The Internet Decoded
Lately, I have been thinking about how many people think that I spend countless hours scouring the internet in order to unearth its treasure trove of information. Conversely, rather I just try to be efficient about how I spend my time looking for resources that will help me become a better, father, teacher, runner etc. . The web, the net, the 2.0, whatever you want to call it is full of rich content, but is also full of some impressively distracting time-wasters too! So, let me give you the inside scoop of how I avoid, most of the time, not all of the time, these distractions that the internet presents on a daily basis.
One of the most important things you can do to help yourself get organized and remember what you find on the web is by using a bookmarking system such as Google Bookmarks, Delicious or my favorite Diigo (a favorite among educators). The process of creating a bookmarking system helps you quickly recall your favorite sites and some even allow you to organize your bookmarks into categories to facilitate the process.
Once you have found your sites, blogs etc. it is now time for you to figure out a way to stay on top of the latest news they have to offer you. For me this was at first a very daunting task considering the hundreds of bookmarks I have, it would take me weeks to go back and forth between sites remember specific articles. In an attempt to absorb this seemingly insurmountable lot of information I looked into various methods of reading all these articles in one place. The results of my findings led me into using the following sites: Google Reader, Trap.It .These sites do exactly what I hoped they would, automatically fetch the latest articles from all of my favorite sites and also allow me to organize them in a way that suites my reading enjoyment. Another stellar aspect of these aforementioned sites is their ability to allow you to share this information with various social sites (Facebook, Twitter Google+). Lastly you have another option within these readers to save your favorite articles for reading .
In considering the smartphone (Android,Iphone/Ipad,Blackberry),tablet world we live in presently it would be silly of me to not mention some apps that are available to help you take your reading and research on the go. So here we go. I have tried many apps, some not so good and the list I present are some of my personal favorites. Pulse, a super visual easy to use and share articles with social networks and also save for later.
Another super reader app that is quite new and created by Google is Google Currents. This app is similar to Pulse in that it is visually stunning and very easy to add unique sources of sites to match your current interests. Currents also does a good job of importing your Google Reader feeds too. Lastly if you know you are going to be away from a data connection you can pin your favorite articles for offline reading too.
If you would like to have access to your Google Reader on the go you will feel right at home with mobile app that mimics the style of Google Reader Desktop.
One more thing just to wrap up this topic is how I stay organized covering this amount of information. I use the app/site Astrid. This site/app allows me to set reminders to do things ranging from, writing this post to grabbing the milk or making the call. Astrid is also very social allowing you to share your list with a friend, spouse etc to help you keep on task despite all the challenges life throws at you.
Android Market Link: Here
Itunes App Store Link: Here
What are you waiting for? You now have all the resources to tame the web and make it work for you.If you have any favorites apps/readers please let me know.