Information Overload: 3 Ways to Gather Valuable Business Insight without Wasting Time

Here are three ideal ways to improve your information consumption diet.

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These days, there are so many ways to automate information you receive across media that can enable you to receive a constant flow of relevant insight that you can act on as an entrepreneur.

Clearly there is a tremendous amount of information available from all forms of media, but especially online where we tend to get the majority of our insight. Never before have we had so much information at our disposal.

But has increased access made us any smarter or more prepared for what lies ahead?

The answer is “Yes,” but only for some … unfortunately not all of us.

The difference being that those who can efficiently sift through all of this information quickly, learn from it, and move on hold a distinct advantage over others who either cannot a) find the valuable information or b) consume it in a timely manner.

The competitive advantage lies is leveraging technology, personal contacts and employing with the cliché of “working smarter rather than harder” when it comes to gathering information. Here are three ideal ways to improve your information consumption diet:

1. The 80/20 Rule with Help from Feeds

The first order of business is identifying the subject matter that you get the most out of every day, not once in a while, but every day. Applying the 80/20 principle here is key. Establish what select sources provide the most insight across your relevant subjects, be it blogs, magazines, newspapers, or niche sites, and concentrate most of your time with them.

Subscribing to those sites is important, but keep subscription numbers low to avoid piled up information. Relying on RSS feeds is also helpful. And periodic checks of the actual site can ensure you did not miss any lower profile articles or posts of interest.

A few technologies are especially helpful, such as Google alerts. This tool can send you occurrences of certain terms online right to your email inbox. Also aggregator tools such as Feedly, Feedreader and Trove take it a step further, offering greater personalization and identifying relevant subjects across various information outlets.

Further, if you want to archive what you come across for later use or to jot ideas and notes down, Evernote is the essential tool that allows for easy management of insight you gather. Finding the information is important, but being able to organize and use it effectively in the future is the paramount.

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