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Hacking Life

Mining the news flow and building a reference library

Have you ever felt like your bookmarks are exploding out of control or that your favorite saved links service is not helping you organize your articles of interest in a convenient way? I know I have, and after thinking the problem through, I came up with a few requirements for a process that would help me get things in order.
The process

First of all, I need to gather my “stuff” when it comes to news in some sort of in basket. This step cannot take much time, and I need to be able to do it when I have a few minutes to spare without feeling that I can’t leave half way through.
Then I need to process my in basket, so that I can decide what’s worth keeping around, and what looked promising but really turned out to be less interesting than I thought.
Then I need to organize the things worth keeping in such a way that I can easily reference it later

Finding the tools
After being a victim of hammering news sites for updates for way to long, I started using Google Reader a while ago, and when they closed up shop, I moved over to Feedly¬†which I’m currently using. Feedly really satisfies the first step of my process and is great for skimming through all the new articles being posted on my favorite feeds without having to constantly monitor them. When I get o few minutes over, I just open up my Feedly app on my iPhone and skim through a couple of pages worth of ¬†titles, marking off the ones I want to take a better look at later. I mark all the articles I want to have a better look at for […]

Bye, bye paper…

Finally!

It’s done.

Mission completed.

As you know if you’ve been following me for a while, I’m a big fan of David Allen and his “Getting Things Done” system, even though I don’t necessarily agree to everything he’s saying. One of the things I do agree with however, is the fact that projects thought of but not yet completed has a part of you until you somehow get it out of your system. The easiest way to do it, of course, is to put it on a list with a new action on just file it as a “someday, maybe” and review it every now and then, postponing it until you’ve got the time to do it. The hardest way to do it (and I’m sure David would beat me with a stick when hearing this) is to just muster up enough of frustration until the project becomes your first priority for that very reason, even though there are probably many things that are objectively more important. So, guess what… I went with door number 2!
The Project
So, what on earth could be so frustrating, yet so unimportant, that it would make me make such a bad decision? Paper. Plain and simple. I hate it!

Every since the first scanner made its appearance, and every since there’s been talk about the paperless office, I’ve had this nagging itch what it would be great to have everything stored digitally instead of on paper, or at least both ways. As the years go by, more and more paper accumulate in filers and drawers, and most of them are utterly unimportant and odds are I will never look at them again, yet I feel reluctant to throw them away. Now, you could […]

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