I don’t have a good solution for offline videos - it’s not usually a good time to sit down and watch a 40 minute video about something, and I haven’t been able to form a habit around Youtube’s watch later list.

If you have any suggestions…

  1. Which is almost forever in internet years 

  2. links on facebook, Twitter, falling down a link following rabbit hole, all the normal stuff. 

  3. really good as opposed to just not really bad.