How I Deal With Content Overload

Over the past couple of years I’ve been slowly honing a way to manage the deluge of online content that presents itself to me. The problem nowadays isn’t that there isn’t enough interesting content. It’s that there is way too much to handle.

Follow these steps, and your free time will open up measurably:

  1. Get an account at Pinboard.in and Instapaper. I love Pinboard because the service is easy to use, the developer is on top of his shit, and it works like a charm. It’s worth the $10 it costs today. I actually have an archival account, which costs $25 / year, so if I bookmark something and the site goes down, I will still have a saved copy.
  2. Set up two bookmarklets: the Instapaper “Read Later” one and the Pinboard “popup”.
  3. Add your Instapaper feed URL to Pinboard. This will sync your Instapaper and Pinboard accounts. Also make sure that new bookmarks are set as “unread”.
  4. Take 5 minutes once each day to browse through Reddit, HN, Stumbleupon, or whatever it is you use to find content. Click on “Read Later” for blog posts you find interesting and use the Pinboard popup for items of interest, such as tutorials, documentation, or websites you might want to check out. Tag them appropriately.
  5. Put aside an hour at the end of the day to read up on the Instapaper items you marked and your unread bookmarks on Pinboard on your iPad1, Kindle, computer, etc.

Can’t say what this will do for you, but I’ve easily gained a couple more hours of productivity each day from this. It’s easier to stay focused on the task at hand when you schedule your procrastination.

1 I’m considering writing an Pinboard.in iPad application. I couldn’t find one that I’d use. Does anyone else have a need for this?