There was a time in my life when I could leisurely scroll through the news on my phone when I got up in the morning. I would listen to the radio on the bus or in the car on my way to work. I would peruse the latest news online while I took my lunch break.
These little chunks of time are no longer my own: they’re taken up by doing things with my daughter, fitting in a bit of work and various household chores. Being so sleep deprived over this past year, I also haven’t been motivated to read the news. When I have time, I want to read something lighthearted (or scroll through instagram). But, now that life is beginning to feel like it has a bit of normalcy and routine to it, I’m realizing I’ve been out of touch with what’s happening in the world and that is a pattern I want to break.
I’ve been looking for some ways to stay on top of the news. Specifically – since my time is tight – I want the most pertinent and important news that’s relevant to me and my interests. I want to avoid click bait and the junk written about Trump. So, how do I do this? I turned to my most trusted advisors for help on this: my sisters.
Here are our combined tips and ideas on efficient ways to stay up-to-date on current affairs:
- theSkimm: theSkimm curates news from around the web for its target audience: female millenials! Laura recommended theSkimm to me, I haven’t signed up yet but I like the fact that it is targeted to women and that you can get updates via a newsletter, their app or Facebook depending on what’s easier for you to accesss. She did say it’s very American – not a downside if you’re in the US, but I’d need another source of news for more local updates.
- Podcasts: I love podcasts and our other sister recommended Up First from NPR. This is a quick 10 minute show which would make it easy to squeeze into my day. It would tell me what I need to know and I’d feel at least a little bit informed even if I didn’t get around to reading anything else that day. If I managed to listen to CBC’s World Report as well, I’d feel pretty informed about both domestic and international news.
- The Guardian or BBC app: Before I filled up my phone with pregnancy and baby apps, I found these really useful. You can get notifications on your device about breaking news or browse their articles if you have more time. Time to delete some apps off my phone to make space!
- Pocket: Pocket is an app I just started using on the recommendation of my little sister. It allows you to save articles to read for later. I use the app on my phone and so far it’s been great for having good articles to read, already downloaded into the app and ready to rea when I have a spare minute. While I don’t use it to keep on top of breaking news it’s great for more in-depth stuff.
- Twitter: When I first started thinking about this post this is the first thing that came to mind. I may be wrong, but I think most of us over 30 missed the Twitter boat and we either don’t use it at all or only use it professionally. If you’re like me, I don’t have a single friend who uses it regularly or uses it to Tweet about their personal lives. I first used Twitter when I started a new job, I followed all the people and organizations who were important to the sector I just started working in. It was an amazing way to learn everything I needed to know about a new field. I followed the experts and they didn’t tweet useless things. I’m thinking the same could work for me now: I could follow the publications and journalists I like, who I know share quality content, and they can filter the news for me. Something to think about!
I’m sure there are lots of apps and tools out there that we’re missing. How do you stay up to date on current affairs when you’re tight on time?