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How To Save All That Useful Online Content

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How To Save All That Useful Online Content

Evernote is my favorite app, and I’m beyond excited to write about it for Lifehack. When you really get the hang of it, Evernote becomes an indispensable tool that’s far more than the note-taking app it’s most commonly billed as. One of its most useful features is its ability to save online content that you acquire either for fun or for professional purposes. Gathering research through the app has some limitations, but by utilizing other tools along with Evernote the service is a near-perfect way to save content online. Here are explanations of Evernote’s strengths and weaknesses, along with those of the app Pocket, culminating in what they can accomplish together.

What Evernote Can Do

Evernote is, at its core, a collection of notes that you’ve accumulated over time. You can create a note on Evernote manually, but what makes it really game changing is its ability to clip pages from the web or an app straight into your cloud account. With a browser extension it only takes the click of a button to save online content to your collection. If used properly, Evernote can house an encyclopedia’s worth of knowledge that’s all easy to access. You can assign topics you’re researching to single notes, notebooks, or stacks of notebooks, depending on how wide-reaching the subject is.

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What Evernote Can’t Do

Even though I’m a self-professed Evernote evangelist, I can recognize its imperfections. The biggest one when it comes to saving online content is that when you clip a web page, sometimes Evernote will send you more than just the text. Wonky formatting from the page you clipped it from might come with it, leaving you with an odd-looking note.

What Pocket Can Do

Pocket (formerly Read It Later) is a web service that “pockets” web pages for future reading. You can add a Pocket extension to your browser, making it simple to save a page you’re reading on your computer. It’s almost as easy to add content to your smartphones or tablets. If you copy a URL on your mobile device and open Pocket, you’ll be asked if you want to add the content from your link to Pocket. Thankfully, Pocket almost never includes formatting from the web page that you clipped. The contents of pages in Pocket are strictly limited to text, photos, and videos. It’s the perfect way to read something on a tablet, smartphone, or computer.

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What Pocket Can’t Do

Pocket doesn’t have a built-in file structure like Evernote. Sadly, organization is basically restricted to tags, and tagging is an acquired skill that not everybody is equipped with. I’m certainly not, which makes organizing my research in Pocket largely ineffective. You also can’t edit the contents of the articles you’ve saved into Pocket, which essentially limits the app to a read-only service.

What Evernote With Pocket Can Do

When you combine the services of Evernote and Pocket, things really start to take off. If you’re saving web content I recommend sending pages to Pocket first. Pocket is where you want to read the article before you get to editing. Once you’ve read it, use the Evernote web clipper to put it into your Evernote account. Once it’s there you can modify the text and add notes and annotations, as well as drop it into Evernote’s more organized Notes/Notebooks/Stacks file system. When it comes to collecting information on the web, whether it be for research or pleasure, Evernote plus Pocket is the perfect one-two punch.

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What Evernote With Pocket Can’t Do

As advanced as the features of Evernote combined with Pocket are, they can’t do your web browsing or research for you, so get to work!

Featured photo credit: The Unquiet Library via flickr.com

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More by this author

Matt OKeefe

Matt is a marketer and writer who shares about lifestyle and productivity tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on November 25, 2021

How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

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How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

There comes a time when we may be searching online and don’t want the browser to remember our footsteps. The reasons don’t always have to be what we obviously think of as the main reason; for example, sometimes, you may not want Safari to remember your passwords or prompt you to enter your password when surfing the web.

Whatever the reason, we may think that we are totally in the clear with Private Browsing on Safari and the other browsers on a Mac. However, a quick Terminal command can bring up every website you’ve visited. How do you do this? Also, how do you clear your tracks for good? We will provide both answers and more today.

    What Does Private Browsing Do?

    When activated, Private Browsing on Safari prevents your browsing history from being kept in the history tab of the application. Along with this, it doesn’t autofill information that you have saved in the browser. In this mode, you essentially become incognito and any references of previous use is essentially hidden when you are in private mode.

    For example: if you are on Facebook or filling out a form and some information or your login is already filled in in the spaces provided, this is called autofill. It’s activated by simply clicking Safari next to the Apple symbol in the menubar and selecting Private Browsing, then clicking “OK” to the prompt.

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    The reasons behind private mode differ for each individual. While we won’t go into all of those reasons, one thing that is  important to remember is that private browsing doesn’t forget the websites you visit. As we will see later on, Macs keep a second copy of the websites you visit in either mode. If you are in frantic mode looking for a solution to this, look no further.

    The Terminal Archive

    While Safari does a good job of keeping your search history out of prying eyes in the history tab, there is a less-than-obvious way to view a full list of visited websites on Mac. This is done in Terminal; the command-line emulator that allows you to make changes to your Mac.

    Terminal is located in the Utilities folder on your Mac. Once activated, simply add the command:

    dscacheutil -cachedump -entries Host

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    Once you hit “enter”, a list of the visited sites appear. Showing only the domains, the sites appear in a format of:

    Key: h_name :(website domain)ipv4 :1

    However, there’s no need to fear—there is a way you can clear this information from Terminal with a command that’s just as simple.

    Clearing Your Tracks

    Just as simply as you were able to enter the command to view the websites, you can clear the cache that Terminal showed you with the comamnd:

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    dscacheutil -flushcache

    As the command denotes, this literally “flushes” the domains from Terminal. This does not prevent the record from continuing to be recorded for future sites, however, so if that’s an issue for you, repeat this process regularly.

    Other Browsers and Private Browsing

    Other browsers have this form of privacy mode for their service. They promise many of the same things as Safari, but they do not have the same Terminal issue due to how this command only presents websites visited on Safari (the browser Macs come shipped with).

    If you use Firefox, you’ll notice that its private mode is also known as Private Browsing. Chrome calls private mode Incognito, while Internet Explorer refers to it as InPrivate Browsing. Opera is the newest to the scene, denoting it as Private Tab. Safari is the oldest well-known browser with this feature.

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    As you can see, despite Private Browsing not being 100% private, Terminal allows for your browser to be. In what ways has Terminal helped your life or allowed you to become more productive? Let us know in the comments below.

    Featured photo credit: Benjamin Dada via unsplash.com

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