Bookmarking/Read It Later services vs Safari Bookmarks?

After listening to David and Stephen on the last episode, I again became intrigued by But here’s my bigger question, that I have not been able to wrap my head around:

What are the advantages of a Raindrop or Pocket, compared to good old safari bookmarks and bookmark folders? I get the sense that they other services can share your saved articles with others in your circle, but that’s not something I would ever use. I do get that it would be truly cross-platform, if I wanted to use Chrome more.

I’m very interested to hear any perspectives. As a stuck-at-home-nerd, I like the idea of trying a new service - if there’s a use case for me!

Besides cross-browser support, the main benefits are being able to tag in addition to folders, full text search, and support for Zapier, IFTTT, etc.

The thing that got me to try raindrop was just the fact that it’s soo much more visual than other bookmarking services.


Do you use Raindrop on iOS as well or something else? If so, do you use the search feature in iOS to find a bookmark while working in safari or another browser?

I use Raindrop on iOS as well. I primarily use raindrop for keeping track of really good programming video/resources or recipes. So, for the most part I go directly in to raindrop when I know I need to find something. I use the search feature when I’m pretty sure I bookmarked a site or video and can’t remember where! It works pretty well. Assuming I actually did remember to bookmark it :grin:

1 Like looks interesting but it doesn’t add any value given the way I work. I’ve used Safari bookmarks for years. The one thing that was lacking was an easy way to sort the bookmarks, but that has been fixed. Start typing in the address bar and Safari will suggest links from my bookmarks. And I can export my links to a file for backup or to import in another browser. When I occasionally want to save a link with additional information I use Google Keep.

I usually just bookmark sites that I frequent. If it’s an article that I know I’ll keep for reference (mostly for work as an IT Admin) I’ll pdf it and throw it in my work google drive to dissect later.

The advantage is the ability to search and sort and organize and ultimately find information once you get to thousands or more items to bookmark.

That said, for the ultimate in customizability and search capability, Devonthink is superb as a combined bookmark organizer and RSS reader. Raindrop’s user interface on the other hand is stunning.

I am a medical student in India
I use Instapaper extensively. Here’s Why:
(I made this to understand my subscription for the app)

Summary: I read less but better


As a physician who has been active in computing since the dawn of the Apple and TRS-80, I would recommend Devonthink as an incredible asset in information organization in medical school. For me that would have been a to-die-for app if it existed when I was in medical school. Your needs for information management and searching go way way beyond what Instapaper can do.

I just recently switched from Instapaper to Pocket and from Pocket to Reeder 4 for all my reading purposes: rss and RIT. Federico Viticci was doing this on AppStories and it sounded sensible.

I’m still saving way more articles in Reeder Read It Later service than I should. But this one less app and I don’t need the integratoin with IFTTT or Zapier.

I do need the ability to read articles a loud. Pocket has a really good feature for doing this in Danish, which Instapaper couldn’t do. But when I saved an article from one of the Danish newspapers that I read, then it always open in the article view, which would not let me utilise the Pocket read aloud feature.

So whenever I want to listen to article now, I share it from Reeder’s Read It Later or RSS to Voice Dream and I can listen to it from there. It’s a great app with really good support for reading aloud in all languages.

I also have two shortcuts that I can share to from Safari or Reeder that will read aloud in either Danish or English, which makes it faster than going into Voice Dream, but its with iOS System Voice so it’s not nearly as good.

I also occasionally share stuff Reeder RSS by starring the item through FeedWrangler and then having that sent to Tumblr as a draft through IFTTT.

I could do the same with Pocket and articles saved for reading later, but I just use the iOS share sheet from Reeder to Tumblr and that saves it as a draft also.

I use bookmarks solely for websites that I visit often or I need to remember. I store those in Safari.

So if I’m working on something then I go to the bookmarks and they are sorted by folders and I can open all the tabs on that thing I’m working on.

That’s pretty much my thing. I have a Pinboard account but I never really used it for anything. I used to just save all articles from Instapaper to Pinboard that I added, but I never really used it at all.

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Is there a way to send something to Reeder from outside the app? I use Reeder for RSS and save stuff to read later in there, but if I stumble on something from twitter or another way from a source that I don’t have setup for RSS I need a place to send it?

As for raindrop, I still have a pinboard account, but I don’t use it that much.

