Using your RSS aggregator as an Inbox

It occurred to me this past weekend that I use my RSS aggregator like an inbox. I have long since quit categorizing my feeds. Rather, I just view them as a “river of news”, reading them in the order in which they arrive. This isn’t really interesting.

What is is how I process them. As I mentioned in my post on using the Firefox bookmark bar, when I see something I want to read, I drag it into my Action folder. More specifically, I read as if I were processing an inbox:

  • I first decide whether I want to read something or not, based on the headline and glancing over the body text.
  • If I don’t want to read the item I just skip it. It gets marked read when I’m done with the batch of 10.
  • If I am interested in the item then I decide if it’ll be a quick read (i.e. < 2 minutes). If so, I read it.
  • If I want to read it but it’s too long, then it gets dragged to the Action folder to be read at a later date.

I suspect my 2+ years of GTD practice led to the unconscious development of this processing strategy. It seems to work pretty well — it allows me to catch up on a lot of items without actually having to read and dwell on all of them.