Too much to read? Here’s what I’m doing

In days gone by, I used to have huge stacks of unread magazines piled up in my office. Every once in awhile, when I was tripping over those stacks, I would spend a couple of hours and go through them.

I tore out the articles I wanted to read, staple the pages together (or fold the corners to hold the pages together) and throw out the rest of the magazine.

Much better.

The “to read” pile was more manageable, but the pile was still huge and more often than not, I didn’t read anything.

I knew there was gold in those articles so I started doing something to lessen the load. Every few days, I’d throw a handful of articles in my briefcase, to read at night or waiting in court or at the doctor’s office.

I’d read them and when they were gone, I’d grab a few more. Eventually, that huge pile of articles was gone (until I added more).

It’s been a long time since I subscribed to a paper magazine (or newspaper), but going digital has made things worse. Until recently, I had hundreds of unread articles and blog posts and pdfs in a reading list in Evernote.

I did something similar to what I used to do with magazines.

I set up two notebooks in Evernote. (You can do the same thing with tags, folders, labels, or briefcases if you have paper.)

I put (no more than) 20 articles in the first notebook. Everything else goes in a second notebook.

When I’ve read those 20 articles, I go to the second notebook and move 20 more to the first notebook.

If I find myself with more than 20 articles in my first notebook, I move the overage to the second notebook.

I still have hundreds of unread articles in Evernote but I don’t see them. I only see 20 (at a time).

My reading list is manageable and I get a lot more reading done.

My ebook: Evernote for Lawyers

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