Do you follow too many subjects across the Interwebs? How about subscribe to a firehose like Hacker News (the RSS feed spouts 83.3 items per day)? If you answered yes to either of those questions, then you probably have an extensive collection of things you want to “read later”.
If you take a look at my Google Reader trends above, you can see that I read a lot of RSS items daily. I rarely click “Mark all as read”, so that ~163 items/day statistic is quite accurate. However, I often only have time to browse the titles and star the items that I promise myself I’ll read later. You guessed it: my number of starred items is insane (131 just from the last 30 days) and I have no hope of ever reading them all.
In the end, there’s many more items that I think I’ll read later than I actually do. So starring items ends up being a waste of my time (I tell myself reading this much tech news isn’t a waste of time, though!).
To combat this, I’ve added a layer of work between myself and my read-it-later list. Now, instead of starring an interesting item (just an easy tap on the “S” key), I make myself copy and paste the link into a text file. This extra work, although slight, causes me to think twice and keeps me from saving items that I know will be sitting at the bottom of my read-it-later collection for months. So save yourself some time (or even guilt!) and protect your read-it-later stash with this little trick.