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5 Apps That Are Going to Keep You in the Know

Apps to keep you in the know 061014
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Rewind back to January 1, 2013. On my list of New Year’s resolutions was to “read the news.” Little did I know that I would end up working in news later that year. But not all of us have the luxury of being engrossed in news for the majority of our work week.

At the time, I was a busy young professional who wanted to keep up with current events, but didn’t have time to tune into nightly news or scour the newspaper and relevant sites to figure out what was important. Making the New York Times my homepage didn’t help either. There are an overwhelming amount of resources out there, but I’ve filtered it down to five ways I stay in the know.

1. Stitcher Radio

Stitcher is a free radio on demand app that allows you to listen to your favorite radio shows and podcasts (including “This American Life”). You can create custom playlists and receive personalized recommendations based on your listening preferences.

I use the “My Front Page” option on my commute to work. You can listen to top headlines and trending stories stitched together from the across the radio universe, including BBC, NPR and AP. I love that Stitcher picks the stories for me and I don’t have to pick stations myself. Refresh at any time of the day to listen to the latest news.

2. theSkimm

theSkimm is a newsletter that arrives in my inbox around 6:00am every weekday. It breaks down the most critical news into a format digestible for the average reader. You’ll get a brief summary of the news, some background and analysis, and the takeaway.

What I love about theSkimm is that it goes one step beyond just the top headlines, which means you’ll be able to contribute to any conversation in a thoughtful way. There’s no need for you to click external links to get the full story; everything you need to know is in the newsletter.

3. Need 2 Know

Need 2 Know is a daily email that arrives every weekday morning. Think “Cliff Notes” for news. News summaries are broken down by topic (i.e. Nation, Tech, Entertainment, etc.) followed by a couple sentences on the story and a link to the source. It even makes sure you know about that viral video or photo that everyone is talking about. Need 2 Know also adds its own fun commentary to keep things light. I love the “retweet” found at the bottom of each email. The topic sections make every email easy to read in just a couple of minutes.

For the businesswomen (and businessmen) out there, here are two additional resources for business news.

4. Bloomberg Radio

When I was in college, the one piece of advice I received to prepare for a career in finance was to read the Wall Street Journal. I was on a college student’s budget and didn’t have a print or digital subscription to the paper, so I needed to find another way to follow business news.

My secret? I would listen to Bloomberg Radio to get the latest business and finance news whenever I was in my dorm room. Yes, even when I was sleeping. This works best if your laptop or phone is plugged into a power source and you don’t share your room with your roommate. If you prefer video, you can also stream Bloomberg Television 24/7. I ended up getting that finance internship, so something must have worked.

5. Quartz Daily Brief

The Quartz Daily Brief arrives in my inbox each weekday morning before 6am with a roundup of business and economy news from around the web. Quartz offers various editions–Asia, Europe & Africa, and the Americas–depending on where you are or your region of interest.

Emails are structured in terms of news to watch today, news you might have missed overnight, a Quartz “obsession” (trends that are shaping the world) followed by a list of interesting reads (called “Matters of debate” and “Surprising discoveries”). I also get a Quartz Weekend Brief highlighting “Five things on Quartz we especially liked” and “Five things elsewhere that made us smarter.”

Headlines are bolded, followed by a sentence or two of description along with embedded links to articles if you want more context. The email layout is so clean and “brief” that it can easily be read in a couple of minutes. I love the witty “Please send…” line at the bottom of every email. It’s also nice to be wished a productive day every morning. Wishful thinking, but I digress…

Wow, Tiffany, you really get three daily news emails in your inbox every morning?

Yes, these ones are just too good to pass up. And they are all accessible on-the-go (aka on your phone). Any other “must-haves” you use to stay in the know? Let me know or try out the ones above!

Photo: Thinkstock

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