Words, words, words…
…is one of my favorite Shakespearean lines. In Hamlet’s grumpy exchange with Polonius, Shakespeare simply defines the meat and potatoes of Hamlet’s deep struggle for finding meaning in the words he hears and reads. Our digitized information age has led to a modern-day struggle – How do we manage and comprehend the voluminous amount of incoming information available to us?
The technology of the Internet and the devices that give us fingertip access has created a non-stop stream of incoming information. As Kate Finley recently commented on Spin Sucks, it can become “madness.” I imagine our wealth of words today would have driven poor Hamlet right over the edge! The “rub” for us is in developing a content stream management plan.
Here are 4 tips for gaining control over your incoming content stream:
Decide what you MUST read. Whether it’s industry updates, certain bloggers, mainstream news, or any of the vast array of daily information that is available, the first step is identifying what it is you need to be reading. Keep track of regular resources and add/remove them as needed.
Choose a system for pulling in your Must-Read info. Use tools like Evernote, Instapaper, Pocket, RSS feeds, or even simply email filters for compiling your important info into an easy to access location.
Develop a reading plan. Schedule a time during your day that makes sense for you to read all the info you’re compiling. Whether it’s over your morning coffee or during a dedicated read/follow-up time make it a daily priority.
Act on your impulses! Keep a journal or some other system for note taking on what you read and then identify action items that arise from your reading. You may be spurred to write or want to further research an issue or recommended resource. This reading journal will be your “To-Do list” for actions and a record of what you’ve read.
Take this simplistic system, expand and personalize it to your own preferences. Ultimately, these tips will help you organize and understand the “Words, words, words” that matter to you.
I would enjoy hearing what resources do you use to keep track of the inflow of content?
Photo from Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet (1948)
#1 by Gini Dietrich (@ginidietrich) on March 4, 2013 - 1:08 pm
Love this, particularly tip #3. I run a business so I can’t get sucked into the rabbit hole of the web. I set aside 30 minutes to read and, whatever I don’t get done during that time, either goes to the next day or it comes out of my reading list. Sometimes I feel guilty that I can’t read everything people want me to and then I remember we all only have 24 hours in our days.
#2 by Liz on March 4, 2013 - 1:23 pm
@gini – Me, too! 🙂
#3 by Kate Finley on March 4, 2013 - 2:31 pm
This is a constant battle. It’s so easy to get caught up in all the wonderful blogs and articles out there. I love using Feedly because I can group content, which allows me to view what’s happening by industry and keep up with friends blogs. I typically read in the morning and tweet information as I go then come back in the afternoon to do it again.
#4 by Liz on March 4, 2013 - 3:00 pm
Great tip and tool suggestion @kate