Daily Research 101

– a six step guide to mastering your area of interest

Martin Thörnkvist
Jan 21, 2015 · 4 min read

Here’s a 6 step guide to mastering your field of interest with daily research.

1. Define topics

First things first. Without knowing what you look for, you’ll soon get lost and have a hard time to discern trends over time. Try to be specific and rather think about factors (business models, globalization, streaming etc) that affect what you do than industries (music, games etc). You will discover that the same factors affect many different industries and that different perspectives on the same trend gives you a better picture of it.

2. Find sources

Finding the right sources to follow is probably the hardest of the six steps. My best tip is not to get stuck here. See it as an ever evolving process. Start with a couple of sources you’ve got recommended. Remember that quality trumps quantity, the big blogs post hundreds of articles per day, skip them and look for more in-depth sources.

3. Read, watch, listen

When you’re up and running, there’ll be plenty of opportunities to pull up your phone to browse your feeds during the day. Yes, scheduling time for research is vital indeed but don’t underestimate the time you spend in cues, at the toilet (yes), commuting. With Feedly on your phone you can easily browse the latest posts.

4. Collect

Probably the most neglected and easy to forget yet super important step in your research process. You read too much to be able to remember everything. I use Delicious to bookmark and tag links I find interesting. Besides knowing where to find what you read last year, this is also a great tool to monitor trends and tendencies over time. For example, if you’ve tagged 20 articles with work and time, you know there’s a discussion about how to be more efficient at work going on.

5. Ask + observe

The era of the lonely genius is long gone. In order to truly understand our complex world you need to get your ass off the chair and go out in the world. Invite people home for dinner and buy people coffee. Ask about the topics you’re interested in, what matters to them right now and how they envision the future of their fields.

6. Reflect + Share

Ok. Final and most important step. Expressing what you learn forces you to really reflect on what you’ve read. Tweet, blog, lecture. Get your newly won findings out of your system. Inspire others to keep sharing.


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