In a previous article, we discussed how to blacklist toxic media from our lives. This time we’ll create a personal feed that contains approved sources.
The goal remains the same. We want to limit exposure to negativity and benefit from relevant information about the world around us.
I developed a 5-Step method that requires 30 minutes to set up and 15-20 minutes (once per week) to tweak to perfection.
Social media users average 2.5 hours per day across various platforms so this won’t require much of a time commitment.
So let’s get to it…
Step 1: Register a Feedly account
The Feedly application retrieves information from blogs and news outlets so you can view content from one location.
I prefer receiving new articles in my Feedly instead of searching on the internet.
Because distractions lurk around every nook and cranny on the internet, whether it be a targeted advertisement or an unrelated article capturing my attention.
Clicking on 1 article turns into scrolling through 10 articles until I’ve forgotten what I was originally looking for.
However, there are times when I’ll visit an actual website to leave a comment or read more posts from a specific author.
Step 2: Add Up to 100 Sources
I reached the free 100 sources limit quickly at first, but the majority of the sources I assumed were good were later determined to be useless after evaluating them.
The next two steps address the limitation issue.
Step 3: Assign Sources to Categories
Group all the sources into categories based on themes you care about. If you don’t know where to begin, scan my list so you’ll understand the intent behind the approach.
My feed categories:
It’s easy to drag and drop the sources underneath the new categories, and when you’ve filed away everything logout of Feedly.
Step 4: Filter Sources According to Your Criteria
Wait a week before logging back into Feedly because distancing yourself creates a disconnect between your life and the information contained in the feeds.
What becomes obvious is how most news doesn’t age well. We’re purposely reinforcing the belief that being “informed” within the context of the traditional news cycle is worthless.
At this point your Feedly should resemble an unwieldy stack of junk mail sprawled over the kitchen counter…. this is by design.
The stage is set for you to sift through headlines quickly because no one dreams of dedicating an entire afternoon to this kind of activity.
Discriminate. Be brutal. Find the slightest reason to ditch a source:
- Does this info benefit me?
- Is this information overly biased?
- Does the author respect its readers?
- Should a source be reviewed more than once per week?
- Are they publishing +300 articles (too much in my opinion)
- Should a source be reviewed once every 3 months or deleted?
Evaluating a source is simple. Start by expanding a category and clicking directly on the source to display its list of published articles.
Scan the list and if there’s nothing interesting, purge the source from your Feedly account.
All sources undergo this filtering process 4 times over a month, and the final result is an information feed customized perfectly to your liking.
Step 5. Limit Access to Feedly
This step keeps us from logging in when we feel like procrastinating.
Consider downloading one of the following website blockers:
Below is a screenshot of my Dashboard in Cold Turkey
You may have noticed that the groupings limit my access to things I struggle with. The idea is to leverage technology to reduce distractions while I direct my focus towards more rewarding activities.
Give it try, you might be surprised with the results!
Freedom is a Choice,