Getting the Most Out of Magazines

I subscribe to a number of magazines and newspapers.  Here are some of the strategies I use to get the most out of them while keeping the time commitment to a reasonable level.

  • Skim – I’m not looking to fully read every article.  Much of the time, the first few paragraphs and a quick glance over any charts will tell me what I need to know.
  • TOC – The table of contents is another useful item for skimming.  I usually prefer to skim the actual articles as well, but the TOC gives you a good feel for what might be interesting.
  • Cut – I have a handy little paper cutter that slides down the page right next to the bound edge.  I cut out any articles that look like they might be worth more than a skim.
  • Mail – One of the reasons I subscribe to magazines is help me in my networking.  I’m constantly on the lookout for articles that will appeal to people in my network.  When I find one, I’ll cut it out, and send it to them with a note.
  • Go Bankrupt – If my reading stack gets high, I get rid of some magazines without reading them. For some, this means keeping the ones that look the most interesting.  For financial information and news, I usually throw out the oldest ones.
  • Scan – If there is an article that looks like something I might want later, I’ll put it in the file for my assistant to scan.  Alternatively, I may grab a copy off the magazine’s website and print it directly to a PDF so it is fully searchable without any OCR errors.
So, how do you use magazines?  If you have any tips, please share them in the comments.


  1. says

    These are great tips. Another way to get the most out of magazines (if you’re creative or have kids – or both!) is to cut the images and words out of them before you throw them in the recycling bin. Not necessary the same as what you’re talking about here, but it’s another great use for them. :)

  2. says

    Great tips! I use magazines to look for work related to writing since I’m a journalist (mainly online and/or freelance), then sometimes I use them to get ideas for fashion. My mom uses old magazines to make scrapbooks and collages though.

  3. says

    Very interesting tips! I receive magazines all the time that I don’t find the time to read so they usually kick around for awhile before being stashed on a bookshelf. I’m with Anelly, I read mostly online!

    Related post on my site (I thought might add to the discussion):
    Paper or Digital, How Do You Read?

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