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Make 2015 Productive: Read what you want when you want

There has never been a better time to be a photographer than now! The abundance of educational photography content is just a click away on sites such as lynda.com, Photofocus, YouTube, Kelby One, Udemy and many more. We are blessed with photo hosting sites; Flickr, 500px, DeviantArt. Pinterest, Smugmug, who offer great resources for viewing photos that can spark our creativity. But with most blessings come a curse. The curse in our case is information overload.

With all this information at our fingertips, how can we possibly have time to read it all? Sure, we can bookmark articles, photos and videos but what happens when the content is removed from the site or as time passes, the link is broken? This is where great Read me Later apps like Pocket are handy.

What is Pocket?

Pocket is a Read Later service that quickly lets you save articles, videos, recipes, and webpages you find online or from your favorite apps. It can save directly from your browser or from apps like Twitter, Flipboard, Pulse and Zite. If it’s in Pocket, it’s on your phone, tablet or computer. You don’t need an Internet connection once you save an item to Pocket.

Pocket has two version, Free and Premium. Pocket FREE comes with many great features and is perfect if you just need links to content you saved. Pocket Premium is about $45.00 a year and has a permanent library. Im still using the free version but Im considering switching to the Premium version to permanently save my content.

What is the difference between Permanent Library and how Pocket currently saves items?

Whenever you save an item, Pocket Premiums Permanent Library feature stores a personal copy of this items content for you, in both the Article View and Web View formats. You will be able to view these copies even if the original page changes on or is removed from the web.

For free users, the way Pocket works, and will continue to work, is that we store the links to saved items, and not their actual content, on our servers. Pockets mobile apps will download any items content thats saved in My List for offline viewing, but if you Archive an item, the copy will be removed from your device.

If you want to access items that have been Archived, or you are logging into your Pocket account on a new device, its possible that you will no longer be able to access any items that have been changed or removed from the web.

Setting up Pocket

The first step is to create a pocket account on Pocket.com. I just clicked on Sign Up with Google to make the setup easier. Once you have an account, download the Pocket app to your iPad or Phone using iTunes for iOS or Google Play for android devices. Next, install the Pocket extension for your browser. Since Pocket is built into many apps like Twitter, Flipboard, Pulse and Zite its easy to save to your Pocket account.

Organize your content

Archive

After youre finished with a saved item, tap the check mark to send it to the Archive. Archived items will still be available in Pocket, but only with a network connection. The checkmark can be found in the bottom toolbar after opening an item, or after swiping across an item in your list. To access your archived items, tap the Main Menu, and select Archive.

Favorites

Items that you particularly like can be marked as a favorite. Tap the Favorite button to add small yellow star badge at the corner to help them stand out. The Favorite button can be found in the bottom toolbar after opening an item, or after swiping across an item in your list. To see the entire list of Favorites, choose Favorites from the Main Menu.

Tags

Tags are keywords to help describe your saved items. They are similar to folders but more flexible, since multiple tags can be added to a single item.

For example, if you save an article about a How to Light a Sport Portrait, you can tag it lighting and sport portrait to help find it later. Once added, tags appear beneath an items title and source URL.

To assign tags, tap the Tag button, which can be found by swiping across a saved item in your List; in Bulk Edit Mode; and by tapping the reader overflow menu (???) in the bottom toolbar in Article View.

To find any items that contain a particular tag, scroll to the top and tap the Tag Filter. Then, choose a tag to see all associated items. To filter by a different tag, tap on the Tag Filter again. To clear the filter and return to your list, tap the x button.

Using Pocket or other “Read Later” apps will keep you organized, help when you’re in a creative slump or gives you access to content when you need it. I hope my articles find their way into your Pocket app!

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