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Friday, June 30, 2017

Staying Updated One Page a Day

One of my goals this year is to stay updated as much as possible on current events. When I received my 2017 Moleskine daily planner in the mail, I realized that one page had more space than I needed. I thought about how I could make the most out of the planner. Then an idea sparked in my head: use the remaining space to summarize news articles from that day. I figured it was an easy way to keep myself in check, and it is also like my own little history book from 2017!

My friends and family were surprised when they saw my planner, saying "What do you write in here?!" My good friend Isaac flipped through it for about fifteen minutes, quizzed me on a summarized article on the UK housing market, and then said, "I should do this for Chinese news." He actually started doing it!

I am happy to say that I have successfully filled a page a day since January 1st with news from The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Economist, MarketWatch, Financial Times, and Bloomberg. Read my previous post for more details on the sites I use to check markets.

I do not summarize just any article. I read every article on these sites that catches my attention. On average I read about 10-15 articles before deciding to summarize two or four articles I deem interesting or important (or however many articles one sheet of my planner permits).

This little "project" has been extremely beneficial to me in many ways.

1. I feel, well, more updated and I have certainly learned a lot. Who doesn't like knowing what is going on around them? I mostly read about the markets and deals, as well as topics I am not well-versed on, such as politics. I don't expect this hobby to make me an expert on these topics, but I believe it is important to be aware of what is happening around the world.

2. I have been able to engage in intellectual conversations on a deeper level. Reading about issues from multiple news sources has exposed me to different perspectives and opinions, which has allowed me to contribute to discussions.

3. My reading speed and vocabulary have improved significantly. I have never considered myself to be weak in these areas, but there is always room for improvement!

4. It has enhanced my time management and self-discipline. Committing at most 30 minutes to an hour out of my day for this hobby shown me that self-goals are possible with dedication and determination. During busy times or periods of pure laziness, it is hard to stay determined, but I think that makes it all the more rewarding in the end. I always remind myself that if I have an hour to spend on Facebook, then I definitely have an hour to allocate it to other things, especially if it will help me better myself.

5. My planner has become my personalized history book.

Well, I guess that is what a planner technically is for anyone who owns one. But whenever a topic I read or summarized about came up in discussion, I found myself flipping through my planner and reading past summaries. I also think it's fun to add details about ongoing cases that unveil with time, like the James Comey and Park Geun Hye scandals (although I am disappointed that those unfortunate events occurred in the first place).

Realistically speaking, I know it will be difficult to write every day once I start working. When I come home after a long day of work, I know the last thing I will want to do is write in my planner. I hope the incredibly rewarding and fulfilling merits of this hobby will encourage me to keep it up for many years to come! How cool would it be to have a collection of these news-filled planners?

How do you like to stay updated?
Thank you for reading!


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