The right way to optimize and streamline your private info workflow


Picture: Andy Wolber/TechRepublic

Altering your personal workflow could be a problem. For years, I’ve relied on a number of instruments to handle my private info workflow:

  • An RSS reader to point out me information posts from websites I select.
  • A learn-later service to save lots of issues, properly, to learn later.
  • A bookmarking service lets me search and discover saved hyperlinks.
  • Social media providers (principally Twitter) to share hyperlinks.

I needed an easier setup. At first, I attempted to make use of Twitter (and Twitter lists) to switch my RSS reader. That did not work properly for me. I actually wish to learn each new submit revealed by the websites I comply with. With an RSS reader, I can evaluation each new merchandise. However with Twitter, I felt that I missed too many articles within the stream. I reverted again to utilizing an RSS reader for feeds, and stored Twitter as a spot to comply with individuals.

So, I took one other take a look at every device in my workflow. This is what I discovered—and altered.

1. Instruments change

In early 2015, an RSS reader I exploit added the ability to save any web page to the RSS reader. That meant I did not want a separate “learn later” app. This allowed for me to make use of one software, as an alternative of two.

SEE: My top productivity tools and tricks for managing my daily workflow (ZDNet)

2. Discussions transfer

Years in the past, I started bookmarking to make it simpler for individuals to see issues I discovered fascinating. Sadly, bookmarking instruments by no means achieved broad adoption. Twitter, nevertheless, did. Since I first joined Twitter again in 2007, the variety of customers far exceeded that of any social bookmarking service.

I made a decision to create a secondary Twitter account devoted to hyperlinks. I did not need to muddle up my lengthy-standing Twitter account with random hyperlinks to assets solely I discover fascinating. Once I need to save a hyperlink, I ship a Tweet from this secondary account, typically including a #hashtag or two to assist future searches. And, I can discover these hyperlinks later with Twitter’s advanced search capabilities.

three. Hyperlinks do not final

Subsequent, I reviewed the greater than 5,000 bookmarks I might saved because the days of Del.ico.us. I observed that, at first, I might used bookmarks to indicate an merchandise to learn-later. So, numerous hyperlinks have been simply to posts that, as soon as learn, actually weren’t helpful within the lengthy-time period.

After following a number of thousand hyperlinks, I selected to re-share just a few hundred of these hyperlinks on Twitter. The overwhelming majority of my bookmarks have been both damaged or not value preserving. As I adopted every hyperlink, I noticed plenty of “404/not discovered” messages. When I discovered a website I needed to maintain, I might Tweet a hyperlink to the location.

Solely about 7.5% of my bookmarks remained helpful.

four. Save much less, search extra

I additionally found that I did not want to save lots of hyperlinks to sure forms of websites. For instance, I had plenty of hyperlinks to analysis studies, slide shows, and articles reporting outcomes from surveys and/or research. I can discover all of those simply with a search. There isn’t any want for me to bookmark these pages.

SEE: Seven ways to build brand awareness into your digital strategy (Tech Professional Analysis)

5. Comply with individuals or feeds

I typically discovered that I had bookmarked a number of posts written by an writer. Once more, I noticed that I did not want to save lots of hyperlinks for every publish. As an alternative, I looked for the writer—or, typically, the individual or group featured within the submit. Then, I subscribed to an RSS feed from their website or adopted them on Twitter. Or each.

Because of my workflow evaluation, I pared down the variety of instruments I want for the duty from 4 to 2: Twitter and an RSS reader. And as an alternative of hundreds of ineffective hyperlinks, I’ve a number of hundred related ones that work. Better of all, I’ve a system that exhibits me streams of data from a variety of sensible, fascinating individuals.

What do you assume?

What are the 2 greatest instruments you employ to trace individuals and information you need to know for work? Tell us within the feedback —or, in fact, on Twitter.

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