Productive Life

How I Use My Read-Later App

Amanda Mae
4 min readOct 9, 2023
Photo by Bruno Cervera

I have been a voracious reader my whole life. I was the kid who fell asleep with a flashlight under the covers with my latest book. It took me a little bit to get on the ebook bandwagon, but once I did, I went HARD for ebooks. I found I read EVEN MORE when I read digitally.

As digital reading tools developed, I also tried to keep up. It took me a little bit to get on board with ebooks, but once I got it, I found I was reading so much more! I could easily pull up a book on my smartphone and get a few more pages in while waiting in line or for the bus.

But when it came to non-book reading, my evolution took a lot more time.

For a long time I was terrible about reading the news. I was vaguely informed by word or mouth, what I saw on a local newscast, or whatever non-paywalled items came through my Twitter or Facebook feed that I had moment to read right then. Very disjointed. For the moment in time when we had the famed Google Reader, I was at least able to keep up with all my friends’ blogs. But once that tool went away so did my attention.

Back in the day I made great use of Evernote Web Clipper, and any articles I found I’d save and file. But that meant I didn’t always read the articles, or didn’t always revisit them, despite my best efforts to tag them and look through again.

Eventually I started to use Pocket, then Instapaper, and finally now I use Reader by Readwise to collate all the non-book things I want to read. All the things I want to read are in one place! And a huge benefit of using Reader is now all the things I highlight and the notes I take can be funneled into Readwise for my review. It’s a great system for me, and here’s how I make it work:

Save all the things.

I quote Melanie Griffith from the movie classic Working Girl all the time — “I read a lot of things. You never know where the big ideas could come from.” I have truly taken that to heart. If an article or blog or other piece of writing sparks my interest, I save it to Reader. Sometimes just the act of saving something is all you need, but I know that this piece of writing has entered my system and I’ll be able to find it again regardless. You never know what might kick off your creativity!



Amanda Mae

Amanda Mae is a librarian who has lived in too many states and enjoys anything involving books, history, and productivity.