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Save the Web's best bits for later with Pocket

Found something on the Web you don't have time to read? One click puts it in your Pocket (app) for later reading on the go.

One hassle I'm constantly dealing with is how to remember and return to all the interesting reading material I find online.

For example, my colleague Christopher Null recently penned a great article, "How to run your business in Evernote." A must-read, right?

Right, but when I first spotted it, I was mired in work. I couldn't spare any time to ingest the fruits of Null's wisdom.

I could bookmark the page, sure, but then I'd have to remember that bookmark existed -- and then go looking for it amidst a sea of other bookmarks. Not practical.

No, what I needed was a way to read that story later, like when I'm standing in line at the post office or waiting for my son to finish his swim lesson. Those are the perfect stolen moments for reading juicy Web content.

Ah, but those are also moments when I'm away from my PC. And by then I've no doubt forgotten most of the stories I wanted to read.

That's why I'm over-the-moon in love with Pocket (formerly Read It Later), which clips Web pages and turns them into perfectly formatted mobile reading material.

It works like this: You sign up for a free Pocket account, then add the Pocket bookmarklet to your browser. When you come across something you want to read later, just click that bookmarklet. Presto, you're done!

Now, fire up the Pocket app on your mobile device. (It's available for Android, BlackBerry, iOS, Kindle Fire, Windows Phone, you name it.) After a quick sync and download, you'll see all your "pocketed" pages, ready for offline reading.

What's especially great about Pocket is that it strips all the extraneous stuff (banners, ads, graphics, etc.) from Web pages, leaving only nicely formatted text and a header image. And if the article spans multiple pages, Pocket is smart enough to retrieve the entire thing.

You can also mark individual articles as favorites, share them via Facebook or Twitter, preserve them in your Evernote account, and so on.

I can't tell you how much I love this service. With one click it lets me save interesting reading material for later, and with one tap I'm reading that material anywhere I like. Amazingly, Pocket is completely free -- but it's worth its bits in gold.

Contributing Editor Rick Broida writes about business and consumer technology. Ask for help with your PC hassles at [email protected], or try the treasure trove of helpful folks in the PC World Community Forums. Sign up to have the Hassle-Free PC newsletter e-mailed to you each week.

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