Earlier this year I started publishing a "week in review" post every week (...most weeks...). The reason was mostly just to catch things as they went by—even if there wasn't enough going on in life to LIFO everything you see and hear, the old-but-not-too-important stuff fades, and it's interesting to see it again. There's great and terrible stuff to be mined from the things you've forgotten.
Over the year though, the purpose of the week in review morphed into something else more functional. How to describe it... let's try analogies. When I started my first job, I had a bit of student loan, car loan, and credit card debt to deal with. I never really knocked it out until I set up spreadsheets to list every transaction, model future known transactions (rent, bills, etc.), and model the change in debt/assets over time. It was really tedious stuff. However, it was the tedious listing of everything that made each individual transaction matter. And over the course of two years I sloped debt down to zero, where it belongs.
Week in review posts worked similarly for the information I was consuming. Once I started posting a list of the interesting things I read, podcasts I listened to, things I wrote, etc., there was a change in what I consumed. I started looking for higher quality content, and citing the sources properly—because if I was going to tediously log each transaction, publicly, I wanted to consume and share things that I would want to put my name on. It was a total accident, but it was definitely an improvement.
PS: The process goes something like this:
- Discover. Subscribe to sources in Feedly. Subscribe to podcasts in Pocket Casts. Pay attention to the suggested links when I open up a blank tab in Chrome (surprisingly good choices). Read boring journal papers and follow the citations out (from the list of citations) and in (via Google Scholar). There's too much to read at once, so I store the articles in Instapaper and papers to read in CiteULike (which appears to be dying, need to find a new citation manager). I only keep the most recent episode of each subscribed podcast on my phone and have learned to gladly let the ones I miss just pass on by—it's healthier than worrying about missing out on something.
- Note. I keep notes about the interesting stuff in Evernote—if you see any green links on the site, it's going to a publicly shared note. I also push links of podcasts and articles to kittell.tumblr.com as I finish them.
- Share. Every Sunday: /category/week-in-review