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  • Online Reading-Review Multi-Tasking Data Control

    Quick shout out to frequent online-readers. I'm looking for a brainstorming of anyone who has good methods of dealing with massive amounts of online reading material. Primarily reading online articles. I'm bombarded with insightful articles from self-help, productivity, mac, computer, news, gossip, odd, etc. I've got newsfire for checking multiple RSS feeds simultaneously, but once I start surfing, I hit that Command-Click combo to open a link in another window (say when I'm midstream through an article and don't want to link out before finishign it), after half hour or so of this, I've got 5-10 tabbed pages open, and my online reading has just blown out of control. Here's some methods I've tried or will try. Wondered if anyone else had other ideas.
    • Saving page as file or simply saving link in a Read-Review folder on my desktop filing each page correspondingly in @READ_COMPLETED!
      @Acting & Career
      AR_Skimmed
      @tentative_reads
      @Self-Help&Insightful
      The problem with this is you end up adding a dozen articles in a few days, then your interests shift and you're left with a lot of "stale unnecessary" articles that could be delete-able, but are still interesting. I think downloading articles to folders should only be for exceptional articles, or this process for certain demands a thorough "review and delete" phase at least 1x/week.
    • Starting a seperte browser window devoted to Reading-Only tabs. Measning each browser session would have 2 windows. One for email, research, blogs, forums, projects, and one for any reading I encountered.
    • Finding an RSS program and flagging articles and then having a set read-review time.

  • #2
    I'm a big fan of Google Reader for my online reading. It's so quick to process using the shortcut keys.

    I tend to do one sweep relatively early in the day and just star anything I might want to read later. If I'm doing 10 mins on/two mins off, these articles are perfect for the two minute breaks. If anything warrants a more in-depth read, I'll tag it as @reading and look at that a couple of times a week.

    Neat tip - if while browsing you find something you want to read later, add it to del.icio.us with a tag like @reading and subscribe to an RSS feed for that tag - it will then appear in Google Reader.

    Also, I use FURL to store copies of any articles I want to keep - much easier than saving my own copy.

    Comment


    • #3
      Good topic! Here are a few things I've learned:
      1. Simplify, simplify, simplify. Prune your feeds as soon as their value decreases.
      2. Skim. Jump to the good stuff. Online material can't be read the same way one reads a magazine; you have to retrain your brain to bounce around rapidly (I'm sure you already know this; just re-stating for emphasis).
      3. Categorize. My email is routed into half a dozen different folders, some of them signifying greater importance than others.
      4. Print for later review. I print off the most powerful, useful articles/posts/etc. I find, and put them on my nightstand for close reading later. I usually tickle them for later re-reading, as well.

      Does that help?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Brent View Post
        Good topic! Here are a few things I've learned:
        Thanks! I thought so, too. It's one cluster of the GTD system that (unlike inbox, weekly review, and other compenents) that isn't so air-tight and can easily collapse into a heap of "trouble" and mounds of "amorphorous reading stuff" so I found it relevant and good too. This feedback is invaluable. I might give google reader a short, Moggy, and GREAT more "process" as opposed to a specific "tool" tips, Brent.

        1. Simplify, simplify, simplify. Prune your feeds as soon as their value decreases.
        2. Skim. Jump to the good stuff. Online material can't be read the same way one reads a magazine; you have to retrain your brain to bounce around rapidly (I'm sure you already know this; just re-stating for emphasis).
        3. Categorize. My email is routed into half a dozen different folders, some of them signifying greater importance than others.
        4. Print for later review. I print off the most powerful, useful articles/posts/etc. I find, and put them on my nightstand for close reading later. I usually tickle them for later re-reading, as well.

        Does that help?
        Could you elaborate? "Prune your feeds as soon as their value decreases."??? How ? Flag items as 1, 2, 3 priorities? Delete them? When does it's "value decrease". If something is currently not relevant, it still might be "reference worthy" what then?

