Personal Knowledge Management: Filtering information

Another assignment of the 60 days PKM-course that I currently participate in, is to create filters and streamline the channels with incoming information.

I use several incoming streams, like Twitter and RSS-feeds. I created several Twitter lists to categorize the people and the companies that I follow, because I thought that reading by subject would make it easier to read more tweets. I created a column for each list in Hootsuite and I read these mainly on my smartphone.

With Inoreader, I follow many RSS-feeds from interesting blogs. I categorized these blogs, but I find that I need more categories. I read these on my laptop. I prefer Inoreader before Feedly for two reasons:

  • I can easily load the entire article when only an abstract is provided in the RSS-feed.
  • Also, the free version has a function to export an article to Evernote.

I use Evernote to store EVERY article that I like. I even use Evernote as a ‘read later’-tool (and don’t use Pocket or Instapaper), because:

  • I can highlight parts of the texts in Evernote while I’m reading the article.
  • I can immediately add a short summary to the note in Evernote that holds the article.
  • It is immediately at the right storage place to serve as input for many other things, like a blog post, a resource that I’d like to share in my newsletter, or a project that I’m working on.

I also like Diigo for saving, highlighting and commenting articles, but I decided to keep my articles all in Evernote, because then I have everything in one place. And even if I haven’t read the article yet, it might already come up in a search that I do for the subject that the article is about.

Some problems that I encounter in this process are:

  • There is a lot of double info. When I follow someone’s blog and tweets, I sometimes see a blog post already via Twitter, and then see it again later via RSS in Inoreader. But I will keep following them on Twitter, because otherwise I’ll miss the other thoughts and articles that they share.
  • There is just not enough time to read everything that I find interesting. I can’t read every tweet from my entire timeline on Twitter (not even after I broke it down into lists) and it’s very hard to keep up with every RSS-feed. And meanwhile, my reading list in Evernote just keeps growing.

Especially the last problem is hard to solve. It means I will have to take more time to read these articles and/or I have to make a better selection of articles that I save in Evernote to read later.

This again emphasizes the importance of constantly evaluating and improving my filters and creating better routines, which I hope to learn more about in this course.

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