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.