        That's great you ahve so many email folders. Same here! I've got over 20 email gmail labels. I'm interested in simplifying these down to 10

        Code:
        AAA_Docs
        (17 conversations)		rename     remove
        ActingCareer
        (253 conversations)		rename     remove
        Apartment
        (21 conversations)		rename     remove
        Attempt-Submit
        (1 conversations)		rename     remove
        Bult_Blog
        (35 conversations)		rename     remove
        Bult_Fbook
        (227 conversations)		rename     remove
        Bult_Forum
        (277 conversations)		rename     remove
        Bult_LACast
        (149 conversations)		rename     remove
        Bult_YTb
        (77 conversations)		rename     remove
        Craigs_eBay
        (36 conversations)		rename     remove
        Deleted Messages
        (31 conversations)		rename     remove
        Family
        (111 conversations)		rename     remove
        Finances_Ship
        (235 conversations)		rename     remove
        Friends
        (142 conversations)		rename     remove
        Fun
        (6 conversations)		rename     remove
        Health
        (16 conversations)		rename     remove
        Income
        (115 conversations)		rename     remove
        Kittens
        (140 conversations)		rename     remove
        LifeEd
        (132 conversations)		rename     remove
        Networked
        (4 conversations)		rename     remove
        NLP
        (68 conversations)		rename     remove
        R:Maybe-Someday
        (11 conversations)		rename     remove
        School
        (60 conversations)		rename     remove
        Sent Messages
        (52 conversations)		rename     remove
        TimbEzra
        (371 conversations)		rename     remove
        Travel
        (7 conversations)		rename     remove
        Volunteer
        But that's a different thread.


        LOL! I have to train my brain to focus. I'm a natural "brain bouncer"! haha!

        You're prioritization of emails, then to printing off important files, and then tickling them later really does help. I see how REad-Review can tie seamlessly into GTD system. But I don't get the core of it. All your reading is via email?? I don't have that. Here's the classification of reading I have going on and they're priority. Don't ask why I used percentages ( I was starting with how much time I'd like to spend)
        • 2% Email reads
        • 10% Books (would like to read cover to cover)
        • 20% Selected cutout hardcopy reads (similar to reads from 'surfing the net" but paper and this folder is more selective)
        • 20% Already Read books but frequently skim and Review (GTD is part of this collection)
        • 30% Reads from surfing the Net -- a large collection
        • 40% Reviewing my writings for inspiration
        • 40% RSS Feeds from Newswire

        I'm in the works of simplifying and prioritizing those readings. My bottom-line is I have WAYYYYYYYYY WAYYYYYY to many "buckets" for reading material. To get scope of all the read-review material I have I have to check
        3 computer locations
        1. one desktop folder
        2. a newswire program
        3. iPhone saved important documens (reading on the go)

        5 hard-copy locations
        1. one handheld paper folder
        2. a bookshelf of not-read boks
        3. a bookshelf of previously thoroughly read motivational books
        4. bookshelf of my writings
        5. a magazine collection

        8 different areas just for some reading??!! That's insane!! It's WAAYYY out of control. Ahhh!!!


        So I'm working on getting ALL my reading down to maybe 4 areas -- newsfire, a computer collection basket, an "unread hardcopy" shelf, and a "review already read hardcopy shelf". That would be great.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by validatelife View Post
          Could you elaborate? "Prune your feeds as soon as their value decreases."??? How ? Flag items as 1, 2, 3 priorities? Delete them? When does it's "value decrease". If something is currently not relevant, it still might be "reference worthy" what then?
          I was talking about deleting feeds. You know its value has decreased when you haven't read anything of value there recently. We all have different tolerances, but I rarely regret deleting a feed, so I usually favor it.

          Regarding email folders: I have one folder for each major subject in my life, and rules to filter mail directly in to them. So, if I would drag email out of my inbox into a folder, then I create a rule to do it automatically. That's how I manage it, at least. I favor more folders over fewer, but I think this is mostly personal preference.

          You're prioritization of emails, then to printing off important files, and then tickling them later really does help. I see how REad-Review can tie seamlessly into GTD system. But I don't get the core of it. All your reading is via email??
          Nope, I follow that principle for everything I read online -- blogs, cooking sites, etc.:
          1. Skim at a high level.
          2. If the skim indicates it's worth reading, read more closely.
          3. If the closer reading reveals depth, print and review later.

