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Magazines and other reading material

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  • Magazines and other reading material

    I have loads of trade magazines in my industry "mortgages" I am always learning from them. I use them sometimes as reference, but mostly I get ideas that are triggered from reading the various "best practices" articles.
    I usually read these magazines during spare time so getting to them is never really an issue. I keep them so I can go through them again to get ideas or to refresh my memory about a pending law change. problem is I have no index.

    How should I handle these?

  • #2
    If the physical integrity of the magazine itself isn't critical, you could tear out the article and either put it in reference or perhaps your Tickler File to be reminded about it at a future date.

    In my trade (Landscape Architecture) I am inundated with images via trade magazines and websites. Usually the magazine itself is of little use for me except for small snippets and photos, so I have regular 'Rip & Read' parties where I go through a stack of magazines and tear out any useful stuff. I then have 3 huge binders loosely alphabetized into which I put these images and articles.

    There are certain periodicals that are more valuable to me, and those get shelved or placed into large binders in a systematic fashion. Most magazines publish regular indices so one can quickly locate a topic of interest among the issues.



    • #3
      Read and Review...

      I don't know if you've seen, but here's a great little resource on this topic:


      • #4
        Re: Read and Review...

        Originally posted by Jason Womack
        I don't know if you've seen, but here's a great little resource on this topic:
        Jason - the link doesn't work anymore, and I'm curious - what was it about?


        • #5
          magazines & reading material

          I have become much more intentional about ripping and filing, then tossing the magazine into the recycling. Actually, listing NA's based on what I'm reading makes it almost like a game -- I have tried more recipes and made more home repairs since starting GTD than ever before.

          At the risk of sounding too anal, I just started making my own index for two magazines -- the time it takes to jot the topic and page number, then add it to the alphabetical topc list, is less than the time to create a new file or hole-punch it for a notebook. This has really helped with the tiny "aha!" references -- maybe one or two sentences about a good way to pick up shards of broken glass. I buy cardboard magazine boxes from an office store to save the originals. Again, if you're feeling anal and perfectionist, you can cover the outside with fabric or pretty paper.


          • #6
            Is the "shards or broken glass" suggestion one involving duct tape or the one involving a potato?


            • #7

              Well, yes, packing tape. Heavens! A potato! Frankly, I was horrified as I reread my post -- are recipe-filing and drill bit care worthy of this forum?! Maybe yes. My brother's late music teacher, Nadia Boulanger, said that all endeavors die from lack of attention to detail -- whether it's baking a cake or composing a symphony. I shouldn't be so defensive. DA says that many people are highly organized in major areas of their life, but falling apart in others. GTD has helped me a great deal in my professional life, but it is absolutely saving my sanity at home.


              • #8
                It isn't so much that recipe filing and drill bit care are worthy or not worthy, it's the fact that the organizational techniques that work will apply equally to personal, professional, big, small, and insignificant areas of our lives. Otherwise, we fall into the trap of allowing the truly insignificant stuff to disrupt our lives way out of proportion to the value they add.

                I'm about 6 months into GTD and still struggling with much of the "leftover" stuff from the past. But one thing that has become crystal clear to me is how the insignifcant and unimportant stuff I allowed to drift in the past can jump up and bite me, usually right when I'm in the middle of something important. I think I am now qualified to write a book about that little life experience.


                • #9
                  Re: Read and Review...

                  Originally posted by JonathanAquino

                  Jason - the link doesn't work anymore, and I'm curious - what was it about?
                  My recommendation: When you find something on the DAC site that you would like to reference again, save it.

                  I don't have time to look this up on the net, but I suspect this is the article that would have been found if the link worked:

                  Read & Review Material - How to manage it

                  "How do I deal with all the things I tell myself I want to read?

