At Your Fingertips Homepage Journalism
Social Work
General Competencies Homepage

5 Steps to Constructing a Personal Information Filter

In order to survive sane in our message dense society, you have already developed some methods for screening out unwanted stimuli and messages.  You probably already do some or most of the things listed below consciously or unconsciously.  Making the process conscious gives you more control.  If you discover anything new, you can try it on for size.

Creating an information filter starts with developing criteria which defines the type of information most relevant to you and your needs:

1.  List your central life roles:

  • spouse
  • parent
  • career person
  • ?

2.  List any special hobbies or interests that bring you joy:

  • basket ball
  • gardening
  • jazz
  • tole painting
  • ?

3.  List necessary (if not joyful) topics where you need basic and current information:

  • health & medical
  • financial planning
  • ?

4.  Now, specify your information needs for each role/interest:

  •  Are your children toddlers or teenagers?
  • If you're an attorney, do you specialize in intellectual property law or criminal defense?
  • Do you grow Iris or Bonsai?
  • Are you especially interested in financial planning to buy your first home or your retirement mansion on the golf course?
5.  Next, invest the time to select the 1-3 best periodicals or online sources for each interest or role.
  • Faithfully scan these sources for important-to-you information
  • As you encounter information from other sources, attend to it only to the degree that it matches your interests.
  • If material is relevant to your interests, is it an essential piece of information or is it merely desireable?
  • Think of all information in relation to how closely it matches the target of your interests.
Target of interests, ranging from not relevant to essential

Page Maintained by: Corryn Crosby-Muilenburg
Page Last Modified: January 29, 1999
About this Program  •  Questions, Comments & Suggestions  •  Contact Information  •  HSU Library Homepage
Humboldt State University Library Homepage At Your Fingertips Homepage