          I put books and magazines in the same place I put the printed material for review, at my bedside.

          So I'm working on getting ALL my reading down to maybe 4 areas -- newsfire, a computer collection basket, an "unread hardcopy" shelf, and a "review already read hardcopy shelf". That would be great.
          Cool! I'd combine those last two. Use a tickler to remind yourself to review already read books, and just keep them in your permanent library until they come up on your tickler, at which point you put them on your unread shelf.

          Hope this helps; reply if you want any clarification or further discussion.

          Comment


          • #6
            In the Internet era, I think it's really important to decide what *not* to read. Be very careful about adding to your "to read" list, and prune it aggressively.

            If you haven't read a magazine within six months of the cover date, toss it. (And if you haven't read at least half the issues in the last year, cancel your subscription.)

            If you don't skim an RSS feed at least once every week or two, unsubscribe. If you accumulate more than a few hundred unread items, clear the list out and start over.

            If you haven't read a bookmarked article within a month of marking it, delete the bookmark. (Or at least move it off the active list.)

            Make friends with your local used bookstore and/or http://www.bookmooch.com. Limit the amount of space for to-be-read books and purge whenever you run out of room. (Or at least take the book off the active list.)

            Content on the Internet is growing faster than any individual's ability to keep up. It's pointless to try. Find the sources that are most valuable to you -- and check regularly to make sure they are still valuable -- and let the rest go.

            Katherine

            PS Don't keep any source "for reference" unless you have read it and found it genuinely useful. As a general reference source, the Internet is more comprehensive and current than you could ever hope to be.

            Comment


            • #7
              Importance of control AND perspective

              One of the general big lessons I've learned from GTD, is that the initial tools and techniques for "getting control" that GTD offers are only half the battle - "gaining perspective" becomes necessary to stay in control.

              I've learned that the clearer I become about the higher altitudes of my life (20K and higher), the clearer decisions become at the lower levels about priorities, what to focus on, and what to purge. When I first started practicing GTD methods, my "eyes became bigger than my stomach", and I tried to take on everything and anything that came my way, with the illusion that "now I could be in control of it all".

              There will always be more to do/read/think/become than is possible in one lifetime (even without the internet). Perspective is the cure to overwhelm.

              Paradoxically, the systems (Covey) which try to start with perspective are difficult to get grounded in, and don't provide as much real life success. Starting with Control first and then perspective creates a life system that will not tople over, even at high speeds.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Brent View Post
                Good topic! Here are a few things I've learned:
                Thanks! I thought so, too. It's one cluster of the GTD system that (unlike inbox, weekly review, and other compenents) that isn't so air-tight and can easily collapse into a heap of "trouble" and mounds of "amorphorous reading stuff" so I found it relevant and good too. This feedback is invaluable. I might give google reader a short, Moggy, and GREAT more "process" as opposed to a specific "tool" tips, Brent.

                1. Simplify, simplify, simplify. Prune your feeds as soon as their value decreases.
                2. Skim. Jump to the good stuff. Online material can't be read the same way one reads a magazine; you have to retrain your brain to bounce around rapidly (I'm sure you already know this; just re-stating for emphasis).
                3. Categorize. My email is routed into half a dozen different folders, some of them signifying greater importance than others.
                4. Print for later review. I print off the most powerful, useful articles/posts/etc. I find, and put them on my nightstand for close reading later. I usually tickle them for later re-reading, as well.

                Does that help?
                Could you elaborate? "Prune your feeds as soon as their value decreases."??? How ? Flag items as 1, 2, 3 priorities? Delete them? When does it's "value decrease". If something is currently not relevant, it still might be "reference worthy" what then?

