**Update** I have included a direct link to the blog's Flipboard Magazine in the menu of this website, accessible as a drop down tab if viewed on a mobile device. Happy reading!
Like many of you, I work hard to reduce the often distracting and overwhelming digital and information clutter that comes at us in a constant stream as part of day-to-day life. Where towers of books and stacks of papers, memos, and notes used to fill up physical space on our desks and offices, today we are faced with unanswered emails, stray files, and dozens of digital bits of information in the form of documents, links, and images stored on our computer desktops, tablets, and smartphones.
And while I have worked hard to corral digital information from my work life into some manageable order, the last frontier of my digital clutter has been the many bookmarks and links that I dutifully collect— via social media, web browsing, blogs, and reading digital news/magazines, but others sent by colleagues and students—that find their way into many dump piles and forgotten bookmark lists on my computer. In this sense, I am still a bit of a hoarder when it comes to information, but I was determined this past year to figure out some way to sort, collect, and share the best of the digital information I was consuming day to day.
A few years ago I began using an app called Flipboard on my iPad, and in its infancy the app promised to help collect content from various media outlets. At the time, I was especially drawn to the feature of uploading and collecting one’s Twitter feed via Flipbook and selectively “flipping” and collecting bits of information into my own personally curated “magazine” that I found interesting or worth reading. I could then browse the information and links at my leisure in an easy to navigate form (Flipboard uses a cool finger swiping interface to move from one article to the next). I later created the public magazine “Avant-Guardian Musings Round-Up”, which is now available to view from a link on the desktop version of my blog (or can be found via a quick search on the phone and tablet app), as a way to replace the weekly selection of art-related links and info that I used to dutifully cut and paste into weekly posts.
More recently, I have revisited my use of Flipboard for personal use and as a classroom tool to collect and share information on specific topics, and have found that improvements and wider accessibility to the app have resulted in one of the best vehicles through which to select, save, and share digital links and information in an intuitive and user-friendly way. For beginners to Flipboard, I recommend downloading the app on your phone or tablet and adding your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube accounts to get a look at how your social media stream can be accessed in a more user friendly and visually attractive format. From there, you can create a personal magazine (for public or private viewing) into which you “flip” specific articles, images, and bits of info from your feed. You can also activate the Flipboard app on your phone/tablet’s share settings, and any time you run across an article you like through other apps and browsers, you can flip that info into your magazine for later reading. From there, you can choose to follow other magazines that your friends have created, or search for magazines on topics of interest from media, blog, and publishing outlets that you find interesting. For example, I am teaching a course on Street and Graffiti art this semester, so I have been following several magazines that collect info, images, and articles on that topic into a personal magazine.
For more advanced users and those who want to use Flipboard as a teaching resource, I recommend downloading the free desktop app (debuting earlier this year) from which you can sort, organize, and pull more content into your magazine via a Flipboard + key that is installed on your browser navigation bar. I also love how visually stunning the app appears on a big screen. It certainly makes the process of reading and enjoying media far more pleasurable than the olden days of choppy RSS feed readers. But more importantly, you too can conquer the final frontier of digital clutter that inhabits your daily life.