It really isn’t that hard to read more — here’s what makes all the difference for me

David Bauer
3 min readSep 16, 2022

I write a newsletter in which I recommend lots of great articles. They tend to be rather long. So, unsurpisingly, one of the most common feedbacks I get is something along the lines of: How am I supposed to read all of this? While the most obvious answer for most people is to spend less time on social media, I thought I’d share a bit of advice that makes all the difference for myself (I’ll break my unhealthy TikTok habit later).

The biggest game changer to reading more articles is using a read later app. If you already have (a love/hate-relationship with) a read later app, you can probably skip this. For everyone else: Four good reasons for using a read later app, and my recommendations for which one to use.

🕰️ The moment you discover something interesting to read is often not when you actually have time to read it. And once you do have time you forgot what you wanted to read. Thus: Whenever you discover an interesting article, save it to your read later app and it’s there, waiting for you. I usually read the first two paragraphs of an article before saving it. That gives me a good-enough idea whether it’s something worth coming back to. Otherwise you end up saving a ton of articles you’ll never read, making opening up your read later app a frustrating experience.

🎧 Most read later apps now come with the option to have articles be read to you. Those robot voices are not the most enjoyable to listen to, but they are certainly good enough when the alternative is not reading an article. Once you start paying attention there are so many 10-minute opportunities in your day when reading isn’t an option, but listening is. Listening to just one article per day means you get through all Weekly Filet recommendations before the next ones hit your inbox.

📍Read later apps save your reading position within an article. Get interrupted or the article is just too long to read in one go? No problem, you pick up next time right where you left off.

🖍️ Most read later apps allow you to highlight text. Makes it much easier to remember key information or get back to it more quickly when you search for it. As a bonus, I sync text highlights (from my read later app, but also my Kindle) to a service called Readwise which keeps all my highlights in one place, browsable and searchable.

So, which apps do I recommend?

  • Readwise Reader — The one I use. Made for powerusers, and currently not publicly available. If interested, definitely apply for early access.
  • Instapaper — The OG of read later apps. Clean, simple, still a very good choice.
  • Pocket — The most widely used one, available for all platforms. Safe bet for casual use, but don’t expect any new features.
  • Matter — Feature-rich, similar to Readwise, with frequent updates. It’s both for reading later and discovering new articles, something I don’t particularly like. You end up adding five new articles instead of reading one.

Now that we’ve cleared this up, are you ready for some great but long articles? 🙂