Creative Leadership

My System for Getting On Top of Information

I get a number of people asking me “How do you find out this stuff?” Or “How do you process news and information for the material on your blog?” So I thought I’d outline a little about the process I go through everyday to scan issues and stories. Whether you write a blog or not, your job as a media professional or everyday person is to be aware of the issues facing the culture. So developing a system for digesting information, and then thinking about it and processing it will make a dramatic difference in your ideas, your strategies, and your intellectual depth. It’s nothing stupendous, but it works for me:

1. I wake up every morning around 6:30am and work out at least 3-4 days a week. While working out, I usually listen to podcasts.

2. During breakfast, I read the Wall Street Journal.

3. From a weekly newsmagazine perspective, I subscribe to World magazine. Honestly, I have a magazine fetish, so I also get sports, technology, and cultural magazines like “Image Journal” as well.

4. From an online perspective, my favorite RSS reader is Feedly. In my case, I have:

— A Branding page of RSS feeds from my favorite sources on branding and marketing.
— A Media page of RSS feeds from various media sources.
— A News page from news sources
— A Religious page
— A Weather page from the various cities I travel to on a regular basis.

Here’s the point – you want information about what’s happening in the world, but you need to be able to go through it efficiently. You defeat the purpose if you sit around all day watching the news and reading magazines. That’s why I:

— Get the morning news while working out.
— Read the papers during breakfast.
— Catch up on my magazines during plane trips. (Being trapped on a plane makes you wonderfully productive).
— Scan through the RSS feeds when I get a few moments.

By the start of work you’re done, and ready to use that information to beat the competition, create new projects, do your work more effectively, or whatever. My system may not work for you, but the important thing is to develop something, so you can get the information you need to make a difference out there.

Also – share this with others who could use a few productivity tips. We need more people out there wrestling with issues and confronting the culture in a compassionate, creative way, and the key is getting the right information first. So e-mail this link to people who could use it!

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  1. Isn't the Image Journal a magazine published by the Center for Religious Humanism?  What kind of input will that have in your thoughts?  I understand getting a flavor of who to reach and how to be relevant, but as a Christian sometimes you have to watch your sources of input.

    Curiously Wondering,



    Humanism helped spark the Reformation. So, it is not historically opposed to the faith of Christ.

    Reading views I may not fully agree with does not diminish my own convictions but it does help me comprehend the convictions of others, which (I would hope) only strengthens my ability to present my beliefs in a more effective and compelling way.

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