How To Gather The Best Ideas In A Google World

Illustration by ePublicist

Illustration by ePublicist

Living In A Google World

We live in a Google World. Need information on a particular topic? Then, just “google” it. You’ll find something. You may need to sift through a number of search pages, but eventually you’ll find what you’re looking for. I do this all the time, when I have time.

Let me give you a quick example. Just the other day, our church staff was meeting to discuss some upcoming worship services. Our pastor (BrandonPark.org) referenced something about the book The Hour That Changes The World [affiliate link] as related to an upcoming prayer service. Fortunately, I had my iPad with me, so I just pulled up Safari and did a quick Google search on the book. As a result, I discovered a great little pdf that outlines and summarizes the book. Then, I just emailed this to our pastor and tuned back into the meeting.

I’m still amazed by people I know who will send me text messages or emails about looking for a specific piece of information from me. My initial thought is, “uhhh really? Don’t you realize you could just google that question and most likely get the exact information you’re looking for?”

For Google searches, you usually need to be intentional and very specific on your search terms to get the exact information you’re looking for to show up on the first couple of search pages. If you’re looking for amazing quality information on a continuous basis, though, then I believe there is a better strategy.

A Better Long-Term Strategy To Gather The Best Ideas

Illustration by jrhode

Illustration by jrhode

Over the last several weeks, I have developed a long-term strategy to gather great ideas. This is a two-step process:

  1. Figure out who the “best of the best” are in the area(s) of your interest and follow those people’s blogs, websites, and social media.
  2. Digitally clip, tag, and save their best information for future use.

I use two tools to accomplish these two steps:

 

  1. Feedly: A Quality RSS Reader To Replace Google Reader. Several weeks ago, Google announced that it would be phasing out its Google Reader application in a few months. After this announcement was made, several well-known, respected people (including Michael Hyatt) began recommending Feedly as a quality replacement RSS reader. As a result, I set-up my account online and downloaded the apps for my iPhone and iPad. Then, I went back into my online account and started organizing all the best blogs I enjoy following.
  2. Evernote: The Digital File Cabinet Of The 21st Century. If and when you have the time to do a lot of googling (that just sounds wrong, doesn’t it?) and webpage browsing, then there is a great tool to gather all of your new digital ideas in one place. A digital file cabinet called Evernote combined with Evernote Web Clipper for your internet web browser. See this blog post by Michael Hyatt about how to get your stuff into Evernote.

Yes, I still find value in doing various Google searches and web clipping. Two to three times a day, I find myself doing mini-web searches here and there to chase down some ideas. Or, I click on a link in somebody’s blog post, and then all of a sudden, I’m 10 sites deep in link clicks and Evernote web clippings. I’m sure you can possibly relate.

But, I’m also finding myself combining the power of Feedly with Evernote. So, when I run across a great blog post in my Feedly reader, then I’ll forward that post on to my Evernote account, where I can tag the information with appropriate tag topics for future reference. The whole process is very fast and efficient.

Questions: So, how do you deal with today’s information avalanche? Do you use an RSS reader? Which one? What do you like about your reader? Do you currently use Feedly or Evernote? What are your thoughts on these two applications? Feel free to leave a comment with the community below.

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About Larry Jones

Larry Jones is the Generosity Pastor at First Baptist Raytown in Kansas City, Missouri. He blogs regularly on the topic of extraordinary stewardship with maximum Kingdom impact at GenerosityPastor.com. He is the author of BEYOND DAVE AND FINANCIAL PEACE: ACCELERATING PAST AVERAGE WITH YOUR MONEY PLAN available on Amazon Kindle.

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