Pocket: Tagging Concept

Pocket is an integral part of my workflow. I save everything interesting I read to it and use it as a knowledge/source database for when I am writing. However, there is one thing about Pocket drives me insane, tagging. The current system is pretty basic and the experience differs from device to device. Some of my complaints are platform specific but I think the whole system needs to be re-thought. (At least for power users who pay for Pocket Premium.) What are the needs of someone with a ton of tags? I have a few ideas:

Expanding the Tagging Enviroment

Why do users only get a small window and no search bar when adding tags on the iPad?

The current tag window.

The window should be larger to show more tags at one time. (As well as sub tags.) I don’t understand the current trend to make small pop-up windows so users have to scroll to find what you need. Here is my solution for a more full featured tagging experience on the iPad.

Notice the cursor, ready to go in the search bar. I'll talk about the empty right side  in a minute.

Tagging on the Mac is faster with keyboard shortcuts but there isn’t a list of tags to look at. It’s not a terrible experience but one that could be made much better by showing a list of tags that responds to what you type. So as you type the matching tags are highlighted and when a tag is added it shows the related tags on the right.

The sub tags are for the last tag added.

Sub-Tags, Related Tags, or Linked Tags

Call it whatever you like I would love a way to link tags. Pocket currently treats all tags as equals but I think we need main or parent tags. My current work around is to start my main tags with a ‘#’ sign but I still have to scroll down to find the sub tags. I’d like to link tags so adding #apple would show iOS, mac, iOS problems, iPad, iPhone, etc.

A Search Bar For Mobile

Mobile devices need a search bar that is automatically triggered when you enter the tagging environment. (With external keyboard support.) As you type your results are narrowed down not only by what you are typing but by related results.

After adding a tag the sub-tags show up on the right.

After adding a tag the sub-tags show up on the right.

Searching Multiple Tags

I currently can’t select more than one tag at a time when searching by tag. This one drives me crazy. If I want to search for articles with the tag ‘mobile innovation’ but I only want articles about ‘android’ I should be able to narrow down results by selecting multiple tags at once.

Make Tag Management More Straight Forward

Managing tags is a needlessly compicated process. To edit/delete tags you have to go to the website. This isn’t available in any of their apps. (Though you can delete a tag on any device by removing it from every article it's tagged with, but it's needlessly tedious.) I understand the developers have more important tasks to deal with first but I hope to have a streamlined way to edit and delete tags on all platforms. Also a new mechanic for promoted/demoting tags to main or regular is needed.

When Searching Tags Join ‘Archive’ And ‘My List’

I can see why these lists are separated but I think you should be able to see everything in one list as well. (Especially when there are only a couple articles saved under that tag.) I would make a unified list with some sort of design element to indicate that the article is archived.

You can still separate  'My List' from 'Archive' but the 'All' view shows archived articles with the blue circle.

Final Notes

I understand that these complaints are one of the power user. I just hope this concept can give the team at Pocket a push towards a better experience for those who are paying for their service with Pocket Premium. (Which I signed up for day one, Pocket developers.) The developers are probably working pretty hard on automatic tags but I hope they don't focus on only that aspect of tagging.


Agree? Disagree? Comment Below.

If you're interested in following my blog:

Subscribe via RSS

Follow me on Twitter: @aestusblog

Or subscribe by e-mail below.

Enter your email address: