I switched from Pocket to Omnivore

I switched from Pocket to Omnivore

In case you don’t know, Pocket is a read it later app launched in 2007 that lets you view articles in a consistent style and highlight phrases. Before Pocket was acquired by Mozilla in 2017, I used it daily. During my commute or late at night in bed, I was reading up on ux principles and catching up on my library of unread articles instead of doom-scrolling. I felt pretty smart.

My favorite Pocket theme is Sepia with Blanco font

Why not Pocket?

In recent years, several key updates (or downgrades) to Pocket’s suite of apps has made me seek out alternatives:

Designers, take a look at the old Pocket. The difference in line height is glaringly obvious! (Non-designers, trust me, the difference is HUGE)

Old pocket screenshot from Wikipedia

Ok, enough about Pocket, what am I using now?

Omnivore

Omnivore has a clean, beautiful reader with an iOS app that supports highlighting. For free!

But it keeps getting better. In addition to a browser extension to add article URLs, Omnivore also supports:

  • RSS Feeds
  • Annotation for highlights
    • write notes in the margins!
  • Email newsletter subscriptions
  • Progress indicator for % read for each article
  • PDF Highlighting
  • Ability to share highlights with your friends via Clubs
    • still in beta, but I can’t wait to see this feature take off so I can share curated snippets of articles with friends instead of expecting them to read an entire article
  • Text to speech
  • Obsidian & Logseq plugins
I use my anonymized omnivore email address for all longform email newsletters now!

RSS Feed Reader

Remember Feedly back when it was just an RSS feed reader? Feedburner? Thunderbird RSS? Zapier RSS?

None of these hold a candle to Omnivore because it integrates RSS feeds directly in your article queue and lets you highlight them, just like an article you saved from the web.

All your highlights & notes in one place!

Importing from Pocket

It’s pretty easy to import all your articles to Omnivore from your settings! All my articles and highlights got synced even though I’m on the free pocket plan and theoretically some of my old highlights from >10 years ago should’ve been lost. But they weren’t!

Readwise Integration

Now that I have all my highlights in one place, I’m trying out Readwise, which sends me a daily email newsletter of random highlights.

I’m still on the 30 day free trial, so I’m not sure if I’ll continue using this (it’s $4.49/mo after the trial). So far, it’s done a great job of surfacing old things I forgot that I highlighted and making me really think about how I create highlights so that they contain just enough context.

I wrote a note in Omnivore and it auto synced to Readwise!!
I saved this years ago—forgot about this completely!

This is truly a set it and forget it integration that brings value to my daily life, so I might end up keeping it. It’s probably worth it for the ease of setup, but you could also try creating your own free version through Obsidian plugins.

To join Readwise with my referral link and get a free month, click here.

Omnivore is great

It’s free, it’s got tons of relevant features, and integrates with all the trendy knowledge management apps.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably my friend, so please sign up and let me know so I can send you an invite to my Club and we can share highlights!!!


Cover image was generated by me using Photoshop Generative Fill.

2 responses to “I switched from Pocket to Omnivore”

  1. what do you think about the Readwise Reader (their new RSS / read it later service)?

    1. I like it! I ended up cancelling their service and going with Omnivore instead, though. Something about the yellow and the sloth mascot just speaks to me.

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