                  "This is one of the most common questions I get from high-level professionals, most of whom are experiencing an increasingly overwhelming barrage of printed and electronic materials to be read and reviewed. It represents the largest volume of personal pending materials. If it is out of control, it can seriously impair one's personal organization system. It is a major category we address and assist people to handle in our one-on-one Workflow Coaching Program, and an area which, when handled effectively, can greatly increase your sense of personal control.

                  Here are some basic tips:

                  Follow the two-minute rule of in-basket processing

                  If the action on any item takes less than two minutes to process, do it now. This applies even to low-priority reading. So if the catalog, the memo, or the flyer takes less than two minutes to scan, handle it once. Skim it, decide if there's anything of value for later processing, and if not, throw it away. For example, if your Sportys Tool Catalog takes less than two minutes to browse through and decide that you don't need any new exotic tools this month, recycle it then. This will likely reduce the amount of "stuff" lying around your work area.

                  Decide: Do I still want to read this, or just keep it for reference?

                  This is a distinction many people don't make on the front end. They just stack it up without clarifying whether something is purely for reference ("I'd like to be able to have this later to refer to if I need it") or action ("I still need/want to read this.")

                  If it is merely for reference, utilize a good filing system for your magazines and journals, and remove it visually (and psychologically) from the rest of your pending materials. If you still want to read and review the article, magazine, or long memo, put it in a "Read & Review" box, basket, tray, or folder, as part of your mix of items to complete. (This is a critical decision for physicians, lawyers, accountants, and other professionals who receive large quantities of potentially useful information in professional journals and industry magazines.)

                  Do I need to sort different types of "Read & Review"?

                  Some people have such a volume of this type of material, it is useful to sort it into three sub-categories: Serious, FYI, and Junk/shopping.

                  Serious. These are the memos, documents, or articles that require concentrated focus on your next-action lists.

                  FYI (for your information). These are the memos you’ve been copied on, the articles and magazines people have routed to you because you might be interested, the corporate newsletter, this article if you print it out, etc. These usually require only a "skim and scan" kind of focus.

                  Junk/shopping/browsing. These are your catalogs, newsletters and newspapers. If all three categories are mixed together, it all feels potentially "serious." And there is no easily perceived completion. If they are separated, then: "Serious" items can be targeted and finished when you have the ability to focus on them; "FYI" stacks can be taken with you and processed while waiting for meetings to start, dental appointments, etc.; and "Junk/shopping/browsing" can be organized to be available when you only have the attention span of a gnat! (Externally imposed: on the tarmac waiting for the plane to take off. Internally generated: at 4 p.m. after you've been in six meetings all day and your brain feels like scrambled eggs.) And when that pile falls over, you can throw it away!

                  Keep the "Read & Review" categorized, accessible, and visible

                  At your desk, dedicate one (or more) Rubbermaid or similar interlocking plastic trays to "Read & Review." Make it the top tray --in a separate stack from your in-basket-- which also needs to be a top tray. It needs lots of room to throw things into it on the run.

                  If you move around with a briefcase, label a separate file folder you carry with you for "Read & Review"; or dedicate a file-type section of a briefcase or portable expandable file for these materials. Traveling offers many opportunities to process this material (on the plane, in an airline club, waiting in line, waiting for meetings, etc.)

                  Cancel subscriptions

                  Are you really ever going to read those National Geographics? (Subscriptions usually don't cancel themselves. You have to do that.)

                  Email Users: Print out the long FYI, and cc:s

                  One of the growing potential sink-holes of your time is reading long emails you've been copied on while you're processing them on the front end. Instead, punch the print button to get hard copy to put into your "Read & Review" basket or folder, to be handled at a more appropriate time.

                  All materials contained in any DAC Site are the copyrighted property of the David Allen Company.
                  All trademarks, service marks, and trade names are proprietary to the David Allen Company.

                  Hope this is the right one!


                  • #10
                    Carolyn - I'm grateful for your post. It's exactly what I was looking for.


                    • #11
                      Whew! I'm glad that helped. I had time this morning to look for it on the Web Archive: