How to Save Google Plus Posts for Later Reading
How many times have you seen a post from someone on Google+ that looked particularly interesting, but that you didn't have time to read just then? Or perhaps the post provided the kind of information you just knew you were going to want to refer back to later. How do you save such posts?
There are actually several methods you can use to save Google+ posts for later reading. Which method you choose will mostly depend on your own personal preferences and requirements. We will review all of the available options and include detailed screenshots and instructions so that you can use whichever technique works best for you and how you use Google+.
Private Circle Share
The first method for saving Google+ posts is to create a new, private circle that is empty. When you see a post that you're interested in saving you would share that post and only select this private circle. Though you can certainly choose to share it to public as well if you want to.
To view your saved posts, select your private circle from the drop down box above the home stream, like you would view any other circle you've set up.
The major drawback is that like other circles, your posts are simply displayed in reverse chronological order. If you tend to save a lot of posts, this can become unmanageable over time.
Private Collection Share
A new option for Google+ users is to create Collections to save content into meaningful groups. You can create public or private collections, which means you could choose to use a collection instead of a circle for sharing and saving content.
Compared to Circles, Collections might seem easier today, since it's less complicated to understand, and easier to get to.
Simply go to Collections in the left menu, and either open an existing collection to view your saved posts, or click the large Create Collection button to start a new one.
Type in whatever name you wish, but just be sure to change the Visible to: drop down to Only You to ensure your privacy.
Private Community Share
One of the more popular methods for saving Google+ posts is the Private Community technique. It has a number of features and benefits.
First, create a new community that is Private.
When creating your new community, you can choose to add additional categories which make for an easy way to segment your saved posts. You can create as many categories as you want or need.
Any time you see a post you wish to save, simply share it to your private community and choose an appropriate category if you have them set up.
This is fairly convenient for finding those important posts, particularly if you find that you want to save a lot of posts within a variety of topics.
The only real drawback to this method is that all saved posts exist only within Google+ and your new community. There'd be no offline access, or access from other profiles that aren't members of the community.
Since every Google+ post is essentially it's own website, another convenient option is to simply bookmark the post. If you open it in it's own tab or window, you can easily bookmark it and add it to your browser's bookmark bar or menu.
Like previous methods, whether or not this works for you will largely depend on what posts you're saving and how often. The benefit over the community method is that since the post is saved to your browser, it doesn't matter what Google+ profile you're logged into. On the other hand, unless you use a bookmark system that is cloud based, your bookmarked posts will be restricted to that specific browser and computer system.
Clip to Evernote
So what method for saving Google+ posts can we use that doesn't require access to Google+ or a private community, can still categorize posts within different topics as needed, and still be used regardless of what computer or device we happen to be on?
Using the free Evernote system and the Evernote browser extension, you can "clip" websites any time you want. Whenever you're on a site or article you wish to save for later, simply click on the Evernote button in your browser to save that site as a new note. And since Google+ posts work just like any other webpage, the system works perfectly.
When you see a Google+ post you want to save for later, simply open it in a new tab or window and click on the Evernote button to save it. You can file it into any of your existing notebooks (or create a new one), and tag it with additional topic keywords as needed.
As a result, you will have access to your saved post on any of your devices thanks to Evernote's cloud-based system.
Evernote + Private Circle
Another neat trick is to use your Evernote account, and the email address you're provided which lets you create notes via email, and add that email to your private circle. When you share posts to that circle, it will generate an email to your Evernote notebook and create a new note.
Using the Evernote Web Clipper
Once you have the Web Clipper installed, it will add an Evernote elephant icon to your browser toolbar. To clip a Google+ post, open the post in a new tab by clicking on the time/datestamp and then click the Evernote clipper.
