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Dec 20

How to Read Blogs

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How to Read Blogs:

I know, this is the dumbest title to a post ever and maybe a little condescending, but I feel like I can help you here. Stay with me for a few hundred words because this will change your life.

Step 1:

Find good blogs to read. Generally I like to read blogs that will improve my life and give me tips on how to live a happier more efficient existence (you know, like this one). Anyways, bookmark them all and, better yet, subscribe to them for e-mail reminders of new posts. If you have not already done so for this blog please do right now. I will wait for you to finish!

Step 2:

Find a time when you can quietly read them. If they are pure entertainment or fluff you can read them whenever, but for the serious stuff with actual ideas you may want to implement, you need to focus. I  generally read them in the late afternoon or evening but everyone is different.

Step 3:

Have several of these ancient devices on hand to transcribe the best ideas (strawberries optional).

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Photo: Pixabay

 

 

Yes, I know everything is fancy and digital and in the cloud or whatever, but it’s not enough. Chances are you are reading dozens of articles a day, all with earth shattering ideas of awesomeness…and you are going to forget most of it unless you write it down.*

The brain is a terrible recording device. Write things down!

I know its old school but it works. Be very selective about what you write in these notebooks. Have a book for each category of blogs you frequent. Maybe have a notebook for finance, another for food, another for workouts, travel,etc. Sub-categorize them with as much detail as you are comfortable with. Use those little sticky tabs if you want. Doodle in them. Put stickers on them. Keep it simple enough to be easy, but complex enough to be useful. Put the best of what you read in there and in no time you will have a very rich book of extremely useful ideas. Every time you write something new you will be glancing over much of the related information and integrating it into your mind. Soon these ideas will become subconscious habits and will spill over into your actions.

I have also started doing this with each book I read. It takes longer, but after I’m done I have a several page summary of my favorite parts. For long passages I just summarize and put the page number(s) in my notebook.

Try this out and tell me what you think. Do you have a different way that works well for you? Please comment, I would love to hear from you.


 

*I know there are electronic ways to save content such as Evernote. I use these too, but I find the act of physically writing something down distills the information and cements it a little better in the mind. I have hundreds of web-clippings I never return to. It’s just too easy to clip an article and never go back to it. Digital and paper each serve a purpose; use them both.

5 comments

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  1. Andy

    Vaild points. I tend to get caught up trying to digitally record and store my ideas / thoughts on my cell phone. I think you’re right, sometimes there is no substitute for a pen and paper. Great post, thank you!

    1. TheHappyPhilosopher

      There is such a thing as “digital clutter” but we tend to ignore it because unlike physical possessions it takes up no space. Writing is so much more time intensive it forces you to slow down, synthesize and only keep whats really important. I love the simplicity of it. Glad you enjoyed the post and thanks for your thoughts.

  2. Rob @ MoneyNomad

    A great simple post. I completely agree that it is useful to keep something around to take notes on (whether a notebook or your computer notepad). Especially as a blogger, following other bloggers and taking notes is a great way to find new ideas for your own blog. I’ve come to the conclusion that the best way to remove writers block is to keep reading constantly – and of course, blogs are a great place to do this.

    1. TheHappyPhilosopher

      Rob,

      Thanks for stopping by. I completely agree with you. One of the side effects of starting this blog is it has forced me to branch out and read more books and blogs, often ones I wouldn’t normally read. It’s amazing to click on a few links and have the ideas come pouring in. Your blog looks great, I will have to spend some time over there!

  3. Sarah

    This is a fantastic suggestion. I save so many articles to ‘read later’ and later never happens. This may just be the exercise I need to take action and not miss out on the amazing content.

  1. A Hack For Your Life-Hacks | The Happy Philosopher

    […] recommend keeping a short journal of your observations. We already decided this was a good idea for reading blogs. If you rely only on your memory you will expose the data to dozens of different cognitive […]

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