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Just wondering how people handle reading?

Do you have a reading context? A reading folder on the computer with files?
Do you place emails or RSS feeds you want to read in a special place?

Currently, I have a repeating action in my "Process Collection Buckets" context that repeats everyday that says:
Read 15 minutes in reading folder

This doesn't usually cover other reading I do during the day, like emails and RSS feeds, but is more for long articles I find.
Reading is such a complex subject. If I think about it, I have three separate "reading" areas.

The first would encompass e-mail, RSS feeds, and forums. I limit my "reading" of these to once a day -- in my "review" project. I spend a little time every day "planning/reviewing" in omnifocus and the actual reading of emails, etc is done once a day. That prevents me from checking email, etc every 5 minutes. I love planning, so my review context is almost a reward for doing other things I am not as excited about. During this time, I "star" or bookmark everything I want to spend time reading and thinking about. This is where I decide on what goes into my "third" type of reading pile.

In the second type of reading, I do have a reading context. This is my "doing" reading that moves projects forward. I really only use it for reading related to a project that I have that involves more of studying and in depth "getting it." This is almost more of a research aspect/learning aspect for me.

The third type of reading is really a someday/maybe reading. It's set up as a task on my weekly review. It's the e-mails, RSS feeds and physical papers that come in that I don't need to "act on," but would like to review and consider making projects/filing for reference etc. This is my "processed to read file." I either go through these between projects, especially when my mind is all fuzzy and I just need a boost or during my weekly reviews. I find after a week, a lot of things I thought I might want to spend my time on, I really don't anymore and just get rid of them (75%). There's a special "reading file" I have on my desk for these papers, "stars" in google RSS or tagged to read in bookmarks. These are always emptied at the end of the week. This way, they don't sit around and I don't have to wonder if I missed something. This is **NOT** a pile where I put in e-mails I need to respond to or work that needs to be done. It's a short-term pile of someday/maybe things (ideas/opportunities) that I make a firm decision if it goes in my someday/maybe pile, reference or trash by the end of the week during my weekly review. I could put them all in a someday/maybe pile or reference, but really like to keep these organized/clean and minimal.

Now that I look at it, it's somewhat complicated, but really works for me.

Last edited by anon; 2008-12-09 at 08:31 AM..
Inspiring workflow Anon. Thanks for the post.
Inspiring. Thanks for taking the time to describe it.
I've probably got a few too many buckets here that should be cleaned out, but I've found that Instapaper is a great resource for flagging items to be read later. This benefits from pruning, but it's a very lightweight tool, I've found it less cumbersome than trying to use a "ToRead" tag on your own account.

I also use Google Reader, and star items to follow up on later.

One thing that is direct from David Allen, is keeping a Read/Review folder in my bag/briefcase at all times. While Davidco sells expensive poly folders, I found these at Staples a year and a half ago and they're great - I applied labelmaker labels to them when they first went into my bag and haven't come off since.

I'll tear out magazine or newspaper articles, or occasionally print something out, and keep it in there. Leisurely stuff, different than on-the-go reference materials (that's kept in the "Action Support" folder).

(Actually, just looked at the DavidCo page for the poly folder link, and found that their $19 for 18 folders price is comparable to the Staples $6 for 6 folders price. I've only ever used the six, though - occasionally I'll slip a project-specific manila folder into my bag if need be. The Poly folders hold up very well to daily abuse)

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