Tech Talk: Reforming a Digital Packrat



Inbox Zero, for me, is a pipe dream. But I’m trying, slowly, to reform my digital-packrat ways and only save what I really need to save.

Last week, Allison Gingras talked about a few ways she’s devised of handling information she wants to save for later. I let her know that she’s not the only one with this problem.

I have this bad habit, when I’m using Twitter, of coming across a link to an article I’d like to read. Instead of reading it right then and there, I email myself the link.

Then I forget all about it.

My Twitter client, Tweetbot, automatically titles all those emails “tweet by…” and last week I decided I’d sort my inbox by that term, just to see what would happen.

Google Inbox Shame Collage

Copyright 2015 Barb Szyszkiewicz. All rights reserved.

There were 505 emails. 505 articles I’d mailed to myself and then never read. 505 unread items (almost 1/4 of my inbox) just of articles I’d intended to read, but never got around to. Some of them were time-sensitive. Oops.

Image via Pocket.

Image via Pocket.

I actually stopped emailing links to myself a couple of months ago when I discovered Pocket. I was able to set up Twitter to include “Save to Pocket” as a Share option. Now, when I want to save an article for later, I save it to Pocket. It integrates with over 500 apps, including Tweetbot, Twitter, browser extensions, feed readers and more. And it’s free.

I can access Pocket on the Web as well as on apps for iOS and Android. If I’m waiting around someplace, I’ve always got something to read, and I’ve been pretty good about actually deleting the articles from Pocket once I’m finished reading them.


Image via Pocket.

There’s even a way to email links to Pocket! They’re out of my inbox and someplace where I actually can–and do–read them later.

Now, if anyone has suggestions for helping me get rid of all those other old emails that I can’t seem to delete without reading, I’m all ears.

I guess I could forward them all to Pocket…

YOUR TURN: How do you handle all the digital stuff you want to save “for later”?

Read more of our Tech Talk columns.

Copyright 2015 Barb Szyszkiewicz, OFS.
Image attributions in captions.


About Author

Barb Szyszkiewicz is a wife, mom, Secular Franciscan, managing editor for Today's Catholic Teacher magazine and editor at Her three children range in age from high school to young adult, and she enjoys writing, cooking, and reading. Barb is a music minister at her parish and an avid Notre Dame football and basketball fan. Find her blog at FranciscanMom and her family’s favorite recipes with nutrition information for diabetics at Cook and Count.


  1. I downloaded Pocket…and forgot all about it! Thanks for this post, Barb! I recently lost all of my, ahem, archived emails (way more than 500) when I had email issues and had to reconfigure the account. I so understand using the inbox as a storage unit!

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