One of my categories on this blog is “reading-log“, which I intended as a way to highlight one of the books, articles or papers that I’ve read recently. I’ve been very negligent at this, but fortunately this is one of those situations where it’s not too late to do so.
I keep notes (on Evernote) with the date that I read the material and thoughts that it inspired. So I can still go back and post them retroactively. I can even artificially date the WordPress Post. I’ll be trying to do some of that over the next few days. If all goes well, subscribers will see a flurry of activity (which hopefully doesn’t chase any of them away).
I’ve been reading a lot these days. My reading workflow is always evolving, but I’ve got a system that seems to be working pretty well, and as a result I find it easier to read more and be efficient.
I use Feedly, to which I switched after the days of Google Reader. I currently have 120+ sources (web feeds) in six or seven categories. I am picky with my subscriptions, and feeds that feel like clutter are weeded out (I have a separate category for feeds “on probation”, and I’ll skip those articles on busy days). After years of this, I find that a lot of value and entertainment in my feeds.
I skim these web feeds on my phone using Feedly’s android app. This is fast consumption, and easy to do when taking a break or during in-between moments. Anything requiring deeper attention or more time, I save for later, using Pocket.
In addition to web feeds via Feedly, my Pocket queue is populated by tweets, web browsing, active research, and things-people-send-to-me. The ability to easily save anything for later means I have fewer interruptions and distractions. There is a separate time and place for consuming all that material. This makes me more efficient.
When researching on a particular subject, for personal interest or for a client, I read papers and “heavier” articles. I have a Dropbox folder where I keep this research material, and it stays there even after I’ve read it, for future reference. I’ll often transfer unread articles from this folder to my Kindle; I always keep the ol’ ebook filled with a collection of unread novels, non-fiction books, and dozens of research papers. This is particularly wonderful when traveling, as I am now.
We all have so many sources for reading material, and there are a lot of tools to help us manage everything. I’ve shared only the most significant of the tools that I use, (and hinted at the taxonomies I’ve invented to organize things) with which I’m able to read, and watch, and listen to, a lot more material without feeling overwhelmed or constantly interrupted.
Keep an eye on this reading-log WordPress category — I’ll be doing that back-posting and perhaps you’ll find we have common reading interests.