Processing Information in Today’s World

How should a busy CIO get information he or she needs in today’s world?

Gone are the days where the newspaper and monthly industry magazines were the best method to get our news. The Internet has made real-time access to large amounts of news fast and the era of tablets is ushering in ease and portability.

Trying to keep current in today’s sea of information is definitely a challenge. This is especially true for the CIO who’s trying to stay on top of technology trends, many of which are changing every week.

Personally I follow about 60 trusted news sources and blogs every day. I’m likely very similar to you, I want as much relevant information as possible in the shortest amount of time Here are some tactics to help you become more efficient with your time and information processing.

Use RSS to keep up with headlines

If you aren’t an RSS user, you should be. It’s an excellent way to become efficient with your time and a good way to get through a bunch of information to find the important stuff quickly. Here is a previous post on how I process RSS feeds. Only subscribe to sites that inform you directly or entertain you. Try to get a cross section of opinion and analysis. Don’t just consume information that is an echo chamber for your point of view!

According to Clay Johnson in his book “The Information Diet”, we should be consuming information that is as close to the source as possible, then researching if it is something that we need to know. This is a good way to approach the RSS feeds that you follow. Using Feedler Pro on my iPad and iPhone allows me access to my Google Reader feeds which allows me easy access to a nice pool of headlines to scan during the day.

Every moring I spend about 30 minutes scanning the new headlines. If I see something I want to follow up on I use the “send to Evernote” feature to see it to my “unprocessed” notebook in Evernote. This allows me to review it later in the course of my normal processing to determine what, if anything, I want to do with that specific piece of information.

Information “overload” is here to stay. There is no stopping it. So, rather than be a luddite and unplug completely, use RSS to keep up with what is important to you and the things that you need to get done in a more efficient way.

About Michael Keithley

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