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!

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Amanda Mae

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