There are a lot of curation tools for all the social media and news sites that you use. There’s simply too much to read so some kind of organization system is necessary. I needed one and you probably do too.

My very simple “Read it Later” is email. I send myself links to the things I don’t have time to read, can’t watch right now, or that I want to undertake later. No matter where you’re reading or interacting with content, look for a link to either email it or to open in a browser (which you can then email the link to yourself). The reason emailing is convenient for me is that I interact with a minimum of 3 devices a day. Even though my default machines are Mac and sync well, some of the ones I use on a regular day aren’t mine. I come across content every where, every day, all day long. I need the most seamless system possible*, one that translates to every place I might need it. I also take photos and email them to myself because it’s faster than waiting for a sync.

Reading Folder

I use Gmail and have a folder titled “1 Reading”. I put #1 right before the name so that it appears first on the folder list. I tuck all the good stuff into that folder for later. Every few days I will open this folder and start at the bottom, or the oldest emails. I have a goal of getting through 5 every time. Sometimes I read more, sometimes less if the information is particularly dense. I will save it as part of a larger research project (often the link pasted into an Evernote document with a description), share it on the appropriate social media channels, write a blog on the subject, forward to another that needs the info, you get the idea.

I’ve taken this one step further in setting up a marketing email folder. When I sign up for a new service or order a product, I give them my “services@” email address. The newsletters I’ve signed up for from the WIDE range of industries I work with, the stores I buy from, many digital vendors and their emails all land in this box. I monitor this from my iPhone but only open this about once a week or so on my computer. This is heavy research, links, and blog resources. Again I batch read these with a goal of getting through a minimum of 5 at a time. It encourages reading sessions. When I delve into this box, I always walk away inspired and end up writing a lot of my own content.

This system is tough for those that don’t “do email” well. Heck, the average person receives 147 emails a day! This may be a daunting exercise for you and I may have an unfair advantage to staying on top of all this (when I started my business, I focused on organization in technology). But I get asked all the time how I read as much as I do, how I stay informed, and not go insane with all the options. This is how I do it. My goal in my main email inbox is to have 10 or less in there at any given time. On average there are 18 or so in there.

This is my free curation tool. And if you’re curious, I don’t ever dump emails en masse. I leave the actionable items in my main folder. I file away what I’m done with, and read from the reading folder when I have the time. I MAKE the time. THIS is how I stay on top of my field.

*I love Evernote. I use it regularly but I find that when I need to do something quickly, Evernote isn’t the fastest tool and can’t keep up with me for this type of task.

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