Information Flow & Digest


Since I got an iPhone last March (my first smartphone), the way that I access and consume information has changed. While I’ve had an iPad for about 5 months, I hadn’t yet gotten a 3G card from my carrier. There is a big difference between having access to the Internet anywhere and just not being able to do so. The places I go to don’t have reliable free WiFi. The iPhone 4S allows me to tether my iPad for free, because my carrier is CHT in Taiwan and they are partly government-owned, my iPad 2 still hasn’t gotten an 3G card.

I might get one this month though, as it’s a bit tedious to maintain the connection all of the time. Still, it gets the job done.

In the beginning, I didn’t use my iOS devices for work, but work is insidious and it seeped it way into my routine. I check on all of my feeds through the Flipboard app that’s configured to fetch my Google Reader feeds. It’s perfect for my needs, and it allows me to quickly skim a lot of information, much quicker than it used to be on my desktop PC.

I star and mark certain items directly in Flipboard for later perusal. I save between 30-60% of the time that it used to take me before.

If I check my feeds a couple of times a day, I can arrive home ready to write, which is really good because I don’t like finishing so late anymore.

On a typical morning, I’ll wake up and grab my iPhone to check up on different updates. I’ll address everything that’s personal immediately, then move onto Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Once that’s done, I get out of bed, drink a strong milk tea, and then hop onto the computer to address all of my work-related emails and queries. I use Inbox Zero, so when I’ve emptied my inbox, which can take between 10 to 30 minutes, I start reading my feeds.

Contrary to before, I no longer read them on my aging PC in Firefox in Google Reader. I grew tired of the constant crashes of Firefox ever since they upgraded to version 9. Instead, I do this now on my iPhone or iPad through Flipboard. It’s very quick, and I star relevant items for my work as well as interesting posts.

Once that’s done, I go back onto my computer and address these items. If I wait too long, it gets hard to manage them. Once they’re all addressed, I can leave for work for the day. During my work day, I periodically check on my feeds on my iPhone or iPad 2 through Flipboard. My goal is to arrive home at 7PM and have nothing left to read so that I can immediately start writing.

Once the technology articles are done, I close Google Reader and work on the science articles. All of the science stuff is saved to Read-It-Later. All of the tech-related stuff is starred in Google Reader.


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