We’ve recently rolled out a new feature: Read Soon. While it’s super simple to use, we’d like to explain the idea behind it and how it relates to “read it later” services.


Using Read Soon

Click the Star icon in the browser extension or in the app.

Save all interesting links that you want to come back to someday to Refind (just like you do today). For the occasional link you actually intend to read, click the Star icon in the browser extension or in the app.

Add only links you intend to read within the next two weeks — after that they’ll get tagged read someday and then drop off the list.

Read Soon list on web and mobile.

Motivation

Every day more links are pushed into our faces than we have time to check out. As we’ve said before: Read later is not the right action to solve this since it’s only time-shifting the problem. It’s deferral. Deferral fails in the information age because there’s always more information to read later — our reading lists pile up and read later becomes read never.

We intend to actually read only a small subset of our links later — many are not “readable” (e.g., a Javascript library), others we want to read only someday, when we actually need them, and yet others we’ve already read or skimmed. Read Soon is for meatier pieces that warrant additional attention, soon. It adds intention and immediacy to an otherwise infinite deferral.

How it relates to “read it later” services

Pocket and Instapaper are excellent “read it later” services and for some time we’ve used Refind and Pocket in combination. However, using Refind has resulted in our reading lists shrinking to the occasional link we intend to follow up on immediately, just not right now. Using an additional tool simply added too much friction for Refind users. Also, they wanted to see links in their context on Refind, along with tags, description, etc., and the list of people who also saved the link.

We invite you to give this new approach a try. Continue to save all your interesting links to Refind, and only when you really intend to read something soon, add it to your Read Soon list. If you’re a heavy Pocket or Instapaper user, however, feel free to continue to use the two in combination.

You should read these… soon :)

If this is interesting for you, you might enjoy reading our previous articles:

  1. Why we’re building Refind
  2. Short version of the Why
  3. Refind + Pocket (how we used to use Refind and Pocket in tandem, before we introduced Read Soon as described in this article).

Also, check out how Refind is different on our homepage. If you want to try Refind but don’t have an invite yet, the best way to get one is to ask your friends on Twitter. Let us know what you think @refindcom and if you like this post, please recommend and share it. Thanks!


Thanks a lot to Chris Messina for shaping this feature!


Side notes

  • This is v1 and we have many ideas how to make it smarter. Refind is all about solving push and signal over noise, and we’re thinking along the lines of a reading assistant, showing you the right link at the right time, and in the right context.
  • The Read Soon button will also come to the share extensions for iOS/Android…
  • There’s one use case we deliberately do not support. You can only add a link to Read Soon if you’ve saved it. Thus, your Read Soon list is a subset of your saved links — it’s simply a label applied to some of your links. Hence, if you wanted to add the latest gossip about Taylor Swift to your reading list without saving it, that’s not possible — by design. We would argue that if a link is not worth saving, it’s maybe not worth reading at all…?
  • One big distinction between “read it later” services and Refind is also the primary action (read: focus of the service): The primary action in Refind is a Save — Read Soon comes only secondary. Translation: When you use Refind, you’ll have 100% of interesting links saved in your link collection, and only a handful on your Read Soon list at any time. Our main focus is to help you resurface links when you actually need them. For “read it later” services, the primary (and most often only) action is Read later. Translation: You end up with a huge reading list but with no manageable archive — that’s not the focus.