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Internal Audit Leaders Must Be Readers (part 2 of 3)

3 tools to increase the quality and quantity of your reading

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In a recent article titled Internal Audit Leaders Must Be Readers (part 1 of 3), I discussed the many benefits of reading including increased intelligence, improved communication skills and stress relief.

None can deny the positive impact of reading.  Time is probably one of the biggest obstacles to more and better reading.  Before the digital revolution, it was necessary to subscribe to many different publications and hope that at least one contained enough items of interest to warrant your time and monetary investment.  Thanks to modern technology, there are tools and services that allow you to find, store, sort and filter content for immediate online viewing or later perusal.  This article is part 2 of a 3 part series discussing tools to help you become more efficient readers.  So, without further ado, the tools:

 Google Reader

This free (yes I said free) service allows you to subscribe to websites and blogs without disclosing your email address.  It then allows you to categorize and sort items based on your personal preferences.  It is like having your own personal news aggregation service.  There is also the ability to mark items read, unread or favorite.  You can also share content with friends.  It can be accessed via the web and there are smartphone apps.  You can access your news wherever you are.

So let’s set up your first Google Reader account (or subscribe to That Audit Guy):

  1. Go to www.google.com/reader
  2. Login or create a new google account, then login
  3. Click the red subscribe button on the left hand side (see screen shot below)
  4. Type in www.thatauditguy.com
  5. You can now browse articles and add new sites (see screen shot below)
You are all set.  You will now see all posts from That Audit Guy in your reader window.
Google Alerts
Another free service, Google Alerts scours the internet for content matching (or containing) “keywords” you define.  This is useful for finding news associated with your industry, company or any other topic of interest. For example, I currently work in higher education.  As a result, I have an alert setup for “higher education” and “fraud”.  This delivers higher education fraud news to my inbox at an interval that I specify.
Let’s get started.
  1. Sign into (or get a) Google account.
  2. Go to alerts.
  3. Type in your keywords.
  4. Wait for the articles to come (see screen print below)
    You can also change the frequency of alerts to fit your need (see screen shot below)
Evernote
This is one of my favorite tools.  I have written about its usefulness to internal auditors previously (see related article 5 Practical Ways to Use Evernote During Audits).  This tool allows you to “clip” webpages, upload photos & documents, voice memos and more to your own personal space in the cloud.  From there, you can arrange items in a virtual filing cabinet and add tags to content for easier searching.  Best of all, it is free.
Conclusion
There you have it.  Three tools to help you find and/or store content that will ultimately improve reading efficiency.
Which of these would you or do you use?
What other tools do you use?
Stay tuned for part 3 for a summary of good resources to read.

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Which of these tools would you use to increase reading efficiency (you may select up to 3 answers)?

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Robert Berry (88)

Robert (That Audit Guy) Berry is a risk, compliance and auditing advocate, educator and innovator. He helps good professionals become better by creating articles, web services and training that allow them to expand their knowledge network.

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