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Shortcuts which improves my reading


Reading has always been something I wanted to do more of. In the past, I was always reading for fun, with mostly fiction books to pass my time. My Kindle Paperwhite which was gifted to me in 2016 contains mostly fiction books such as Apollo, Game of Thrones with the occasional non-fiction books for my studies.

During my time in r/bearapp subreddit, there are posts which refer to a system called Second brain & personal knowledge management(PKM). This strongly intrigued me as the idea of having a repository which houses ALL information that I ever came across for reference without me actively remembering or memorising it.

After some research and reading of How to take smart notes , it is taught to always write notes. Write notes such that writing is all there is. Any books, articles I read, make notes. All these notes will then act as a base for reference in the future.

With that in mind, I started looking for ways to implement that. As most of the articles I came across from Reddit and web surfing sooner or later end up in my Pocket read-later list, I have decided to create a few shortcuts to compliment this habit of mine.

The beauty of Pocket is that sharing articles to Pocket is such a breeze. There are Chrome extensions when I am on my desktop. And Pocket comes with an excellent iOS app for sharing of links to Pocket as well!


  • Bear Notes
  • Pocket with Pocket account
  • iOS with shortcuts
  • Data Jar

Shortcut explanation

There are 2 shortcuts which I am going to share in this post. They are:

  • Pocket share articles to Bear
  • Pocket share quotes to Bear

Both of this shortcuts might be similar but serves 2 different purposes.

Pocket share articles to Bear

This shortcut take a shortcut input shared from Pocket, split the link and URL, and create a new note in in Bear with link title as Bear title, and the source of article at the end of the note.

In between, a bullet point is created for me to enter notes regarding the article for future reference.

Pocket share quotes to Bear

On the other hand, this shortcut allows me to highlight a quote from Pocket which I find insightful, and share it to Bear. The shortcut will prepend the highlighted quote to a bear note with the url as well.

I chose to have the quote prepend instead of append because it makes it easier for me to read the latest quotes I find meaningful instead of scrolling all the way down.


While I have not finished reading my copy of How to take smart notes, I’m trying to practice what I have learnt in the book with above shortcuts in order to force myself to reflect on articles.


This post is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by the author.

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