My Process for Reviewing Articles for Potential Publication

As the managing editor of a major web site, I read a very large amount of articles to consider for publication. This is the process I’ve developed for doing so efficiently.

Original Submissions

When I get a submission by email, I convert the Word file to Google Docs. In Gmail, this can be done with one click. From GDocs, I send the text of the article to Instapaper using the “Email as attachment” function and my Instapaper add-by-email address.

I do all my article reading in batches, using Instapaper. I have Instapaper read the article aloud to me, and I listen using headphones while I walk in the neighborhood by the office. Both the movement and the audio aid my retention and make the reading faster. I’m able to burn through articles much faster this way than by simply reading on a computer screen.

If I want to publish a submission, I send the GDoc to the editorial team’s Trello board with two clicks using a special Trello bookmarklet. From there, my team copyedits it and enters it into our CMS.


I monitor our regular reprint sources using Feedly and the Leaf application. Leaf enables to me to quickly scan through titles and previews of the articles using the arrow keys.

If something looks like it has potential, I send it to Instapaper. With Leaf and the MacOS share function, this only takes two clicks.

I batch-read potential reprints along with submissions using Instapaper.

If I want to reprint an article, I transfer it from Instapaper to Trello. This takes two taps on my iPhone.

Using this process and these tools, I’m able to process a large amount of potentially publishable articles in a short amount of time.

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