                That's great you ahve so many email folders. Same here! I've got over 20 email gmail labels. I'm interested in simplifying these down to 10

                Code:
                AAA_Docs
                (17 conversations)		rename     remove
                ActingCareer
                (253 conversations)		rename     remove
                Apartment
                (21 conversations)		rename     remove
                Attempt-Submit
                (1 conversations)		rename     remove
                Bult_Blog
                (35 conversations)		rename     remove
                Bult_Fbook
                (227 conversations)		rename     remove
                Bult_Forum
                (277 conversations)		rename     remove
                Bult_LACast
                (149 conversations)		rename     remove
                Bult_YTb
                (77 conversations)		rename     remove
                Craigs_eBay
                (36 conversations)		rename     remove
                Deleted Messages
                (31 conversations)		rename     remove
                Family
                (111 conversations)		rename     remove
                Finances_Ship
                (235 conversations)		rename     remove
                Friends
                (142 conversations)		rename     remove
                Fun
                (6 conversations)		rename     remove
                Health
                (16 conversations)		rename     remove
                Income
                (115 conversations)		rename     remove
                Kittens
                (140 conversations)		rename     remove
                LifeEd
                (132 conversations)		rename     remove
                Networked
                (4 conversations)		rename     remove
                NLP
                (68 conversations)		rename     remove
                R:Maybe-Someday
                (11 conversations)		rename     remove
                School
                (60 conversations)		rename     remove
                Sent Messages
                (52 conversations)		rename     remove
                TimbEzra
                (371 conversations)		rename     remove
                Travel
                (7 conversations)		rename     remove
                Volunteer
                But that's a different thread.


                LOL! I have to train my brain to focus. I'm a natural "brain bouncer"! haha!

                You're prioritization of emails, then to printing off important files, and then tickling them later really does help. I see how REad-Review can tie seamlessly into GTD system. But I don't get the core of it. All your reading is via email?? I don't have that. Here's the classification of reading I have going on and they're priority. Don't ask why I used percentages ( I was starting with how much time I'd like to spend)
                • 2% Email reads
                • 10% Books (would like to read cover to cover)
                • 20% Selected cutout hardcopy reads (similar to reads from 'surfing the net" but paper and this folder is more selective)
                • 20% Already Read books but frequently skim and Review (GTD is part of this collection)
                • 30% Reads from surfing the Net -- a large collection
                • 40% Reviewing my writings for inspiration
                • 40% RSS Feeds from Newswire

                I'm in the works of simplifying and prioritizing those readings. My bottom-line is I have WAYYYYYYYYY WAYYYYYY to many "buckets" for reading material. To get scope of all the read-review material I have I have to check
                3 computer locations
                1. one desktop folder
                2. a newswire program
                3. iPhone saved important documens (reading on the go)

                5 hard-copy locations
                1. one handheld paper folder
                2. a bookshelf of not-read boks
                3. a bookshelf of previously thoroughly read motivational books
                4. bookshelf of my writings
                5. a magazine collection

                8 different areas just for some reading??!! That's insane!! It's WAAYYY out of control. Ahhh!!!


                So I'm working on getting ALL my reading down to maybe 4 areas -- newsfire, a computer collection basket, an "unread hardcopy" shelf, and a "review already read hardcopy shelf". That would be great.


                This
                John Kucz -- "If you define necessity perfectly and possess nothing less, you won't be deprived; explore nothing more, and you'll be revived."
                an Millman – “Moderation? It is mediocrity, fear, and confusion in disguise. It’s the devil’s dilemma. It’s neither doing nor not doing. It is the wobbling compromise that makes no one happy. Moderation is the for the bland, the apologetic, for the fence-sitters of the world afraid to take a stand. It’s for those afraid to laugh or cry, for those afraid to live or die. Moderation…is lukewarm tea, the devil’s own brew.”(Of course some moderation can create a healthy happy balance – balance whoever severely outweighs and belittles moderation. Things should be about balance; also God is the lively zany, inspired, Loud, fun one – the devil just is sloppy, lifeless, and bored!).
                Anonymous – “Everything in moderation, including moderation”.
                William Ockam – “Of two equivalent theories or explanations, all other things being equal, the simpler one is to be preferred.”
                will be my quotes and matnra for getting balance with my Read-Review the way I want it so it's not controlling, but rather intellectually fueling my life!

                Comment

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