Hey, Working Girl –
Have you ever come home from work, turned on the news, and immediately turned it back off because it all seemed so overwhelming? Did it feel like you picked up a 300 page novel and started reading on page 287? Yeah, that used to happen to me a lot.
Staying connected to the rest of the world during the work week can be a challenge. It often feels like our workplaces are little bubbles that protect us from the outside noise. This can be good – and really, really bad.
I stay focused on my work during the day – it’s what I go to work for. But to be a good citizen of the world, I need to be informed of things that go on outside of the bubble. To do that, I have employed my handy dandy smartphone and a handful of apps:
- Feedly – When Google Reader met its demise a few years back, I downloaded Feedly and have never looked back. I use Feedly mainly to keep up with hard news and more commercial websites as opposed to blogs (more on that below). My favorite feeds on Feedly are Lifehacker, NPR, News From The Associated Press, Wise Bread, A.V. Club, and Indy Week (a local publication). I use Twitter for some of this stuff, too, but Feedly keeps everything separate from all of the personal, blog, and retail feeds that I follow and saves articles until I mark them as “read”.
- Bloglovin’ – I use this to follow, well, blogs. Bloglovin’ suggests blogs to follow based on the ones that you like, and you have the option of just following blogs or following people, as well. When you follow people, you can see which blog posts they’ve “loved” or favorited, which allows you to find even more reading material and interact with your favorite bloggers. You can follow Hey, Working Girl on Bloglovin’ here to get every new post delivered directly to your feed, and you can follow me as a blogger on Bloglovin’ here.
- Reddit – Yes, Reddit can contain some NSFW stuff and is known for housing Internet Trolls galore, but a quick glance at the front page of Reddit usually points me to a handful of global events and news articles that I had no idea existed.
- Downcast – I love podcasts. Love ’em. They allow me to use my commute for good (as well as my cleaning and cooking time at home!) and keep me connected to the world, teach me new things, and introduce me to new people. I listen to Marketplace every morning in the shower and while I am getting ready; this keeps me informed about the economic goings-on of the world. The FiveThirtyEight Politics Podcast keeps me abreast of American politics and was a valuable resource during the most recent presidential election. Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! humorously covers a wide range of trending topics and news stories and presents content in a memorable game show-like fashion. And GirlBoss Radio (currently on a brief hiatus) introduces me to more and more inspiring women with each new episode. I have a bunch of other podcasts loaded on Downcast ranging from silly to profoundly educational, but these are my top four.
Now if you read that last bullet carefully, you’ll have noticed that I listen to Marketplace in the shower. That’s right – in the shower. I love using that time to catch up on economic news, especially since I work in mortgage and finance. Going to work primed with the past day’s economic news keeps me abreast of important news that impacts the industry. And besides, showering is a bit boring – why not use that time for another purpose?
I use a SoundBot Water Resistant Bluetooth Speaker for my shower podcast (or music, on the weekends) needs. It has a suction cup attached to it so it can easily stick to the shower wall and stay out of my way while still projecting sound for up to six hours (or several showers) on a single charge. To help keep you informed and break out of the work bubble, I am giving away a SoundBot to one lucky HWG reader! To enter, follow the instructions in the widget below. US/Canadian entrants only, please; I’ll have another giveaway soon for my international friends!
Stay Connected SoundBot Giveaway
P.S.: This post contains an affiliate link. This means that if you click it and buy something, I’ll receive a small commission at no cost to you. Affiliate links help keep the blog running and allow me to keep writing content for Working Girls everywhere!