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5 Tools for a Better Online Reading Experience

5 Tools for a Better Online Reading Experience

The internet is changing the way people acquire information. People’s excessive reading and exposure to blogs, online magazines, and social media have created a culture of instant information.

We are obtaining data at a fast rate, probably way more than our brains could handle. Many researchers are quite pessimistic about this since it is believed to be a contributing factor to our shorter attention spans, poor memory, and decline of verbal communication skills. Despite these, people are still more inclined to read and seek information on the web.

If the internet is a big library, how can you read as many books you want in a short time? The following are tools to help you manage your online reading experience:

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1. Feedly

Feedly

    The hottest RSS reader in town, Feedly lists all recently updated articles from your followed websites so you never miss a post. Feedly isn’t only for websites, you can also follow YouTube shows, Tumblr blogs, podcasts and more. Organizing your content is easy. Feedly has an organize button that lets you drag and drop feeds and reorder categories according to your preferred layout. A bookmark icon can also be found at the top of each post for later reading.

    2. Pocket

    Pocket
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      Found a great article while surfing the web during work? Save it for later reading with Pocket! With its sleek, minimalist design, and wide compatibility across platforms, pocket is easily becoming one of the best reading management apps loved by digital bookworms.

      Unlike Feedly which shows every content from the sites you followed, pocket stores your hand-picked posts for later reading. After you read posts, there is an option to ‘archive’ the post which makes it readily available the next time you may need it. Now, you can hoard all the content you want!

      3. Readism

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      Readism

        Feeling like you’re spending too much time reading online? With Readism, you can now calculate the average time you need to finish reading an article. Readism is a chrome extension application that features a small reading time indicator at the bottom of the screen of each article you open. You can also customize the size and the length of time you want the pop up to appear on every page.

        Take note that Pocket displays the average time a reader will likely finish an article. If you want a more accurate data of how long you may need to finish an article, you can visit the app site and take the series of tests to determine your reading speed.

        4. iSpeech

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        iSpeech

          Bring your reading anywhere, even when you are doing something else! iSpeech is an amazing text to speech tool that will let you indulge in your favorite readings while still having time to do your dreaded home or office work. Now you can read while you drive, work, cook or break a sweat in the gym. iSpeech lets you “read with your ears” as it converts web content, documents, and articles to speech. It currently supports 20 languages and is available for major mobile platforms like Android, iOs, and Windows.

          5. Spritz

          Spritz

            For those who wish they could read faster, Spritz is a great speed reading tool that will drastically increase your reading skills. Spritz’ technology allows users to read without the need to move their eyes. It presents texts in a layout where users are able to read content one word at a time.

            Spritz reading methodology is acquired based on the premise that our brains search for the OPR or the “Optimal Recognition Point” of a word before it starts to process its meaning. With Spritz, reading becomes more efficient, since the time spent searching on each word’s ORP is reduced.

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            Armela Escalona

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            Last Updated on February 15, 2019

            7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

            7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

            Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

            Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

            Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

            So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

            Joe’s Goals

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              Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

              Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

              Daytum

                Daytum

                is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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                Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

                Excel or Numbers

                  If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

                  What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

                  Evernote

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                    I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

                    Evernote is free with a premium version available.

                    Access or Bento

                      If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                      Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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                      You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                      Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                      All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                      Conclusion

                      I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                      What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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