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  • Read/review tips

    Hello, everyone!

    I would like to ask for some advice and tips with a part of GTD that isn't quite working for me.

    When I see an interesting article on the Web or a magazine, here's the steps I go through:

    1) Save or print for future use

    2) If it's electronic, I make a note in my read/review @LIST

    3) If it's print, I still make a note in my read/review @LIST, but I also put a copy in my read/review folder that goes with me to/from work.

    I have no problem with making time to read these articles. But where I'm getting stuck is with what happens NEXT. Here's a typical scenario:

    This morning, I read through the Slacker@Work Manifesto from ChangeThis. I was very interested in what I read. There were some good nuggets of info to use and some sites to check out.

    But what happens next? All too often, I seem to read a great article, get inspired, and then leave it aside to "re-read again" in hopes of finding nuggets for action. The problem is that I never seem to actually do that last step (re-reading).

    According to GTD, how would you "use" this article? Would you highlight key takeaways and mark them down in your lists as Next Actions? What? How do I distinguish between what is simply general reference (that I might not even use again) or actionable stuff?

    Any suggestions would be more than helpful.

    ...Michael

  • #2
    If I read a great article there is in my system only 2 things to do... (if it is great otherwise goes to the trash)

    1.- Go to my Tickler if I want to read it again later on
    2.- Go to my reference files, and I create the appropiate next actions from the article (check this website, buy this book, r&d about the info in the article)

    My 2 cents...


    apinaud

    I live my life on a ZERO base....

    Comment


    • #3
      I too struggle with this. I'm trying a system that is a combination of creating next actions (e.g. @Computer - check out this website) and filing the entire article in a reference file that's labeled with the general area of interest, for example:

      Exercise Programs
      Self-Development - Sales
      Self-Development - Relationships
      Speech Ideas
      Trip Ideas

      This allows me to keep the entire context of the article, which is often important. I will also plan to purge my files at least once a year, as sometimes when I revisit a topic I realize it was only a fleeting area of interest for me.

      Looking forward to hearing other input, as I'm new to GTD and still fine-tuning my systems.

      Comment


      • #4
        I don't log these things unless they're immediately useful. If I hit a website that has an article I'd like to read that's too long to read in 2 minutes, I either print it or save the webpage to the "READ" folder on my hard drive. (I don't keep track of what's in that folder--it just sits there and I look at its contents occasionally, like a "Someday/Maybe" folder.) If I print the article and I know I'll want to read it soon, I may put the hard copy in my Reading Room (the bathroom). Or I'll put it in the big box of these things called "READING." I go to bed early occasionally just to catch up on this kind of reading. If the website itself looks as if it could be useful for a future project, it's bookmarked in the appropriate folder in my "Favorites." However, if something I'm reading relates to a current project, it goes into that folder, whether it's hard copy or a webpage copy, and I do log it then in that project's tickler. There's nothing worse than getting deep into a project and discovering you'd done the ressearch and actually had some valuable data that was overlooked because you didn't know the contents of your files!

        Back to the original question, to be frank, I think "valuable nuggets" usually knock you in the noggin when you read them. Maybe the author's style is pithy or smart and it makes you feel as if there has to be great stuff there. You could try a quick skim of the material after you've read it to see if anything jumps at you, but if not... For me, mining pieces for nuggets is like looking for trouble, since I have far too many actionable nuggets already. I hate to ask this, but is there any chance you're being a little perfectionistic about leaving no nugget unturned in your websurfing experiences? Is it life-enhancing and a valuable use of your focus, energy, and time to be so diligent? Just wondering . . .

        Comment


        • #5
          Tickler file for re-reading.

          Originally posted by apinaud
          If I read a great article there is in my system only 2 things to do... (if it is great otherwise goes to the trash)

          1.- Go to my Tickler if I want to read it again later on
          2.- Go to my reference files, and I create the appropiate next actions from the article (check this website, buy this book, r&d about the info in the article)

          My 2 cents...


          apinaud

          I live my life on a ZERO base....
          I like the idea to put great articles in the tickler file for re-reading.

          TesTeq

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Anonymous
            is there any chance you're being a little perfectionistic about leaving no nugget unturned in your websurfing experiences? Is it life-enhancing and a valuable use of your focus, energy, and time to be so diligent? Just wondering . . .
            That strikes a chord... I often find myself agonizing over how to extract maximum value from something that I am reading, and this is very distracting and I suspect I get less out of the experience overall!

            Nash
            http://nashontheweb01.blogspot.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by nashontheweb
              Originally posted by Anonymous
              is there any chance you're being a little perfectionistic about leaving no nugget unturned in your websurfing experiences? Is it life-enhancing and a valuable use of your focus, energy, and time to be so diligent? Just wondering . . .
              That strikes a chord... I often find myself agonizing over how to extract maximum value from something that I am reading, and this is very distracting and I suspect I get less out of the experience overall!

              Nash
              http://nashontheweb01.blogspot.com
              Same here. I've begun purging an overabundance of files that I've kept for years in fear of losing a piece of information that I may want at some point in the future. I've gotten overwhelmed and annoyed by how many reference files I have. And it dawned on me one evening, after the 10th time I moved a file box of stuff, that anything I may need I can probably find the most updated information on the internet in less than 5 minutes...about the same time it'll take me to find the article I saved from 1998.

              But in response to Michael's first post...I find that whenever I have the opportunity to Read/Review I also have a chance to capture key items in my notebook. I then process the items (i.e. buy this book, or www.somewebsite.com...) during my weekly review. I find that most of what I highlight from reading are websites and I use Powermarks 3.5 to organize bookmarked sites during my WR. Could you eliminate the re-read step altogether?

              Comment


              • #8
                read/review

                I have done pretty well with separate topic folders, also, and I keep a fat file of quotations at work, which I use frequently. Occasionally, I have come upon articles which are remarkable and just too wonderful to pitch, but are destined to get lost in the rubble. So I tuck them inside a book that is most closely related. Thus, my copy of the works of Geoffrey Chaucer holds a dear little poem I found years ago in the London Times; my Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain has several articles about WWI, etc. Odd stuff which nevertheless provides a sweet surprise from the past, occupies virtually no space, and isn't really contributing to clutter.

                Back to the original thread: It always warms my heart to be reminded of how seriously people still take their reading.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I read somewhere recently an instruction to identify all the things in my life on which I spend too much unproductive time. I know that I spend a lot of time reading about time management and productivity on the web … but somehow it seems like a good thing to do.

                  Then in a flash it occurred to me – I spend huge amounts of unprofitable time tinkering with my time management system; (wouldn’t you love to say to a car guy: “Are you ever actually going to GO anywhere in it!?!).

                  System tinkering accounts for a huge amount of the things I have printed off for future read/review. But all the time I will spend reading them will be time NOT spent on stuff in my life that needs to be done.

                  It has taken me a long time to finally convince myself that while such reading is fascinating, it is also holding up my life.


                  Dave

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    read/review and websurfing

                    I use the Scrap Book extension in Firefox to archive promising websites for reading more closely when I have more time. I also use it to store websites that are definitely related to specific projects. This keeps my project reference material from getting lost in my general bookmarks.

                    I also sometimes save interesting websites in Furl.

                    This has worked well so far. I have an archive of interesting websites when I have time to look at them, I don't feel I've missed any potentially wonderful information, but the sites are easy to sort through, delete, annotate, etc. at my leisure.

                    Comment

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