Is Your Read-it-Later App Fuelling Your Procrastination Problem?

Martine Ellis
2 min readOct 25, 2022
Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash

Read-it-later apps (such as Pocket, Instapaper, and Matter) were designed to promote procrastination… weren’t they?

Rather than read an article now, you send it to your read-it-later app so you can (quite literally) read it later. Invariably, articles pile up, and your list becomes a guilt-inducing archive of things you should have read but didn’t. Sound familiar?

Here’s the good news: it doesn’t have to be this way.

Read-it-later apps — used well — can improve focus, support learning, and help generate ideas.

My Read-it-Later Process

This is how I use my read-it-later app of choice, Matter:

  • Articles I discover during the week on social media go straight to Matter.
  • Articles recommended in curated email newsletters also go to Matter (read more about my process here).
  • Every Sunday, I read everything I’ve saved to Matter (I love the text-to-speech tool). I highlight interesting points and make notes. Those highlights and notes sync to my inbox in Obsidian (my notetaking tool).
  • As part of my weekly review, I process my Obsidian inbox.

This way, I achieve the Read-it-Later version of Inbox Zero every week.

How to be Consistent

The key to consistently applying this process is having a recurring task in my task manager (TickTick) and ensuring I’ve allocated enough time every weekend in Google Calendar.

Are you maximising the potential of your read-it-later app?

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Martine Ellis

Wellbeing-driven productivity systems and strategies for people who are neurodivergent (or think they might be). Weekly email digest →