Each December, Pocket celebrates the very best of the web — the must-read profiles, thought-provoking essays, and illuminating explainers that Pocket users saved and read the most over the past 12 months. Today, we’re delighted to bring you Pocket’s Best of 2021: more than a dozen collections spotlighting the year’s top articles across culture, technology, science, business, and more.
We aren’t the only ones putting out Top 10 content lists or Year in Reviews, but we’d argue these lists are different from the rest — a cut above. Pocket readers are a discerning bunch: they gravitate to fascinating long reads that deeply immerse readers in a story or subject; explainers that demystify complex or poorly understood topics; big ideas that challenge us to think and maybe even act differently; and great advice for all facets of life. You’ll find must-read examples of all of these inside these eclectic Best of 2021 collections, from dozens of trustworthy and diverse publications.
The stories people save most to Pocket often provide a fascinating window into what’s occupying our collective attention each year. In 2019, the most-saved article on Pocket examined how modern economic precarity has turned millennials into the burnout generation. In 2020, the most-read article was a probing and prescient examination of how the Covid-19 pandemic might end.
This year, the No. 1 article in Pocket put a name to the chronic sense of ‘blah’ that so many of us felt in 2021 as the uncertainty of the pandemic wore on: languishing. (For months, heads would nod all over Zoom whenever this article came up in conversation.) To mark the end of the year, we asked Adam Grant, the organizational psychologist and bestselling author who wrote the piece, to curate a special Pocket Collection all about how to leave languishing behind in 2021 — and start flourishing in 2022 by breaking free from stagnation and rekindling your spark.
What you’ll also find in this year’s Best Of package: A journey through some of 2021’s most memorable events and storylines, as told through 12 exemplary articles that Pocket users saved to help them make sense of it all. Plus, recommendations from this year’s top writers on the unforgettable stories they couldn’t stop reading, and a special collection from those of us at Pocket about the 2021 lessons we won’t soon forget.
If you haven’t read these articles yet, save them to your Pocket and dig in over the holidays. While you’re at it, join the millions of people discovering the thought-provoking articles we curate in our daily newsletter and on the Firefox and Chrome new tab pages each and every day.
From all of us at Pocket, have a joyous and safe holiday season and a happy — and flourishing — new year.
Carolyn O’Hara is senior director of content discovery at Pocket.
Methodology: The Best of 2021 winners were selected based on an aggregated and anonymized analysis of the links saved to Pocket in 2021, with a focus on English-language articles. Results took into account how often a piece of content was saved, opened, read, and shared.