A few years ago I tried Read It Later - a browser bookmarklet that let you defer reading long articles. When you discovered something you really wanted to read but didn't have immediately, you could just store it for later.
Imagine what happens next. Most of the articles languish, never to be opened again. After a few months I stopped using the service.
But! I never stopped using the behaviour.
As a voracious internetovore, the fearsome bane of unread content everywhere, I kept clicking every link with a semi-interesting headline I could get my grubby little paws on. Be it image, video or a metric fucktonne of text - I would open it.
Then realize I don't have time to read it.
Then keep it open for three hours.
Then my browser session crept up to fifty tabs spread over three windows ... on each computer (laptop+desktop). Things got slow, most of my RAM was on a hard drive and life was anything but ideal. Far from even remotely pleasant.
A while ago I rediscovered Read it Later, now rebranded as Pocket and awesomer than ever.
No longer a bookmarklet, but a full-fledged Chrome plugin with companion apps for both iPad and iPhone. Much shinier and friendlier than it used to be, there was now even a very useful html5'd website for my reading pleasure.
Last week they even released a MacOS app.
Of course I still don't read most of the articles I save. The queue is still growing relentlessly, far quicker than I could read anything. But that's not the point. I've come to terms with the fact that Pocket is a tool for keeping memory usage low and browsers happy.
No longer do I store everything in forever-tabs. Push it to Pocket so it's out of mind, out of worry and out of RAM. Sometimes I'll actually get around to reading it, most often not. But at least both my inner internetovore and minimalist side are happy.
As an added bonus, Pocket is magnificent for easily sharing links between devices. Win!
I write articles with real insight into the career and skills of a modern software engineer. "Raw and honest from the heart!" as one reader described them. Fueled by lessons learned over 20 years of building production code for side-projects, small businesses, and hyper growth startups. Both successful and not.
Subscribe below 👇
Join Swizec's Newsletter and get insightful emails 💌 on mindsets, tactics, and technical skills for your career. Real lessons from building production software. No bullshit.
"Man, love your simple writing! Yours is the only newsletter I open and only blog that I give a fuck to read & scroll till the end. And wow always take away lessons with me. Inspiring! And very relatable. 👌"
Senior Mindset Book
Get promoted, earn a bigger salary, work for top companiesLearn more
20% off this week
Have a burning question that you think I can answer? Hit me up on twitter and I'll do my best.
Who am I and who do I help? I'm Swizec Teller and I turn coders into engineers with "Raw and honest from the heart!" writing. No bullshit. Real insights into the career and skills of a modern software engineer.
Want to become a true senior engineer? Take ownership, have autonomy, and be a force multiplier on your team. The Senior Engineer Mindset ebook can help 👉 swizec.com/senior-mindset. These are the shifts in mindset that unlocked my career.
Curious about Serverless and the modern backend? Check out Serverless Handbook, for frontend engineers 👉 ServerlessHandbook.dev
Want to Stop copy pasting D3 examples and create data visualizations of your own? Learn how to build scalable dataviz React components your whole team can understand with React for Data Visualization
Did someone amazing share this letter with you? Wonderful! You can sign up for my weekly letters for software engineers on their path to greatness, here: swizec.com/blog
By the way, just in case no one has told you it yet today: I love and appreciate you for who you are ❤️