my favourite reading tools

My favourite reading tools for managing articles and books [TPP#59]

A few weeks ago, there were some great comments in the Better Book Club about people’s favourite reading tools and apps.

In this post, I want to follow up with a list of my favourite reading tools and describe the processes I use to manage articles and books.

All up, I use seven different tools and services to manage my books and reading. Sounds like a lot, but hear me out as I go through them and describe how each one forms a crucial part of my reading process.

To make things easier, I’ve divided this post up into two sections; articles and books.

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First up articles. Here’s how I manage the blog posts and articles I come across on the web.

1. Feedly

feedly articles

There are a number of blogs I like to check in with every now and then to see what new content they’ve produced. Rather than trying to remember each blog and checking each individual blog page, I use Feedly to organise all new posts in one place. I can then quickly scan through all new articles from each publisher to see what I might like to read.

My need for Feedly came out of a desire to reduce email. Rather than subscribing to the mailing list of each blog, I use Feedly to keep on top of the content from each publisher.

If I see an article I want to read, I’ll either 1) Read it there and then, or 2) Add it to Pocket for reading later.

2. Pocket

pocket articles

Pocket is my favourite “read later” service. I clip articles to here from all sorts of places: Feedly, Twitter, Facebook and using the Pocket Chrome extension.

When I have some free time, I’ll go through my Pocket articles on my phone and read them one by one (or delete them if I’m no longer interested in the article).

Have you ever read an article, then wanted to go back to it later, only to end up not being able to find it online. The “Archive” in Pocket gives you a quick and easy way of going back to old articles you’ve read so you don’t have to go hunting around the web.

Sometimes, I’ll read an article I really like and may want to refer back to later. That’s where Evernote comes in.

3. Evernote

evernote articles

Really great articles that I want to save for later (for future reference, or in case the article gets taken down) get saved into Evernote. I’m pretty restrictive on what I add to Evernote and so the article has to be really good for me to save it to Evernote.

I usually save articles from Pocket using the built-in share extension or I’ll use the Evernote web clipper to save a “simplified article” from the web.

All articles saved in Evernote get tagged with “Article” so I can quickly filter notes to view all articles later. I use various other tags to highlight the topic of the article (e.g. Sleep, Time, Energy, Technology). I could just use Evernote’s great search features but I like to have the extra level of organisation that tags offer.


So, that’s how I manage articles. But what about books?

4. Goodreads

goodreads reading list

I’m new to Goodreads, but I really enjoy using it to discover new books. By connecting Goodreads to your social accounts, you can see what your friends are reading and what’s on their reading list. This is a great way to get new books.

I also love Goodreads for managing my own reading list. When I come across a book I want to read, I’ll look it up in Goodreads (either on the web or using the iPhone app) and click the “Want to read” button. This adds the book to my reading list.

Finally, as you track books you’ve read in Goodreads, you can unlock some pretty cools stats. You can see how many books you’ve read this year and how long it takes to read those books. You can even sign up to reading challenges.

5. Amazon

Amazon is my go-to store for digital books. Purchasing on Amazon is super quick and easy (too easy in fact) and the books get sent right to my Kindle.

6. Kindle


I purchased a Kindle about 6 months ago in preparation for our travels as I didn’t want to carry around lots of physical books. While I love reading physical books, I love the convenience of the Kindle.

There are lots of different types of Kindle. I have one of the more basic ones. It’s the 6-inch Kindle Touch with wi-fi.

By signing into your Goodreads account on the Kindle you can even get quick access to your reading list right from the e-reader. And because the Kindle is linked to the Amazon store, I can purchase books from my reading list right on the device.

Side-note: I used to have an iPad and this was OK for reading on, but not ideal. It’s fine if you’re at home, but as soon as you take it outside, it’s useless for reading. Of course, the iPad can do loads of other things, but in the context of reading, the Kindle is a no-brainer.

7. My book shelf

Finally, books that I really enjoyed reading on the Kindle I like to purchase as the physical version (hardback if possible).

These end up on my bookshelf and similar to articles that end up in Evernote, books that end up here are the cream of the crop.

And that’s it. Those are the tools and services I use to manage my reading. I’d love to hear more about your reading process and tools. Please leave me a comment at the bottom of this blog!