Back in May, we posted about the crisis of info-static we face. With more and more noise out there in the webosphere, it gets harder to tune into a clean signal of valuable relevant information.
As promised, we polled our creative team – from the productivity-oriented account managers to the inspiration-logged designers to the system-obsessed interactives, to find out the best tools people use to manage their info-diets.
The Three Basic Strategic Approaches:
1. The Inbox.
In the All Roads Lead to Email approach, everything – from RSS feeds to newsletters to client’s eblasts to yammer and LinkedIn weekly summaries – is routed into the InBox. There it can be organised into folders, skimmed or saved.
Pros: Less ADHD from checking multiple accounts and sources + confidence that if you’re on top of your email, you’re on top of the world.
Cons: Average number of emails a day – 120 = impossiblity that you’re ever on top of your email. Opening inbox after a 2 week vacation can lead to immediate brain melt-down.
2. The Read it Later Stockpile.
For time-pressed optimists, there’s the stockpile approach, where treasures that are stumbled upon are stashed for later in a tumblr, via the Pocket app (formerly Read It Later), or tagged as bookmarks.
Our AD “drags bookmarks to the desktop and when there’s too much stuff on it, I clean it out.” Our copywriter favourites tweets and drops videos, links and articles for later reference to a tumblr started just for that purpose. Our interactive director has downloaded the Pocket app, which strips content down to its bare bones, and shunts it to his iPad where he can read it cleanly, off-line.
Recently on a client project, we’ve been using Springpad, a cloud-based scrapbook or notebook, that lets you “spring” or save articles, images, ideas and notes from the web, and invite other collaborators.
Pros: Interesting-looking things are saved for a rainy day.
Cons: Rainy days are hard to come by. And interesting-looking things aren’t always that interesting. (“What the hell did I save that for?”)
3. Hail the iPad.
Before getting an iPad, our designer admits that he didn’t really have a system at all. “If I found stuff, I’d put it on a sticky and work out where to share it to later.” Now, with feedly and flipboard on his iPad, the apps curate content for him, according to several themes he’s selected. “I don’t have time to go and find all the different posts but they curate the top trends. I like feeling like I’m at the start of something being shared. I don’t look at anything older than 12 hours, because then, it’s either too old or it will come back around.”
Pros: Beautiful interface.
Cons: You’re potentially getting the same source material as everyone else who has selected those themes.