Edited to add: I see on iOS you can do from Safari, and Mac as well. So took care of that! Thanks!!!

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I’m done with Pinboard, Instapaper, Raindrop and more. Back in the days they were the first to offer clutter free reading experiences. Now clutter free reading is available in every browser. The ability to save. bookmarks and effectively search them? I have that with Devonthink now.

I use my Reading List a lot nowadays and if the information is good for archiving I bookmark or save it to DT.

The landscape for apps is changing. I don’t think there’s going to be much room for these Freemium services that want to charge you 35 bucks a year. Larger developers are just integrating the essence of their feature-set.

You might be interring in Read Wise. They have an app in beta if you need it

I’ve been using Reeder’s RIL feature. One advantage it has over Safari’s reading list is that it groups items by the site they were sent from. Since I have a tendency to send too much to RIL, that grouping helps me quickly prioritize what I’ll actually read and what can just be deleted.

For anything that I want to keep long term, I’ve been using Notion. It’s free if you sign up with a school email address, and I have a .edu address that will never expire.

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Every article in your read-it-later bookmarks has one thing in common: They are all articles that you have already decided once not to read. What makes you think you’ll decide differently next time you encounter it?

I’m trying to be more mindful about bookmarking things to read later.

First, I don’t open and browse Twitter or any other linkfeeds unless I also have time to at least look at whatever links I find there. I try to stay away from drive-by bookmarking, where I think “that might be interesting … that might be interesting too… that one might be interesting too!” and in 60 seconds I’ve bookmarked 10 articles to read later.

Also, I ask myself whether an article will still be relevant when I get to read it. Sure, that 10,000-word investigation on the state of coronavirus in the US is almost certainly great … but by the time I get to read it, there’ll be another one, just as great and more current.

Also, I am mindful of advice from a friend, who said at one point he doesn’t use any RIL service. He said if an article is important enough, it’ll crop up again repeatedly in his social feeds.


While working I will scan twitter or RSS feed and only have a few minutes of time. So if I see something that will take more time than that, will save for later. Also some stuff that is less time sensitive I will read on the weekend etc.

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That is probably good advice if you are casually collecting information on a hobby.

But if you are researching information about something where you want as complete a collection as possible - for professional purposes, for a major school project such as a Master’s or Phd thesis, for a book you are writing, for a product you are developing - then it is much more useful to collect everything you possibly can and then use an app which can help you sort and search that collection of data.


I just wanted to add a bit of input as to why one would choose a RIL-service like Instapaper or Pocket over Safari.

Instapaper especially is very good at letting me highlight and add notes to articles, and then export those highlights as text to a note app like Bear. Pocket also has highlights though it’s not as flexible as Instapaper.

Global search is also integrated (at least in paid versions) and also helps if I don’t want a lot of stuff in my regular folders but sometimes need to go deep in the archives.

So these dedicated services/apps are valuable research tools at least for me (I often do “web runs” to find and collect a lot of articles on a topic for a podcast or an article) and provide a few features I can’t get with Safari Reading List.

PS. Oh, how I’d love if people only spoke about their own experience instead of claiming to know what “you” need :slight_smile:

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Yes, I use highlighting and search and tags quite a bit with my Pocket subscription. When saving an article you have the option to add tags and the app’s AI does a good job of suggesting tags, but you can also choose or customize your own.

There’s also the social aspect. Pocket has an Explore page presenting top reads culled from Pocket users’ all-time favorites, trending stories, and a selection of stories in topics like tech. You can also tell Pocket what you’re interested in on the opening page and it will suggest things to read. More, you can publicly share articles, follow people and be followed - and Pocket pays attention to what you read and who you follow, resulting in a personalized Recommendation tab (and daily email, if desired) consisting of a mix of stories the service thinks you’ll like.

You can also use the Share button on an item saved in your list, select Send to Friend, enter in your friend’s email address and, if you’d like, a note. Pocket sends them an email with an image and bit of text from the story along with the option for them to save it to their own Pocket account or view it in a browser. You can also send to a friend by highlighting a portion of an article and then clicking Share and the Send to Friend option will pop up.

There’s also a Messages app for Pocket showing he last few stories you saved which you can send with one tap.

Great idea. Reeder is one of the most beautiful apps on my devices. I was already using it to read articles saved in Pocket; might as well cut out the middle man.

I like that its sync keeps things close to home, in my personal iCloud :slightly_smiling_face: