Managing Digital Information


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We're all suffering from the same condition: information overload and filter failure. Yet some people seem to manage the torrent of information more efficiently and effortlessly than others. What's their secret? We'll take a tour of some of the tools available to manage the mass of science-related content -- from RSS to reference managers, and from collaboration docs to social aggregation. We'll also reveal the daily reading habits of some of the best-known purveyors of science content, and come armed with your own tips for battling info overload too.

From the ScienceOnline2012 session, "Drowning in Information! How Can We Create Organization & Balance -- Tools and Strategies for Managing Information Overload (Science and Otherwise)"

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Managing Digital Information

  1. 1. Managing Digital Information ScienceOnline2012 <ul><li>Session Moderators </li></ul><ul><li>Simon Frantz </li></ul><ul><li>Walter Jessen </li></ul>Live tweeting the session? Please use the hashtags: #scio12 #info
  2. 2. <ul><li>Survey ran for 2 weeks (from Jan 2 – Jan 15) </li></ul><ul><li>Promoted via Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>Surveyed 100 people </li></ul>SURVEY: MANAGING DIGITAL INFORMATION
  3. 3. * Top 5 answers SURVEY QUESTION 1 * * * * * *
  5. 5. * Top 5 answers SURVEY QUESTION 3 * * * * *
  9. 9. SURVEY QUESTION 7 <ul><li>Top 5 tools used to </li></ul><ul><li>manage information </li></ul><ul><li>Email </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>RSS feed reader </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>Google+ </li></ul>
  10. 10. SURVEY QUESTION 8 “ Favourite Tweets. Save articles from RSS feeds to reading list on Safari or save on delicious, reshare to twiter via twiterfeed “ “ It's a river of news, and I'm hip deep in the middle of the stream.“ Describe a typical workflow to filter and consume information
  11. 11. SURVEY QUESTION 9 Not many answers … “ Folder Hierarchy“ “ Tagging in Evernote, folders in email“ Describe your technique for organizing information
  12. 12. Chris Anderson, Wired   “ The strategy of my media diet is to ignore the noise” “ Ignore any news you don’t hear in a social context. First you have chosen to talk with these people, and second they have chosen to bring it up. If I hear about news through social means, and if I hear about it three times, then I pay attention.” Feed-centric media diet based on Google Reader separated into three subject folders: media; business; and robotics   No more than 300 follows on Twitter Tips for managing information overload
  13. 13. Brainpicker Email: Meticulously colour coded and filtered Twitter: Follow very few people, only people who give good link. Google Reader: Create priority folders Every Sunday night at 11pm, I’ll declare “Google reader” bankruptcy” by marking all of my items as “read” – and then I’m able to start afresh on Monday morning.”  Tips for managing information overload
  14. 14. Cory Doctorow’s guide to stop your inbox from exploding (THE GUARDIAN, 2/22/2011) 1)   Sort your inbox by subject a.   Helps if you are emailing several ppl about a subject, e.g. birth, office query. b.   Can identify spam that uses same subject line or foreign alphabet spam 2)   Colour-code messages from known senders a.   Learn to love your rules and filters within your email client. b.   Add to your address book anyone who receives mail from you. c.    Change colour of messages from known senders. 3)   Kill people who make you crazy a.   Create a filter called “ killfile ” that automatically sends addresses to folder to be hidden/deleted 4)   Partially resign from mailing lists a.   Create a mailing list folder 5)   Keep a pending list a.   Create a textfile on desktop that lists every call, email, parcel and payment you are waiting for, and refer to it 1-2 times a day. Tips for managing information overload
  15. 15. SURVEY QUESTION 10 Describe one tool or service that would make your information management more productive? “ Something like Mendeley that could effectively handle a broad diversity of file-types - videos, TED talks, images, blogposts, etc. “ “ If a single tool could integrate the functionality of Evernote and Mendeley along with a clipping function that works with all browsers - all cloud based. “
  16. 16. Evernote - Mendeley – IFTTT - Diigo - Pinboard - Devonthink - Five tools you may not have heard of
  17. 17. Tips for managing information overload Email: color-code messages, use filters/rules and folders RSS: scan, flag, isolate (star, send to Instapaper), use topic-based folders Documents, notes: Evernote, Mendeley Automate: IFTTT Be selective: pare down what you’re reading! Clay A. Johnson, The Information Diet
  18. 18. PubMed, MeSH – the NLM controlled vocabulary thesaurus used for indexing articles for PubMed. ReadCube – free, simple, academic software and reference manager for researchers Refworks – an online research management, writing and collaboration tool. Zotero – a powerful, easy-to-use research tool that helps you gather, organize, and analyze sources and then share the results of your research. Polmodoro – time management Flipboard – pocket sized social magazine
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