Birchtree
By Matt Birchler
I've been writing here since 2010! Back when personal blogs were all the rage. Kids, ask your parents.

How I Read More, Write More, and Think More

How I Read More, Write More, and Think More

Over the years I've created an apparently very useful cycle of content creation and consumption and I thought I'd share it here.

It's All the Same Workflow

Between this blog, my newsletter, and my YouTube channel, I'm always in need of things to talk about, which means I'm always on the lookout for cool things in the world. By hunting down those enjoyable things to share with others, I'm of course also getting value from them, and everything just feeds into everything else.

Reading

The reading step has a few tools that I've built up over time to give me a massive amount of content "land on my desk," for lack of a a better phrase.

  • Inoreader has 116 RSS feeds that I consider pretty high quality sources. This leads to 100-300 new articles in my inbox everyday.
  • Reeder is an RSS reader for all Apple devices that lets me view these articles as fast as humanly possible.
  • I rarely read in Reeder, and instead I save everything that looks interesting to Matter, a read-it-later app that I enjoy quite a bit.

Thinking

Obviously I think about these articles as I read them, but I also make highlights in Matter while I go. These highlights automatically get synced to Notion, and I review these highlights a few times per week. I find it's good to review these things a few days later after they've had time to settle in my brain.

Writing

Of those highlights, a few of them will be things I want to share with others, and that kicks off the writing process. Often these will be link posts on this blog, which aren't that hard to crank out (I've been doing this for over a decade, after all) and grease the wheels of creativity and sometimes lead to longer form writing. But heck, even if I just do a few link posts, that's still conpiling my opinions into cogent words, so it's valuable writing on its own.

Feedback

This varies quite a bit, but sometimes I'll get replies on Twitter on what I got right and wrong. If I'm lucky, someone will write a link post back to my article and add their own perspective. Maybe they'll provide some other article or video that I should view to get more information, which of course all leads back to the reading part of the process.

Takeaway

I think the important thing to take away from this is that this cycle works no matter how big your following is. Anyone can find a bunch of websites that post things they're interested in, and read those sites in an RSS reader. Anyone can save their favorites and revisit them whenever they want. Anyone can write a blog or make YouTube videos or write a newsletter because it's 2021 and it's amazing how much we can do for free online.

The feedback step will vary from person to person, of course. I get some feedback, but others get far more, and others far less. But I don't think it's essential to the cycle, it's a bonus.


The RSS Feeds I Follow

I got a few requests to share the RSS feeds I subscribe to. I didn't want to share every single one, mostly because they're literally only useful to me, but here's a list of things I follow that you may also enjoy.

Also, it should go without saying that this is a long list I've accumulated over many years, and their inclusion on this list does not mean I endorse everything they've ever written.

Last updated 2021-11-29

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Hey there, I'm Matt!

I'm a UI/UX designer at NMI and I make videos over on A Better Computer, which I think you'll love.

Hey there, I'm Matt!

I'm a UI/UX designer at NMI and I make videos over on A Better Computer, which I think you'll love. You can also check out my side projects, Quick Reviews and Quick BIN Lookup.