Keeping Up to Date


There are a few habits that stick with you from childhood and beyond. My parents always encouraged me to read the newspaper everyday (perhaps they had heard of it being a common trait successful people do in the morning). I kept that habit until the end of high school but unfortunately as time went on, keeping up-to-date has been more difficult.

So if you’ve ever felt like Joey in The Encyclopedia episode from Friends, there are a few solutions to help you out that are personally tried and approved by me.

1. The Quartz Daily Brief

Perhaps the easiest way to stay in touch, Quartz gives a summary of the major news stories. They also link to other sources if anything captures your attention and you want to dive into detail.

They split their content into sections:

    • What to watch for today – major developing stories that are likely to change or break news in the upcoming days
    • While you were sleeping – news updates that happened in the past 8 hours
    • Quartz obsession interlude – deeper think piece on something controversial
    • Matters of debate – one of my favorite sections which makes you think
    • Surprising discoveries – the quirkier things going on in the world, i.e. did you know New Zealand spent $17 million to come up with a new flag and then decided to keep the original? [Link]

You can also select the edition you want so the Quartz Brief arrives in your inbox at the correct time. The Daily Brief comes everyday except for Sundays. Plus an extended weekend brief on Saturdays.

They also recently launched a new iOS app which take a chat interface to news. If you consume all your content on your mobile phone, highly reocmmend you download the app. The content overlaps with the Daily Brief a lot so you won’t be missing much.

Quartz Daily Brief SS

2. The Skimm

The Skimm is quite similar to the Quartz but definitely a more fun version. I have a soft spot for The Skimm as its a startup by two female founders. TheSkimm is US-centric so it arrives in my inbox middle of the day Dubai. There will be 2 major stories and then summaries of other smaller stories. Compared to the Quartz, The Skimm is a lot better editorially and requires less link clicking, but they still include them. The writing style is less “newsy” and more as if a friend is telling you a story – which I finds helps comprehend the most difficult topics. They also do Skimm Guides which are summaries of any trending topics. Here’s a good one on the upcoming 2016 US election.

Like the Quartz Daily Brief, The Skimm comes everyday except for Sunday.

TheSkimm SS

3. Twitter

Now Twitter is where I get my real-time news and my favorite social media channel. Accident on SZR or major acquisition. But unfortunately Twitter takes a lot more work to set up. Depending on your interests, follow interesting people and curate them into a Twitter list. I usually check on this Twitter list every 2 hours or so to see if there is any news I need to catch-up. I’ll do a separate post with my favorite Twitter accounts soon.

And if you don’t follow me already, I’m @dollz87 on Twitter.

4. Feedly

I love reading blogs and the death of Google Reader was a big disappointment for me. Thankfully, I found Feedly as more than adequate replacement. If you have a lot of websites you visit often, add the RSS links to Feedly and you can see the latest articles read for you. I usually open up my Feedly first thing in the morning. It’s also great if you’re traveling to catch-up on any news. It also means that your inbox is less clogged up with individual newsletter subscriptions and you don’t need Facebook to be your single source of information.

So there you go – those are my not-so-secret tools for keeping up-to-date with pretty much everything. Also shameless plug for my newly launched newsletter. It won’t give you a complete overview of news – but you’ll get an update of the ongoings in my life as well as what’s personally interested me. Sign up here and you’ll get it once a week.