During my examination of how information comes into my life, I found that there was a much larger amount of potential “in boxes” than I had thought. My task was to list all of these input spaces and see if the number could be reduced, and then make sure that each of them get processed.
In this post I will tackle electronic input.
- RSS feeds
- Del.icio.us bookmarks for processing
- My hometown newspaper
- My mother’s hometown newspaper
- My local newspaper
- Yahoo news groups
I seldom watch television, and never get my news from there. I rely on radio (National Public radio) for news, and from what I can get from the Internet. I also like to follow up on topics that catch my eye, and regularly participate in Yahoo groups as well as reading a string of blogs regularly.
Since I originally did this exercise back in 2005, this is the category that has changed the most. Gone are my klunky tracking mechanisms and PDA reading. Instead I have upgraded to the listed inboxes.
I like reading and honestly, there is a lot of stuff to read on the Web. The RSS reader (I use Google Reader) keeps track of all my feeds. I categorize them, however, to keep the processing down to a minimum. Any new feed added gets tagged as Probation, and if I don’t find anything worth reading after four weeks, out it goes. I also have non-probation feeds classified for reading frequency: weekly, monthly and whenever. This reading system is working really well. When I find articles I want to read, I open them in tabs in FireFox and then enter them into Del.Icio.Us tagged as @Read for future reading.
Del.icio.us has become my holder of all bookmarks, plus it also holds references to articles I want to read. When I have a few minutes, I will pop open a few articles in tabs in FireFox and scan them. If the article doesn’t grab my attention within a few seconds, I skip it.
Newspapers and other media sites went by the wayside when I did a recent media fast. I haven’t looked back. Anything I need to know I pick up by talking to people.
Yahoo News Groups
I have gone no mail on the majority of my Yahoo groups due to a lot of irrelevant content and bickering that was going one. The rest get sent to my GMail account, where I can flag them and read them at leisure. I prefer doing it this way because GMail will thread the articles, and I can pick and choose which ones I want to read.
I got rid of some inboxes by accident, the Yahoo groups due to an annoyance factor, and the other two are working very efficiently. I think this is a good level.