There’s a lot of content on the internet, and you likely won’t have the time to view all of it when you first come across it. Seeing a cool thing you want to check out but then needing to abandon it is never fun, but fortunately, there are plenty of ways to save that content for later.
It’s worth noting that there are multiple apps and software recommended in this article, most of which are free to install with premium versions that include power-user-focused features. We’ll highlight any exceptions when we get to them.
Update, 4/8/22: Ensured all text and links up-to-date.
Many social media platforms will feature their own bookmarking or saving tools for this exact problem. Twitter and Facebook take similar approaches to this. You can bookmark/save posts to be revisited later.
YouTube also has a good solution for this, which is great because there are a lot of multiple hour-long videos on the platform that might pull you in with a great title and thumbnail—until you notice the time counter. The “Watch Later” playlist saves the day in that situation; you can add any video from your recommended to it with a simple push of a button.
With how often we’re exposed to new pieces of content solely because of social media sites, it would be a shame if they didn’t have some way of combatting this issue. And while the options we’ll be going over soon feature more tools and choices to fine-tune all of this, these platform-specific options are fine for simple saving.
There are many bookmarking or “save-later” apps with the sole purpose of enabling you to save content for later. These typically accept links directly into their systems to be organized or fed back to you. And there are quite a few players in this field, so let’s see who counts as the best of the best.
- Pocket (Android/iOS): Pocket allows you to save everything you come across on the internet in one convenient place. Whether that’s links, images, videos, or even stuff like Tweets, you can share it to the app and add it to your list—then tag everything how you see fit for further organization. You can also view articles without ads thanks to Pocket relaying them to you with its own reader. Pocket has various browser extensions for one-click saving and features integration with over 1,500 apps to make saving content from them easier. You can even browse what other people are saving if you want to find some new stuff to read and watch. It’s also cross-platform between a whole range of devices from laptops to phones and iPads.
- Instapaper (Android/iOS): If you prefer something a bit simpler than Pocket, Instapaper features a straightforward UI and will still accept most forms of online content you throw at it. You can create folders to organize things or just “Like” the most important stuff to appear in your favorites tab. There’s even a simple note-taking system built-in and a “Browse” tab if you want to see what’s popular with other users. It also includes ad-free versions of articles as well. Instapaper is fully cross-platform between basically everything you could want it on.
- Raindrop (Android/iOS): While Pocket and Instapaper have been around for over a decade each, Raindrop is slightly newer. Raindrop’s overall design is a bit more modern-feeling than its competitors, allowing you to view multiple pieces of content at once, and it features some great organization options (although, some features, like nested folders, are locked behind the premium version). Just like Instapaper and Pocket, it’s cross-platform amidst a whole bunch of devices and browsers to make saving things simple.
- Partizion: Partizion is yet another fantastic bookmark manager, however, it’s currently in beta and only works in Google Chrome at the moment. It currently costs $4 a month, which is planned to increase post-beta, however, you can lock in the beta pricing for life if you sign up before the full release. But the great part about Partizion is it makes managing your bookmarks and various links simple with some great nested folders. So whether you want to categorize everything to the finest point, or keep things in more general sections, it all works excellently. The extension makes things simple to save—just click on it and choose the tabs you want to keep. The entire program has been built for people who have trouble hoarding loads of tabs every day, so if that sounds like you, Partizion may be the solution.
- EmailThis: The final program we’re mentioning is a rather straightforward one. EmailThis emails all your links to you if you’d prefer to manage them through your email client, rather than having another app you need to check. There are browser extensions available for Chrome and Opera to make things simple, but you can also use the “Bookmarklet” on any browser. This is a link you add to your bookmarks (desktop or mobile), which when clicked on will send the current tab you have open to your email. It’s a simple solution to saving things, and it doesn’t have much room for customization, but if you prefer simplicity then EmailThis should be right up your alley.
Note-taking apps can be a good solution to this problem since they’re more multifaceted than dedicated save-later apps. For example, if you’re doing research on a topic and want to save links alongside your own writings, a note-taking app is a far better solution than programs like Pocket or Instapaper.
- Google Keep (Android/iOS): Keep is Google’s simplistic, cross-platform note-taking software available on the web and dedicated apps for mobile devices. You can create labels for the sake of organization and archive links after you’re done with them. Google Keep is also entirely free, so you don’t need to worry about any features being locked behind a paywall.
- Evernote (Android/iOS): This is one of the most popular note-taking apps of all time, and while Evernote has a lot of great features, the one we want to primarily focus on here is the web clipper. This allows you to take a full web page and save it to your Evernote account, where you can then use Evernote’s fantastic organization options. And that’s not even mentioning the standard note-taking tools the app offers that can be used to save normal links.
- Notion: Notion is similar to Evernote, as it has simple note-taking for standard links along with a web clipper which can be used to save entire web pages to your database. But Notion is much more free-form than Evernote is—where Evernote is specifically focused on note-taking and research, Notion allows practically anything to be done within itself. The program is rather empty looking at first glance, as you’re responsible for building up any organization systems you use in the program. If you’re willing to commit to it, Notion is a great tool but not one without its unique set of complexities.
There’s a lot of stuff to sift through on the internet, and you likely won’t have the time to view it all at first sight. So instead of losing that interesting or fun-looking video or article, you can save it forever thanks to one of the programs we’ve outlined here.