Four major networks, a handful of national newspapers, limited cable offerings, and numerous magazines delivered to our mailboxes monthly. Do you ever wish you could turn back the clock sometime before the turn of the century?
Those of us who were building our careers in the ’80s and ’90s thought information overload was a problem back then. We had no idea what was about to hit us.
My Current Reading Regimen
Years ago, I had to figure out how to tame the information beast. Currently, I have a system that works for me, and I’m betting my news consumption is similar to yours:
- I scan the WSJ homepage daily and only read stories that I find interesting
- I do a quick scroll of Google News
- 2-4 times a month, I scan the sites of The Economist, HBR, and Forbes (I really have to be careful on Forbes as I could get lost on their site)
- I scan 3-5 Missouri newspapers for sports, business, and all other news
I’m ignoring the dozen or so blogs I frequent. My focus above is news. Additionally, my goal is to get through this reading in 20 minutes or less.
If I find an article which I know will lead me down several rabbit trails, I’ll clip the articles to my Evernote account for future reading.
Fortunately or unfortunately, my natural conative instinct is to go deep on information. Translated, if I find an article that intrigues me, I’m tempted to search on similar news topics to feed my fact-finding appetite.
Curated Newsletters – The Greatest Innovation for Information Lovers
Every morning, I receive nearly 10 newsletters from SmartBrief, a site that curates news across several dozen categories.
I subscribe to more than a dozen SmartBriefs, but I generally focus on about 5 of them:
I quickly read through these the same way I scan the WSJ, The Boston Globe, or The New York Times. If something catches my eye, I click, scan, and repeat.
About weekly, there will be at least one article where I do a deeper, longer read where I’ll take notes. Still, I love these little curated newsletters. They are a time saver.
Aggregated News Through Flipboard
At this juncture, Flipboard is probably my favorite news aggregator. I’m finding that I spend far less time on Mashable and Business Insider these days.
Flipboard calls the categories you follow passions (don’t ask). I follow Business, Technology, and Sports. Under each category (notice I’m not using the term passion), you can pick topics that will be highlighted in your feed such as mine below:
Like the national publications mentioned above, I scroll through my Flipboard feed every morning at a very fast pace. On average, I click through about 3 articles per morning.
Bottom line, I never let my Flipboard habit become an addiction. It’s merely a tool to stay informed quickly, efficiently, and effectively.
Six More Sources I Check Periodically for News, Information, and Research Studies
- As CFOs, we should be students of the liberal arts. Accordingly, I like scanning Psychology Today about 1-2 times monthly. I always click on the topics Behavioral Economics, Cognition, Creativity, Sport and Competition, and a few others.
- Chief Executive is not part of my normal reading routine, but I do follow the the CEO Confidence Index each month.
- NYT used to have an online Small Business section. It’s gone, but they have the Entrepreneurship section instead. Supposedly, nothing has changed, but I still think the content was a tad better (maybe I’m mistaken). Still, this section is good.
- Periodically, I’ll catch a good piece over at CEB Blogs. Click on topics to find relevant areas you like.
- If you write/blog and coach clients, you have to follow Gallup.
- Like to have a list of all the blogs you follow? I use Feedly for that job.
What is your daily reading regimen? More? Less?
Remember, we don’t stay informed just for ourselves. We do it for those we serve. Remember, the goal of business is to create wealth and value for others. One of the ways we turn that goal into a reality is by staying informed.