This will open the Web Clipper options menu as well as add an article clipping overlay to the post. Here's an example from a recent post by Rebekah Radice:
Using the interface you can expand the article selection, as well as choose to clip a "simplified article" which will attempt to clip only the basic formatted text. You can clip the full page, or just a bookmarked link. And you can mark up the selection by highlighting text, adding basic graphics and other editing tools.
Once you're ready, you can choose which notebook to save the bookmark, as well as tags to associate with it in order to better categorize your saves.
I love this method because of it's fantastic flexibility. In addition to full posts, I can choose to only save specific snippets of posts or even save someone's comments from a Google+ post! And by filing them within Evernote, it's far easier for me to reference them not only from other devices, but to incorporate quotes and comments into blog posts I'm working on.
If you're using the Chrome browser, there are a number of extensions available which you can use to save Google+ posts to some of your other favorite readers and tools.
One other option that may work well depending on the situation is to save Google+ posts to Pinterest. This works best if there's a large image attached to the post, as Pinterest requires an image to pin. But if you're curating a number of interesting boards, this might be an excellent solution for you - or at least another option to consider.
And reader and Pinterest expert +Anna Bennett points out that you can use Secret Boards for this really easily!
Unfortunately, most of these techniques fail when we're on our mobile devices. So what do you do if you're on Google+ on your smartphone and see a post you want to save? (This happens to me all the time.)
For now, the best recommendation I can offer is to use a somewhat manual version of the Evernote system.
Tap on the post within Google+ so that you're viewing the full post on it's own, and tap on the context menu in the upper right corner. This will reveal several options, including a Copy Link choice. Tap that, and then open Evernote and create a new note. Hold your finger down on the body of the note to reveal the option to Paste and paste in the link. You can then title and categorize your new note however you want.
It won't copy any text of the post, but at least you'll have the link bookmarked and can go back to it later on.
I will update this section as new techniques become available.
Finding Old Posts
Saving posts that you see is great, but what if you forgot to save it and need to find it again?
If you had received a notification and clicked it, with the new Google+ notification system that notification "falls" off so that you're only looking at new, unviewed notifications. Did you know though that you can still access all your old notifications?
At the bottom of the notifications pane, simply click on Previously Read to view your past notifications. You can also click on the Notifications link at the top of the pane to open your notifications stream.
If you've recently cleared a notification for a post that you wanted to save, before you saved it, this is an easy way to get to it.
If you find that you regularly want to save posts from specific users, you may want to put them into a special Circle that is set up to notify you of new posts. You can adjust your notification settings to include an email.
This is a great way to give yourself a backup for important posts, mentions and conversations. I don't get email notifications for every Google+ activity - just when someone mentions me or when someone within my Notify Me circle shares a post. While I delete most of the emails daily, it's nice to be able to refer to them and occasionally save them for later. And because I use Gmail for email management, I can actually interact with each Google+ right within the email notification.
Finally, if it's been a while since you saw that post you wanted to save you may have to search for it. Just like a Google Search, you can search within Google+ for a post that uses specific words or phrases that you recall. You can include hashtags and even better specific users. So, if you remember who wrote the post, that can narrow the search tremendously.
One way or another, as you use Google+ more and more, it's inevitable that you're going to see posts and commentary from people that you're interested in saving for later. Hopefully one of these methods will integrate easily with your current Google+ usage patterns, but if you have other questions, or even an alternate method to suggest, please leave a comment below!
By Mike Allton, Content Marketing Practitioner
Mike is a Content Marketing Practitioner, Blogger and Author in St. Louis, and the Chief Marketing Officer at SiteSell. He has been working with websites and the Internet since the early '90's, and is active on all of the major social networks. Mike teaches a holistic approach to content marketing that leverages blog content, social media and SEO to drive traffic, generate leads, and convert those leads into sales.
Mike is the author of, "The Unofficial Book On HootSuite: The #1 Tool for Social Media Management", "The Ultimate Guide to the Perfect LinkedIn Profile.", and "Blog Promotionology, The Art & Science of Blog Promotion."