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How do you manage your to-read list?

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Sep 02, 2020
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How do you organize your to-read list? How do you filter and prioritize the reading material?

A reading list serves many purposes - from practical to inspirational to serendipitous discovery. Regardless of what you are after, the goal is to maximize the benefit you get out of the reading material and minimize potential time-wasting.

Do you have a good system for this?
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Keeping the list short and reviewing it regularly.

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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni Sep 02, 2020
I know I don’t have the best solution, but here are a few things I do. 1. I try to keep the list as short as possible. Dealing with long lists is painful. I skim through a lot of things and only about 10% of those make my to-read list. Initially, skimming may take a lot of time. However, once you are accustomed, you know what and where to look for. I usually don’t add articles, blogs, research papers, etc. to the list. I read them immediately or on the same day. Books and really long articles are the ones that go on the list. 2. I review the list once a month (I try to do it on the first day of the month; it helps me remember to do it). This is when I prioritize. Rarely, I even discard something that I don’t need to go through in the near future. 3. I rely more on the digital content since reorganizing, highlighting, and discarding is easier. Sometimes, a PDF manager or a citation manager helps. Mendeley has the option of marking an article/ book/ anything actually as read or unread. You can also create folders in Mendeley to prioritize your stuff.
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Two lists (pre and post filtering)

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Sep 02, 2020
All the new potentially interesting reading material is added to the pre-filter list. Whenever you have time you skim through it, starting from the newly added. If the material seems worthy of your time, you move it to the important list. This one is arranged by importance. When adding new material to it, you take a guess and put it where you think it fits. When you have time for reading, you start from the most important.
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Schedule time for reading

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Sep 02, 2020
Schedule time blocks dedicated to processing the reading list(s). Stick to the schedule rigorously.
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Delete the to-read list(s) once per week or per month and start clean

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Sep 02, 2020
You could set periodic (once per week, once per month) deadlines by which the to-read list gets deleted along with anything still in it. If the reading material was important it should have been processed by then. If it's still relevant you will run into it again and treat it with the respect it deserves. Starting fresh is nice. Knowing that everything will be deleted makes you respect the content more.
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Make processing the list an enjoyable and offline experience

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Sep 02, 2020
Make it a date with the reading material. Take it with you to the park or somewhere nice. Read on a dedicated device with no distracting apps installed.
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