Posted in Uncategorized

How I manage to read 50 articles a day productively

I’m quite proud of the amount of content I read each day. On average I go through anywhere from 50 to 75 articles on various topics gathered from a number of websites and feeds from around the Internet. With this many pieces to go through, I had to assemble a solution allowing me to:

  1. Identify articles I want to read
  2. Remind myself to read them when the opportunity arose
  3. Identify if the article is worth sharing with others
  4. Share those articles with the right locations in social media
To accomplish this I’ve settled on three main tools:
  1. Feedly Pro
  2. IFTTT
  3. Todoist
  4. Buffer
The steps I needed to configure in my tools to make the solution workable were:
  1. Configure feeds I want to review each day in Feedly (this only needs to be done once for each feed)
  2. Configure a recipe in IFTTT to create new tasks in Todoist whenever I mark an article as Saved for Later in Feedly Pro
  3. Add a Label to Todoist called “@Share”
Each day I then work the solution:
  1. I open Feedly Pro and review the headlines of the articles captured from the previous day.
  2. On each article of interest, I mark the article as “Saved for Later”
  3. Once I have finished reviewing all the titles I mark the feed as Done in Feedly Pro which clears the remaining articles and resets my counts to zero
  4. When I set an article to “Saved for Later”, IFTTT automatically creates a new task in Todoist under a project I have called “Articles to Read” with a due date of Tomorrow. This way I have a full day to review the articles before my karma starts to get penalized in Todoist (I’ll explain this later).
  5. As the day progresses and I have a few moments, I open Todoist and go to the “Articles to Read” project and click on the link to the article that IFTTT automatically attached to the task that was created when I saved the article.
  6. I read the article and decide if it’s worth sharing.
  7. If the article is worth sharing I update the Todoist task with the label @Share and postpone it’s due date until the next day
  8. If the article isn’t worth sharing I mark the task as complete and move on to the next one
By using this process I’m able to move through my articles quickly and efficiently from any device.
At other points during the day I want to share those articles worth sharing, so I open Todoist, and filter for the @Share label.  I use an extension for Chrome for sharing web posts to Buffer which has already been configured to post to my most common social media destinations. I click on the extension, add a description, and send it on it’s now scheduled way.

Now about that karma thing. Todoist gives you a point system based method of measuring how successful you are at getting your tasks done. One of the aspects of “karma” in Todoist is if you have tasks overdue for more than four days, you lose karma. I’ve found it to be an excellent incentive (it would appear I’m more personally competitive than I thought) to keep tasks moving and finished.

There is a significant power to defining automated solutions to match how you work and what you want to accomplish.  Time spent understanding your productivity requirements can make all the difference in the world and keep you on top of your game.

Posted in Uncategorized

OneNote TIP of the Week Whether you’re using OneNote desktop or mobile, you can use brackets around text to automatically create a new page and a link to that page from your current note. For example if you have a daily note you track your activities from and then want to add a second note for minutes from a meeting just: [[Meeting Minutes – Aug 17]] The text format doesn’t matter. After pressing Enter your text will be highlighted with a dotted underline indicating you have a new, unedited note connected to that text.

from The Idea Pump

Posted in Uncategorized

Sections, Section Groups, and Notebooks in OneNote There’s a lot of interest around when is it right to use a section, section group, or notebook in OneNote to organize your information. I’ll admit it can be very confusing so here’s some rules of thumb I follow when managing my own. Notebooks * Use when you’re likely to need to share content. * Allows you to isolate materials around large topic areas (work vs. home, large projects, etc.) * Good for materials you may not need to access all the time (open the notebook when you need it, close it when you don’t) Sections * Useful for breaking down notebooks into logical groupings (work – meetings, notes, plans, schedules, etc.) * Can be secured by password for better protection * Can be color coded for easy reference Section Groups * When you need larger subdivisions in a notebook (Work – Projects (Section Group) – Project A (Section)) * Helpful when archiving content into a master notebook If you’re organizing your personal content, don’t worry about getting it right the first time. If you’re organizing collaborative content, adding a page showing the organizational structure can be a boon to anyone using your notebook.

from The Idea Pump

Posted in News

Dealing with a lousy website

I don’t know about you but I get the majority of my news and information from the Internet on my smartphone.  Now is it too much to ask for our local newspaper to have a website even remotely designed for mobile device consumption?  Not ours.  It’s unusable, in a nutshell.  To paraphase the movie, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.”

What did I do?  I used IFTTT, Pocket, and the RSS feed from the newspaper website to create my own newspaper so to speak.  Now I have a rule in IFTTT that monitors the local news RSS feed from the site and creates a new article in Pocket each time something is added.  Pocket does an excellent job cleaning up the content to make things much easier to read.

Hey Mercury…if you want me to see your ads…fix your website.  Until then I’ll be reading the ad-free version that’s in my Pocket.


I’ve been running this configuration for more than a week now and I don’t think I’d go back to their website even if they fixed it.  The combination of Pocket’s clean interface plus Text To Speech has made this a winning combination for my commute to and from work.  I can go from article to article and listen to the newspaper being read to me rather than flipping through poorly designed ads and page layout clutter.