How to Archive Everything You Read Online


Why bother to archive everything you read?

Ever had that situation of vaguely remembering that interesting article on that cool thing, but couldn’t quite remember the details or where you saw it?

Using this workflow you can search the things that you’ve read by date and/or keyword, which makes it much easier to rediscover and re-read items that you’ve already found.

It’s worth asking why anyone would want to save everything they read online. Isn’t it just digital clutter, a mass of unnecessary data?

Possibly. But if I decided an article was worth my time reading in the past, I’d like to think it’s at least worthy of the option of future retrieval.

To be clear, this workflow does not capture every web site you visit, but only the posts/articles that you actively read and then choose to archive. If you don’t value the piece, and don’t archive it, it won’t get saved to your database.

Once this system has been set up it’s automatic, requires no maintenance, yet allows you to track and access whatever you have read online. For me, it’s there for piece of mind — in case the article is taken down — as well as easy retrieval within the comforts of my own database software.

What this automated workflow will do:

The workflow is built around three stages:

  • selecting what you read;
  • saving the best bits to read later;
  • archiving those pieces in order to access them in the deep, dark future.

This approach evolved from anti-procrastination method I use. To defend against going down the rabbit hole of the interwebs I have a simple golden rule:

I am only permitted to read stuff online through a read-it-later service.

– The Golden Rule

After regularly using Pocket, it seemed an obvious step to create a method to save the articles that I read onto my own computer. (You can export to Evernote within Pocket, but I wanted to automate the process.)

This workflow will gather your long-form internet reading in one place and will automatically save the articles you choose into an offline-accessible database.

A few free services to sign up to:

Here are the services that the workflow needs to function. All that you need are the basic versions, which are free:

  • Feedlysign up here to get blog updates from your favourite websites via RSS feeds (e.g. Here’s mine).
  • Pocketsign up here to use it as a bucket for all those things you mean to read.
  • Evernotesign up here to ‘remember everything’.
  • IFTTTsign up here and ‘connect’ the above services.

This might seem like a convoluted process, but once it’s set up it runs automatically, I promise. I’ve been using the workflow for many months without the need for any tweaks.

Automating your own internet archive:

First, log in to IFTTT and use this recipe to save Feedly bookmarks to Pocket. You can also install Pocket bookmarklets to save items directly from your desktop and mobile browser.

The principle is to funnel all your reading into Pocket.


Next, log in to Pocket. (1.) Click options and then privacy. (2.) Enable ‘Public RSS Feed’. (3.) Copy the URL of your ‘Archive Feed’.

(I use the ‘Archive Feed’ rather than the ‘All Items Feed’ as a quality control measure – I delete rather than archive the dud articles.)


Next, go to Five Filters and navigate to the Full-Text RSS tab. Paste your Pocket ‘Archive Feed’ URL into ‘Full-Text RSS Feed’ and click ‘Create Feed’. Copy this new feed’s URL.


Finally, create an IFTTT recipe that uses your Five Filters RSS feed to create a new Evernote note into a notebook of your choice. (If = ‘new feed item’. Then = in Evernote ‘create note’).


Yay you did it! Now everything you archive in Pocket will be automatically saved in full-text format to an Evernote notebook of your choice.

No fuss, automatic, and easy future access to the dynamite content all your procrastination hard work found you.

Customise the workflow

You can easily tweak this system to meet your own needs and incorporate other services that you prefer to use.

Tell me if I’m missing something or if you have a better system – I’d love to hear about how your online reading workflow works for you.

Happy archiving!

2 replies
  1. Karen
    Karen says:

    Do you use this to archive journal articles for research? Or do you prefer to keep track of articles (say, for literature reviews) another way?


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