Save to Read Later - What I Do

I have 140 feeds. I work in a place with a strict net nanny so that I cannot always get to the target item in a browser window and don’t, as you might expect, want to take the time to read longer pieces while at work.

Currently, in order to mark those pieces for reading later, I use the save function and tag them with a special tag “_RL”. All such items float to the top of the Saved Items list because of that tag. Then, when I get home, I can read them from the saved list and either retag them for permanent saving or unsave them.

There are two potential problems with this list. First, it’s clumsy. I have to both click the “Save this Story” button and enter the “_RL” tag each time. Second, I can’t do this in instances of Newsblur that don’t allow me to enter a tag.

A third problem, for Newsblur, is that I am introducing thrash in the saved items database. Certainly not much, a few dozen items a day, but it would be noticeable if everyone did it, and indexing and caching would be affected for search.

What is a better way? Well, a key issue is that, because I have so many feeds, i use the “mark as read after N seconds” feature, 2 secs in my case. That is very valuable to me. At the same time, it makes “mark as unread” completely impractical to use as a “read later” method. It’s just too easy to lose the really, really important item you wanted to read later if it’s merely marked “unread.” (For example, they float to the top because my RH list is oldest first. Newsblur will open and show me the first item, marking it “read” in 2 seconds. If I use “unread” to read later, then Newsblur reverts my decision for the first item each time I refresh the list.)

There are a couple ways to fix this. One might be with a special “Save to Read Later” list that would function without tags, but would bin all the items I mark with one keystroke. I could access that list just like I access by “_RL” tagged items. It would float to the top of the Saved items nav bar. Items would stay there whether they were read or unread and I would click remove to delete them.

Another possibility is to introduce a default tag for “Save this story” Currently, you get the folder names for the feed (I don’t like that either, but that’s another problem.) If instead, or in addition, I could specify a default tag for that list, I could do what I do now with mouseclicks and no typing. I should add that I almost always put items in my “_RL” list and then re-tag them later. Rarely do I tag them immediately, except to read later. About half later get saved with a real tag.

Is anyone else as frustrated as I am with marking to read later? Does anyone else have a better idea to handle it? (One that still allows me to show only unread items and oldest items first?)


This has been annoying me for awhile, but I’ve just been dealing with it exactly as you have. Thanks for reading my mind. I know this is fairly old post, and I see other posts that seem to be on the same topic. I’d definitely be in favor of a separate “read later” button/keystroke.

One additional aspect of this, is I have IFTTT set to trigger based on some saved item criteria, and something that I save to read later, I typically wouldn’t want to post to another site, for instance.

Also, I have Pinboard dialed in to archive Saved Items, and I don’t necessarily want that either for “read later” items.

So yes…frustrated as you. Sorry to only think to look it up here 3 years later.

This is the next feature I’m building, after notifications launch (maybe later this week?). I want to have native OAuth integrations with a bunch of services. It’ll get built soon, I think.

My kickstarter is hopefully launching a week from tomorrow, and once that closes a month later, I’ll be manufacturing. From what I can tell, the manufacturing process is a lot of stop and go as parts need to get ordered and factories need to be scheduled. So I should have time in those gaps.


all great news! thanks!

any progress on this?

I just launched notifications! It’s going to take me a minute to figure out what the next feature is going to be. I’m leaning towards this, offering keyboard shortcuts and buttons to automatically place stories in other services queues. What I could use is a complete list of services that people want. Evernote, Pocket, Instapaper, any others?

I’d like to import feedly ‘read later’ to newsblur, is it possible?

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also is it possible to have a import/export json files for ‘saved stories’ ? it would be nice to backup it locally

I’d be happy if “read it later” was just a state/category in Newsblur. That’s typically where I’d want to read these items. But I could see some folks wanting to push these things to some other service for a sort of curated news feed of their own. Which could probably easily be handled by IFTTT, if not by some kind of middleware in Newsblur. Cool stuff! Thanks!

I’d love an export from Pocket to Newsblur!

FWIW, you can subscribe to your RSS feed for Pocket’ed items in NB. That’s my “save to read for later” workflow for random stuff I find on the web outside of newsblur: Pocket, then Save when it comes across in NB.

@samuelclay anything new on this?