Please Note: This post is a year or more old. Consequently, content may have changed, gone out of date, broke, opinions have changed or is now just plain wrong. If you have any questions, concerns or issues with this content, please feel free to send me an email, including the link, and what issue you're experiencing.
The news is something personal to all of us. We develop rituals to keep ourselves informed by various means. This task is difficult for me to accomplish, due to many different factors of my life. One factor, above all else, keeps me from staying up-to-date. I simply don’t remember to check the tools I’ve setup for this task.
As of this writing, I have two major tools for aggregating and then storing news I’m interested in. Feedbin (open source, $5/mo for their hosting) aggregates different news sites via RSS. Pocket (open-ish source, $5/mo for their hosting) is where I send items I want to spend time reading. Additionally, I have both the Pocket app and Reeder (v3) on my phone to save ancillary articles and to read them on the go. This seems like the ideal setup as each tool does it’s job, leaving me the arbiter of what is deemed “interesting”.
Since the tooling does not need any significant changing, perhaps my own habits and methodology need tweaking. To that end, I’ve added three 15-minute calendar appointments to the day. One in the morning, after I wake up. One in the afternoon for lunchtime reading. And one in the evening so that I can be updated on any changes to the latter two, or new developing stories. This allows me to focus on the task instead of trying to force it in where it would be a disruption.
While my brain’s software may not be as finely tuned as some, but I can use tools to augment it. Though it may seem trivial to do what I’m doing here, the important point is that we are surrounded by often underutilized tools, because we’re too busy “in the moment” to utilize them. Taking a second and looking at a problem can often uncover hidden truth and allow you to explore new methods of solving it using existing tools at your disposal.