How to Use Flipboard to Stay on Top of Your Competition and Your Industry

Because we're all busy all the time, it almost becomes a chore to seek out news online. And yet it's vital that everyone — executives and managers most of all — stay on top of their industry's headlines in order to monitor the competition. Information is key.

The problem is your Facebook feed is dominated by Buzzfeedy articles and clickbait. And  assembling your RSS feeds in Feedly might seem like way too much of a time investment. How then does one collect relevant news and consume it in a pleasing UI? We have a suggestion: try Flipboard.

What is Flipboard?

Flipboard is a web-based content platform with well over 100 million users, and adding 250,000 additional readers every day. It gives users a sleek magazine interface to consume news articles in choice topic areas. Instead of venturing to individual websites and collecting RSS feeds into a feed reader such as Feedly, you can simply choose to follow generic topics such as "project management" or "marketing," specific people such as Madonna or Robert Scoble, or other user-created magazines such as Productivity Works! or Startup Spark Up.

The entire user experience was designed for mobile first (they only just released the desktop/web version of Flipboard in February 2015), and is easily one of the most satisfying app experiences around. Articles are presented in a magazine-style layout, allowing you to swipe through pages.

Flipboard allows you to become a magazine editor. You can "flip" content from across the web into your very own magazines by using the app, or a bookmarklet/browser extension on the web version. Your magazines can revolve around topics you enjoy, and there's no design work involved. The app automatically displays your curated content in a neat magazine layout.

5 Tips on Using Flipboard to Monitor Your Industry & Competition

If you really want to make the most of Flipboard as a one-stop news reader, it is important to set it up properly. Here are five tips:

1. Follow topics, people, and magazines in your industry/niche Feel free to follow the topics/people/magazines you enjoy personally, but also find Flipboards that will inspire and inform your work. Follow your competitors. Follow your industry. The things you follow will determine what articles show up in your feed, so it's important to put thought into choosing what you follow.

2. Explore Flipboard's suggestions After Flipboard acquired Zite in 2014, it beefed up its recommendation algorithms so that people could more easily discover user-generated magazines. It now does a very good job of recommending magazines based on topics you follow, another reason why it's integral to follow stuff you actually want to read about.

3. Or... simply read the Daily Edition for Flipboard's curated news If all that still seems like way too much work, there is a final alternative: the Daily Edition, which is Flipboard's version of the daily print newspaper. A team of editors hand-picks articles for this section every morning, and just like a newspaper, there's a definite end. Unlike the regular feeds, there's no infinite scroll — there's a point where you can say "I've finished reading today's top news stories."

4. Connect a Read Later app You can't always read something as it appears on your feed. If you connect a read later app such as Instapaper, Pocket, or Readability, you can easily check out the post that caught your fancy at a more convenient time.

5. Connect your social media accounts Once you install Flipboard on your mobile device, connect your social media accounts so that you can flip anything from your social feeds straight into your magazines. Note: if you sign up for Flipboard on the desktop, you might miss out on this feature since it's only available on the mobile app.

Start By Following These 4 Flipboard Magazines

If you're looking for suggestions on magazines to follow, we put together four of our very own. Check them out:

+ Productivity Works! for tips on getting work done, to-do list strategies, productivity tech, and tips for becoming more efficient.

+ Social Project Management, for everything related to project management methodologies, project management tips, and articles that of interest to project managers.

+ Startup Spark Up for entrepreneurial advice, startup culture, growth hacking, and other emerging business articles.

+ Marketing Speak for content marketing, advertising, social media, and all things digital marketing.

What Are Your Favorite Flipboard Magazines?

There are probably thousands of magazines available on Flipboard. We'd love to hear your recommendations on what else to follow. Drop your links in our comments section!

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