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43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

How do you review multiple large documents quickly?

Part of my job is to read/review/assimilate long articles, white papers, short manuals, et cetera. I have a GTD context for "Read/Review" and guess what? Things stay there like they're in quicksand. I need a way to "grok" big documents. Anyone got any tips or links? Something step-by-step would be helpful. I'm not talking about simple speed-reading; I'm talking about reading and evaluating but not spending all day on a single tome.

sophos's picture

Good article

Thanks, I like that. I had a college professor who taught us the same idea a long time ago and it's what I had in mind, but figured it didn't work for shorter pieces. But the author is right, you can pretty much skim the same way no matter what the size of the piece (substitute paragraphs for pages, etc.). I can also relate to the growing stack of stuff for "when I have a few minutes." This is currently the weak link in my GTD system.




An Oblique Strategy:
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