Are you in the habit of saving posts to read later? Even if you have no idea when later will be?

When  Twitter was in its infancy I used the like button as a way of saving things I wanted to look at later. I’d read the post or follow up on the link and then unlike it. Fortunately, this idea of saving to read later was picked up elsewhere. So consequently I now have saved posts on Facebooks and Instagram, posts marked to read later in Feedly and, yes, like posts on Twitter.

It’s not dissimilar to when I used to rip pages out of magazines for later reading. Recipes to try. Articles to examine in more detail. Projects, products and organisations to look up. Fortunately, these had a great visual reminder in the form of a towering pile of paper. If the pile got too high I’d get to work. Although I must confess I found a few recipes tucked into a pile of cookbooks just the other day.

But our online saves for later aren’t immediately obvious. They pile up invisibly and unless something specific reminds you then you forget they are there until very much later.

So what to do?

I’ve taken to applying a version of the 6-month rule. It’s pretty simple: every month you clear out content from 6 months ago. So in November, you look back at things from May,

How you want to approach will depend on how many channels you are saving content on and what else fills your schedule.

Maybe you’re only saving content in one place (or only interested in following up content in one place then). If so then you could spend a few minutes each week. Or possibly even each day if your to-do list permits.

If you have multiple channels then spread them over the course of the month. While it’s tempting to have a once a month blitz if you miss this date then that’s probably your opportunity gone for the month. Set reoccurring reminders for each month and rediscover those posts you saved for later.

Think about where you will save useful content that you want to make further use of. Entire posts might go in Evernote. Images could be pinned. A Trello board might be the best place for you to store gift ideas.

P.S. If you prefer to organise yourself on paper how about this planner?