https://digitalhealth.blog.gov.uk/2012/05/30/the-order-i-check-things/

The order I check things

This is a blog about how information enters my head before 9am on weekdays.

My day is generally internet free until after I've had my toast and coffee. I very rarely slide to unlock while I'm still in the house in the morning. But I start checking things pretty soon after I leave the house.

On the platform at the train station, I usually open my email inbox to look for one of the aggregator services I'm signed up to, to get an indication of news and stories from my network. I might follow a link, I might not.

On the train I open Echofon. I usually look at the feed from a list rather than my full stream. The list I tend to look at on the train is a private one called "blogroll" which used to be a list of people who's blogs I read, but is now just 100 or so people I like best on Twitter.

Screenshot form Twitter list

Then I look at the RSS feeds I subscribe to. I might read a couple of blogs before I arrive at Elephant & Castle.  I use Reeder for this. Sometimes I'll bookmark things using Delicious.

Screenshot from Reeder

My train journey is only 10 minutes, but I usually arrive at work a bit better informed about, and prepared for, the day I'm about to have. It takes me another 10 minutes to fully log in, during which time I make a cup of tea and speak to some physical humans.

[insert screenshot of human]

My browser takes much less time to load than Lotus Notes, so the next thing I see is a Netvibes dashboard which opens as my browsers homepage. It shows me analytics for multiple channels, feeds showing the most recently published content across dh.gov.uk, @dhgovuk etc, my to-do list, and my most recently edited Google Docs. This stays open, updating silently in the background during the day.

Screenshot from a Netvibes dahsboard

Then I see Yammer messages, which pop up via the Yermah Chrome extension, where I see what my team have been saying to each other overnight or that morning.

Screenshot from Yammer

By this time, Lotus Notes has fired up and I spend the next 5 minutes deleting emails, or marking those I need to do something with. This always feels like a transition moment.

5 comments

  1. Comment by shane dillon posted on

    You are not exactly an information anarchist but its great idea to share your routine. Having read your post I will attempt to re-engage with Percolate and Netvibes. My order of things I check is an altogether much tighter ship. In the morning Google Plus and Twitter once I hit the desk I switch on LinkedIn which has bonus balls; 1. stuff I favourited on Twitter appears on my LinkedIn profile 2. stuff I bookmarked on Diigo appears as well. 3. I see some tweets from people in my network.

    Lets take Google Plus, the concept of Circles is paying information dividents to me, big time. Take my Lifehacker Circle one click and that opens up a stream of hints, tips and hacks. The photography circles on Google Plus are an absolute masterclass in terms of the information gleaned (invaluable as I bought a swish mirrorless camera)

    Anyway must dash as I have open the gates of information hell; Outlook 2007.

    Reply
    • Replies to shane dillon>

      Comment by Stephen Hale posted on

      Shane - I hope you detected your influence. Sounds like you've been rationalising your routine.

      Reply
      • Replies to Stephen Hale>

        Comment by shane dillon posted on

        I do however miss Yammer and wish that was part of my routine. Once you step out of a Digital dept now were I work you go into Yammer-Less world. We have MS IM messenger but that is no use if you are on the train.

        One book I have read extracts from which I found useful was the Information Diet http://www.informationdiet.com/

        One discipline that is worth adopting but not realistic is to not check your emails first thing in the morning but instead leave them until the afternoon or early evening. This way you stop yourself being bossed by email all day.

        Reply
  2. Comment by Tim Lloyd posted on

    You are frustratingly well organised and disciplined. I read this blog simply because I happened to see it in my feed, between impromptu games of Angry Birds and while taking a phone call from my Mum.

    Reply
    • Replies to Tim Lloyd>

      Comment by Tim's Mum posted on

      I see, that explains why you weren't listening to me properly.

      Reply

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