Streamline Your YouTube Subscriptions Using Folders

Streamline Your YouTube Subscriptions Using Folders
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If, like me, you follow dozens of YouTube channels across a range of topics, you might find you occasionally miss an upload (or a few) as you’re bombarded with new videos each day. Luckily, there are some great third-party tools you can use to help you organise your subscriptions.

One of the best is Pocket Tube (courtesy of The Next Web). This free cross-platform service sorts your long list of channel subscriptions into labelled folders. You have full control over the naming and organisation, and your folders carry over between all the devices you use to watch YouTube — as long as you’re signed in, that is. Pocket Tube is available as a browser extension in the Chrome store and as an external app on Android and iOS.

Pocket Tube's option on YouTube's desktop page (Screenshot: Brendan Hesse) Pocket Tube's option on YouTube's desktop page (Screenshot: Brendan Hesse)

The user interface for Pocket Tube is slightly different depending on which platform you’re on.

On desktop, Pocket Tube’s tools are integrated directly into the YouTube website. A new “Subscription Groups” section will appear on the side column with all the folders you’ve created. Clicking on the section will take you to a screen where you can manage your folders and make new ones.

There are also tabs for managing your subscriptions — which I find to be better than YouTube’s own subscription manager page — and a tool for linking your Patreon account so you can import and organise any channels you support monetarily through Patreon.

Screenshot: Brendan Hesse Screenshot: Brendan Hesse

You’ll also find new controls at the top of the subscriptions tab. You can toggle which channel you want to see in your subscription feed at any time, search through recent uploads by keyword, and even hide videos you’ve already watched.

On mobile, Pocket Tube works as a separate app. Once you log in with your YouTube account, you can create and edit folders. There are also tabs to see recent uploads and manage your subscriptions, plus a section with links to the app’s privacy policy, and a few minor settings.

Unfortunately, you can’t watch videos in the Pocket Tub app; tapping a video open it in YouTube instead. And unlike the desktop browser, none of your folders or Pocket Tube’s filtering options will show up in the YouTube app’s interface.

Pocket Tube’s desktop experience is better, but I still recommend the mobile app. Pocket Tube is cleaner and simpler to use than YouTube app’s subscription tab. What I like best about the app — aside from its organizational tools — is that it lets you browse the content you want to see without having to jump through multiple tabs or unrelated recommended videos.

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