Always on the lookout
Always being on the lookout for useful, current and reliable information, helps to keep your outlook fresh and up to date.
There are a few tricks and some tools to help you manage the information you need to scan, and store for later use.
Focus on your main areas of interest
It seems obvious, but restrict your scanning to key topics. These topics may include changes affecting your business practices, industry, clients, suppliers or competitors in your market place.
Take advantage of alerting services
There are many free and fee based alerting services that summarise news and developments for various topics. For example, ABIX < http://www.abix.com.au/ > has a range of alerting services tailored to industries that summarise relevant articles from the major Australian newspapers. Great for a quick read to keep you up to date with the newspapers.
Free alerting services can be found on most web or blog sites that take your interest. Either in the form of a regular email update, or an RSS feed to be read via a blog reader. E-tips from Julian Midwinter is a very good example of a weekly update on practical business development tips. < http://www.julianmidwinter.com.au/eTips.html >
Consider using a blog reader
For better or worse, RSS feeds from blogs (online journals) and other news services are a new source of information that may be relevant to your industry. Blog readers are used to store the details of the blogs or RSS feeds that you wish to keep track of, in a similar way to your personal email. Blog readers such as My Yahoo < http://au.my.yahoo.com/ > and Bloglines < http://www.bloglines.com/ > are widely recommended.
Handy ways to store your favourite web sites
All of the major search engines now offer download toolbars, where you can then store your favourite websites with your preferred search engine. Similar to email offered by the search engines, you can then access your favourite websites, from any computer, using a password. Best of all though, you can add comments to the saved sites.
Last, but not least, read a little bit every day.