Diana Kimball has a pretty in-depth look at bookmarking and the act of saving things for later:

The Bookmark represents what we wish for. It’s the earliest indicator of intention, and the most vulnerable; by definition, the act of saving something for later means that whatever we hope for hasn’t happened yet. Bookmarks are placeholders for the future. By thumbing through them, we can start to see what might happen next.

For me, bookmarking had a very strong allure. Saving interesting sites and links, collected and connected via tags, allowed us to create our own little web directory.

Then, when the ‘save for later’ reading services (Instapaper and Pocket) launched, it was also instantly appealing: a way to collect articles I wanted to read in a place that was accessible anywhere and displayed in a visually appealing way. Pure gold.

The problem for me (and many other, it turns out) is I rarely went back to the sites/apps to view my archive. I would read an article here or there, or hit up Pinboard for a link I saved, but I’ve committed Instapaper/Pocket bankruptcy three times now and even ditched my original Delicious account with no backup.

The simple act of saving something also creates an immense burden — whether it’s digital or an analog item. Saving creates another aspect of your life you need to manage and deal with, subconsciously or otherwise. Sometimes it just doesn’t seem worth it.

One thing I have been trying to do instead is catalog small tidbits of information that shape my world view or help me learn, using Day One as my journal. Not sure if this is any different, but at least there is value in the information I save, rather than potentially decent articles I may want to read or pages I may need to visit in the future.


I am a patient boy.

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