Saving links for reading later, or read-it-later services, isn’t a new thing. Read-it-later services have been around for years, and apps like Pocket and Instapaper were the reigning services for years, until recently. Newcomers like Reeder's Read Later feature and services like Abyss have recently come into the landscape; but perhaps the most exciting addition in the read-it-later market is Ngoc Luu's GoodLinks.
GoodLinks on the surface seems like any other app that lets your send links to read later but once you get inside the app you see just how powerful it can be. If you don’t know, I save a lot of links. Whether it is for posts I want to make for Tablet Habit or for personal reading I have dozens of links saved each week, and GoodLinks is the best options I have seen to handle all of these articles I save for reading later.
Here are some features that are game-changing for someone like me and why I think that GoodLinks is the best option for anyone that wants to save links to read later and/or share around.
If there is one thing a read-it-later app needs it’s simple and effective ways to save links. GoodLinks knows this better than a lot of apps and their implementation of it on iOS and iPad OS shows that.
If you find a link all you need to do is share that link like any other item on the iPhone or iPad. Once you get in the share sheet you can then select the GoodLinks app icon and add the link along with editing the title, adding tags, marking it read or unread, and starring the item (more on these options later).
When you want to quickly save something GoodLinks has a setting called “Quick Share” that you can toggle on. Once on, all you need to do is tap on the GoodLinks app icon in the share sheet and that link is then saved as unread and untagged in GoodLinks.
If I am in need of saving a link that I don’t want to organize right now I will go with the Quick Share option just so that I have it captured and in GoodLinks for later clarification.
If you have Quick Share enabled but you do indeed want to edit the link you just shared all you need to do is tap on the GoodLinks box that appears after selecting is in the Share Sheet to edit the items as normal.
Custom Share Shortcuts
One thing that makes GoodLinks superior to other read-later items is its Shortcut support. You can create custom shortcuts for saving and automatically organizing new links. For instance, if I have an article I want to save that is Tablet Habit related I can simply run a shortcut I created that automatically tags the link in GoodLinks with #tablethabit.
Once done, I can go into GoodLinks, sort by tag and see all the #tablethabit links I have saved to use for future writings.
To add to that, you can have custom titles, summary, and toggle an article to be read/unread or starred/unstarred just as you would when sharing an article to GoodLinks normally. This makes for excellent options if you are looking to have a very specific link-sharing names/summaries. I plan to try and make more interesting GoodLinks shortcuts in the future to see what GoodLinks can really do for me.
There are also other options that you can play with in Shortcuts that allows you to get links out of GoodLinks. One thing that I immediately thought about was exporting links saved for a podcast’s show notes. I am yet to be in need of that shortcut, since I don’t regular podcast right now, but if someone makes something like that I would love to see it!
The amount of options and toggles offered in this reading app allows for you to create your own workflow instead of having to be “on rails” like some other apps.
Tags have always been a staple for me when it comes to saving links or notes of any kind. Tagging can have a lot of different meanings, but for me I see tags in GoodLinks as a way to organize something into different folders or areas. For instance, I primarily use tags like #tablethabit, #personal, and #long.
Once I read an article or determine there is no longer a need for it to be in my link collection I delete it from my library with a single swipe.
Once you save some articles and posts into GoodLinks, you will most likely want to give them a read right? GoodLinks offers a versatile reading experience with a multitude for font options, text size adjustments, and more nuanced settings like line spacing and line width. GoodLinks makes reading on the iPad and iPhone equally enjoyable because you are able to adjust the text to work on your specific device.
The clean UI also lets you read your article without having to fiddle with an option bar or anything obstructive. GoodLinks allows for you to focus on the content and nothing else. As someone that gets easily distracted when reading this can be supremely helpful and even the catalyst between me finishing an article and losing concentration from a random thought.
The image support is also a pleasant experience in articles with images. When you go to a website in a browser, images are handled wildly different from website to website. GoodLinks, on the other hand, makes it dead simple and has them inline with the article slightly larger than the paragraph width. It makes for a clean and simple reading experience which I appreciate.
GoodLinks offers a simple yet powerful way of saving links with an equally powerful organizational system the allows for the user to determine their own organizing system. Reading those saved and organized articles is a delight, especially on the iPad, allowing for various fonts, spacing, and more.
If you are someone that has often found themselves saving links and articles with the intent to read it later, GoodLinks is absolutely the app you should start with.
GoodLinks is a universal app available on the App Store on the iPhone, iPad, and Mac for $4.99.