Data Overload

Yep, that time again.

I have too much data in my life. I like to record everything of interest I come across. Problem is, I have no time to go back and look at all of this stuff!

I just checked my Instapaper queue. I had stuff going back to the end of last year! And I'm not talking a handful of articles here. I just deleted about 350 of the 450 I have queued because I simply won't have the time to read them. And likely half of them were now not even relevant due to their age.

A while back I had a similar issue with Evernote. I had over 10,000 notes in my account. There was so much crap in there, I couldn't find the useful stuff. So, over the course of a couple of weeks, I removed everything that I really didn't need, or that I also have elsewhere (such as bookmarks, which are now nicely tucked away in Pinboard).

I got Evernote down to about 3,500 notes. And they're all useful. I do a lot of scanning/storing in Evernote/throwing away of paper and the majority of notes are probably these scanned documents. This is a perfect use case for Evernote for me and now it's gone back to being a tremendously useful application.

I need to do a similar exercise with the rest of my data.

I have a Fever install and I send stuff from there to Instapaper, where it stays for a number of months before I delete it!

Do I really need RSS any more? Do I really need Instapaper? If I find something genuinely useful or interesting, I can always send it to Evernote or Pinboard. Or maybe I should just be really, really restrictive about what I stick in Instapaper.

My gut reaction in this kind of situation is to just delete the app and walk away. But I don't want to throw out the baby with the bath water, so maybe I'll take the latter approach.

I think I really could do without RSS, though. I use Zite a lot now, and I'm seeing a lot of duplication (between Zite and RSS) - which indicates that Zite really is picking up on my likes and dislikes - to the point where sticking with RSS may now be redundant for me.

I also get a lot of my news these days from podcasts and tend to just sribble down a note if they mention something I'd like to investigate further.

I think I'll take a rest from RSS for a while. I'll still have access to fun, informative and interesting stuff from Zite and my podcast library (and Reddit!), from which I can send the genuinely useful stuff to Instapaper. I might then have the time to catch up with this relatively limited number of articles.

Or maybe not