Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Can't find something...you should've put it in your POCKET!

Using twitter has been a great professional learning experience.  Twitter has helped build relationships over wide geographic distances and within the mighty PDSB.  I get to share ideas and resouces with people who's paths I might not have crossed without twitter.  This post is a result of these connections and relationships.  It is part of the first #peel21st blog hop.  Please check out the other blogs listed at the bottom of this post.  Enjoy!

So we have all been there, we have been with a colleague who tells us about a great teaching tool or we have found resources online and we want to save them so we can read and use them later.  This is long after we have finished marking, writing report cards and then we have performed our parental/family duties when we are finally at home.

So what do you do with these finds?  Do you write them on a piece of paper? Put them on a sticky note that gets stuck to your monitor? Email yourself the link or bookmark the resource on the computer your are using?

We all know how successful these methods are; the piece of paper gets washed, the sticky note falls off and gets stuck to something else, you suck as an email ninja and your hopes of inbox zero had officially faded with email number, 3000 in your inbox.  The bookmark idea almost works, but then when you try to find it you discover your were logged in under someone else's username, or you cannot access the bookmark because you are on a different device.  

I know your frustration, I have been there myself, or should a say, used to be there.  My advice to you, you should just put it in your Pocket!

So, what is Pocket?

Pocket is a cross platform, cross device, visual bookmarking service that will help turn you into an Web 2.0 ninja.  Pocket can be used on almost any device, using almost any operating system that will allow you to easily save, but more importantly retrieve articles when you have more time, or when you actually need them.

How do I put things into my Pocket?

In most cases things can be put into your pocket with one click, touch and swipe using extensions in Chrome or by using bookmarklets on iOS.  Once these are setup, it is one touch on the tool bar, or one touch on the share icon and you can automatically send things to your pocket for when you have time to read them later.

What does Pocket do with my finds?

Pocket will parse the articles and remove unwanted adds and distractions that will help you read items at a quicker pace.  Pocket also archives the articles so you can have offline access to blog posts or articles and this even allows access to the content when the host site is down, the article has been move, or even worse, the article has been deleted.  Pocket lets you view your items in either the streamed lined list view or the graphically stunning thumbnail view.  As a visual person, I enjoy using thumbnail view the most, but when I am in a hurry I revert to list view.  Pocket even has different colour themes for you viewing pleasure.   I like to use the dark theme so I can easily read articles at night without the bright glaring screen of my tablet.  Further to this, videos can be played directly from within your Pocket. Talk about time saving.

What do I do with articles once they are in my Pocket?

You read them!  Besides this obvious remark, there are some great functions within Pocket that allow you to sort, filter and organize items to make finding them easier when you need them.  The most powerful tool in Pocket is the tagging feature, this allows for quick searching later.  You can add tags as you find and read articles.  If you have made a mistake, you can delete tags as well.   Actually if you made a mistake in saving an article, you can simply delete it from your pocket as well.  You can also search your pocket by keyword, article title and resource title. Once you have reviewed an item, you can check it off as read and it will send it to your archive for access later. This saves some room in your pocket for even more great discoveries.  You can also favourite articles you have read, for easy access to your top finds.

What else can I do with Pocket?

Pocket is integrated with over 500 different apps, which makes it uber easy to send items to your pocket and share items from your pocket.  Pocket integrates with Twitter, Zite, Feedly, and Evernote to name a few.  In most cases you can once again use pocket to share with one click, touch or swipe to many of your favourite networks like Facebook or share to public booking sites like Diigo (my fav) or Delicious.   Adding the Web 2.0 service IFTTT automates many things and makes both the finding and sharing of items even easier from Pocket.  You can even use IFTTT to automatically send new posts or articles from your favourite bloggers or news sites, so you never miss anything.   I have also started to further archive my Pocket by integrating with Evernote.  I can send items, along with their tags for always and ever access in Evernote.

What doesn't Pocket do?

I wish I could say it does everything, but I am still waiting for Hootsuite integration to come.  

In the end...

So do yourself a favour, leave the paper, the sticky notes, the emails and the browser bookmarks behind.  

Just start putting things in your Pocket.  You can find your Pocket at: https://getpocket.com/welcome.php

Get pocket and start taking a drink, at your own pace, from the waterfall of information on the web!

Don’t forget to check out the other blog posts in our Blog Hop!


  1. Thanks for this post, Greg! I have seen Pocket before, very quickly at a conference one day... but totally forgot about it. Ironic, eh? If I had used Pocket to help me remember it, I would not have forgotten... Seriously, though - I am going to definitely check out this app for both supporting teachers professionally, and supporting students when learning. Thanks again for sharing!

  2. Thanks for the info Greg - I got a Pocket account a while back and haven't really used it yet. I appreciate your insight!