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Contrarian thought here - but I stopped saving things. I was a very heavy user of pocket, pinboard, delicious et al for web articles. For academic papers I use Mendeley.

I now make an active effort to read the article as I discover it - the point being (for me) that if I'm in the process of "discovering" an article, I'm not "working" on anything else that leads me to have to save it for later -- I'm in the zone, read it and not worry about coming back to it! It's been quite a pleasant change. I don't read as many articles as I'd have saved before, but I'm ok with that!




As my list of "articles to read" grew, I felt guilt and a touch of anxiety because it was yet another thing I didn't have enough time to do. Then, when I finally made the time to read some articles off the list, I was usually disappointed... Here was this thing weighing on my mind for months, and now that I read it I see it's not that useful.

Now I read things on an "as needed" basis: I find and read articles as I need them, for instance if I'm learning about Kubernetes that's when I'm going to go and read 10+ things in one sitting.

Another thing I realized: If I found it once, I can find it again... When I need it. The article isn't going anywhere.


I know the anxiety you're referring to. I eventually started aggressively pruning my to-read list every once in a while, deleting articles that looked appealing when I came across them and impulsively hit "read later" but on more sober inspection no longer seemed worth the effort. No more anxiety, and this way what I end up reading tends to be worth it.


I can relate to that. I build up how good the article could be in my head, but it never lives up to it. Probably best to consume then save the good ones!


Double contrarian here :). My read it later list now has few thousands things and I love it! The ability to put things in queue frees up my time now unless reading it is absolutely required for task on hand. Think of it as easiest way to filter and prioritize. I don’t think I will get time to read those few thousands pending links but I can still search for things if I remember seeing it before but have forgotten exactly where. On the other hand I sometimes get stuck on long queues or travels without Internet access. At those time saved links in Pocket still available offline is great way to spend time. I also tag links by priority p1, p2 and p3.

So take away is that don’t get frustrated by ever growing read it later list. Think of it as way of creating your local searchable crawl of pages that matter to you.


I do much the same. I either read it at that moment, or decide my time is better spent elsewhere. I think that people in general underestimate the cognitive cost of context switching, and overestimate the amount of focused, free time they'll have in the future. Saving things for later 'feels' like you're accomplishing something, but with very rare exception, you aren't.


I definitely do this too. But for some acedemic papers it might take me (a first year PHD without much research exp) a few hours to actually understand everything the author is doing. For these cases I definitely try and skim the article to see if it warents furher review, and then save it to a folder in Mendely so I can go through it later.




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