5-Min Research Tools to Stay in the Know

We love to consider ourselves relevant, but I’ve learned it takes effort to remain relevant.

Why is it important?

Make an effort to understand people, and you’ll develop the empathy needed to improve your relationships.

When we’re relevant, we’ve put ourselves in the other person’s shoes, and that leads to effective communication.

Without it, we lose our influence.



Relevant Throughout the Years–Or not?

Check out these slang terms and see how many are relevant today. The meaning is in parenthesis.

In the 60s

a gas – (fun)

bad – (awesome)

groovy – (outstanding)

bummer – (unpleasant experience)

badass – (tough)


In the 70s

crib – (apartment or home)

dig – (understood?)

threads – (clothing)

chill – (relax)

dork – (nerd)


In the ’80s

gag me with a spoon – (disgust)

tubular – (awesome)

have a cow – (get upset)

“duh!” – (so obvious)

not even – (strong disapproval)


Wasn’t that a groovy walk through memory lane? Duh! Not even.



We may not realize it, but we try to remain relevant when it comes to world events, health, trends, and more.

It’s called fear of missing out.  Most of us are information junkies, and it steals valuable time.

You can, however, schedule crucial content to come to you without aimlessly searching the Internet.

Whether it’s productivity, devotionals, recipes, sports, or industry updates, choose what you want to see using RSS feeds.


How to Use RSS Feeds to Reduce Information Overload


5-Min Research Tools to Stay in the Know (Video Overview)

Here are some of my favorite tools that help me minimize overwhelm yet stay connected with fresh and helpful information.


Google Alerts: (Free tool)

Click this link to get started. https://www.google.com/alerts

Once you’ve set alerts, go to your Gmail account, and you’ll watch your inbox populate with the content you requested.


Personalize IGHome Page: (Free tool) This was a replacement for the retired iGoogle.

From Google Chrome, click this link to create a customized homepage for your browser. https://www.ighome.com

You’ll need to sign in with your Gmail account to personalize.


Feedly (Paid RSS Reader) Works with Web, IOS, and Android.

Feedly allows you to organize information by topic or category. Add the sites or videos that interest you, and let it populate. This is an excellent research tool without information overload.

Click this link for more information. https://blog.feedly.com/customize-your-feedly-with-the-look-and-feel-that-best-suits-you/


Stay Relevant Within Your Community

Although it’s important to remain relevant on topics, it’s even more critical to stay relevant to your community.

I recently sent my community a quick email with a question.

Honestly, I didn’t expect a response, but the open rate on two-segmented emails immediately hit 44% and 76% open rate.

The comments gave me incredible insights and a better understanding of how I could better serve my community and remain relevant.


The essential part of seeking to remain relevant is listening and that can be done anywhere and anytime.

Use the knowledge to support and help others, not to manipulate. You’ll find you’ll grow as you help others as well.



One last final thought, as Bill and Ted would say, “Be excellent to each other!”


You may also enjoy this productivity post, Become more Twitter Social with Hootsuite. 


If this was helpful, please share it with a friend.


Stay resilient.

Marisa Shadrick

Digital Strategist and Certified Copywriter




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