As we all know, the Internet is a treasure trove of information- some useful, often useless; frequently educational, unfortunately, repeatedly ignorant. Pick your favorite pair of opposite meaning adjectives, you can apply it to the information on the Internet.
But the good, educational, information is indeed abundant. It’s overflowing and the trick is how to filter it, find it, and make time to read it and avoid the useless information. My approach has evolved, with a current go to model consisting of multiple web and mobile social media and news applications coupled with multi-platform productivity and storage tools. Here’s how it works.
1. Twitter- Find the Best Articles and Content
I’ve found that there is no better way for me to find relevant, informative, educational, must read articles and thoughts than Twitter. I follow thought leaders in areas I’m interested in such as Entrepreneurship, Technology, Foreign Affairs, Sports, and Education. These thought leaders are often journalists, bloggers, CEOs, executives, or the Twitter accounts of reputed web sites and periodicals I read such as Techcrunch, ESPN, Mashable, Advertising Age, Pew Research, etc.
By focusing my discovery on thought leaders, their reputation creates my first level of filtering. Doing quick scans of tweets, I use my own judgment as the second level of filtering. I usually do this through a mobile usage model; checking Twitter a few times a day on my Iphone.
2. Instapaper- Reading Articles Later
Now, there are way more interesting articles and links that I’d want to open and look at than what I have the time to read during a particular Twitter time moment. That’s when I use Instapaper, an app that costs $3.99 in the Appstore. Through an API, Instapaper is integrated into the Twitter mobile app. Whenever I open an article on Twitter on the mobile app or web, I’ll tag an article or Link to Read Later, which saves it on the Instapaper platform.
Then usually on Saturday and/or Sunday mornings, I’ll do a batch reading of my tagged Twitter articles from the Instapaper app. I’ll usually be reading the articles on my Ipad Instapaper app.
3 Evernote- Organizing and Saving Articles
Once I open an article in Instapaper, the ones that I feel are especially relevant that I would want to basically keep forever, I save to Evernote. Evernote is a productivity tool where I can create notebooks for specific topics, and then store web articles, documents and my own notes and to do lists in that particular notebook. Evernote also is a synced multi platform device, such that when I save an article to my Evernote desktop app, it automatically syncs the notebook so that I can access that article on my iPhone or IPad.
Evernote is a free app which has become my productivity tool of choice for content; storage, organization, categorization, to do lists.
Now, I’m testing other methods and products such as Quora, Quibb, News.me, and Pocket as supplements to this basic workflow, but the fundamental process is about Twitter, Instapaper, and Evernote.