Often I get the feeling that I’m always catching up with what is going on in the world. There is just so much available to read and only so much time available to actually read it. Not only that, but you also have to be careful: is it actually worth it?
Here are some of my tips and tricks on how to keep up.
Organisation, organisation, organisation
About a year ago I had this feeling that so much of my time was being wasted on reading things that were totally useless. Up until that point, I never really thought to optimize my reading, but I decided to give it a try.
I’m very happy with feedly, it saves me a lot of time going through my booksmarks like I use to.
But using feedly to have all the possible articles stored, wasn’t enough. Hence, the creation of a ‘drama test’. (Many of the blogs I followed have been eliminated from my reading list because they failed it)
The drama test
The 4 basics: date, links, introduction, comments
If the articles on the blog doesn’t have these four basic things, I don’t even start reading it. There are so much blogs out there these days, that the chances are very slim that it is the only blog out there that covers the subject. And if it is, you can always turn to papers or books to understand the subject better.
How do you know this?
‘A paper was published today … ‘ ‘New research suggest that … ‘ ‘A study shows … ‘
They might as well start their articles with ‘I heard it through the grapevine.’ It would provide an equal amount of information to the reader. If you don’t tell me where I can find the paper, or ever worse, if you don’t even bother to tell me the name of the study/paper, well, I won’t bother reading your article at all. After three articles without any references, I remove the blog from my feedly.
Lists, lists everywhere :-(
If I see three articles in a row that are just “10 things that”, “5 ways to”, I remove it from my reading list. Most of those articles are too shallow to give you a clear understanding of the subject.
roll eye articles
Check out the screenshot below. They all cover the same topic, but the way the information represent it, is very different from one another. Some blogs or online newspapers care more about creating sensation than informing their readers. If the articles make me roll my eyes spontaneously, I stop following the blog or newspaper.
Books/papers > blogs
A friend of mine said to me a couple of years ago that he prefered reading books over blogposts because it takes a lot of time and effort to write a book. Since than I started prefering books over blogposts.
At any given moment I have at least three books that I’m ‘reading’ (and I put my maximum on five):
- two book on my kindle (most of the time a fiction and a non-fiction)
- an audio book (audible)
Anyways, these were my tips and tricks on reading. I’m always interested in hearing about other peoples methods!