Good IT management doesn't take place in a vacuum. If you're going to make the right decisions and lead people in ways that will make them want to follow, you need an arsenal of information. Of course, overworked CIOs and IT managers don't have time to sift through hundreds of industry articles a week and news announcements a week, but there's lots of good information to be gleaned from your RSS feeds that go unread every day.
Here are my 3-step process for keeping track og the latest IT news, filing it away for future reference, and sharing with your team.
- Alltop -- This site takes the best parts of RSS feeds, Google Alerts, and Topix.com and rolls them into one. Updated every hour, Alltop's topic pages bring you news stories and blog posts from hand-picked sources around the Internet. The Information Technology page pulls RSS feeds from all the popular online IT sites you probably already read daily (and some lesser-known ones you probably should). The layout is clean, simple, and devoid of ads. Just hover your mouse over headlines that look interesting to get a summary of the article.
- Evernote -- Keeping up with industry news is great, but it's important to clip the important bits of what you read so you can refer to it later. For sorting and tracking random nuggets of information, I can't recommend Evernote highly enough. A basic account is free, though you can upgrade to larger storage for a nominal monthly fee. As you surf, just highlight the parts of a page you want to remember, click the Evernote button you've added to you toolbar, and everything you've highlighted will automatically copy as-is. You can also scan print magazine articles, and even use you iPhone to snap a picture of something you want to read later. Evernote is Web-based, with optional downloads for Mac, Windows, iPhone / iPod touch, and Windows Mobile smartphones.
- Highrise -- As you catch up on tech news, you'll no doubt find things you want to share with your team. One of the easiest ways to share bits of information and Web sites is via a Highrise account. Sure, you could simply email your employees what you want them to see but, really, who needs more email? Just create an account (if you have more than 5 users, you'll need to purchase a paid plan), and your team can login at their convenience to read, discuss, and collaborate on the tidbits of information you've shared with them. The best part is, you can email links and info directly to your Highrise account. That's an especially useful feature if you use Evernote, which allows you to email individual notes and clips right from its online portal.
While this easy 3-step process is one way to organize information and share it with your team, it's not the only way. Tell me about your workflow in the comments.