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Information overload!
how do you keep track of all the information?

 4:34 pm on Nov 16, 2001 (gmt 0)

This may be a little off subject but I am curious on how others handle all the piles and piles of information thrown at you in a day's work.

I've been doing this SEO thing now for about 6 months and am just completely overwhelmed with all the information. I could stay on these boards all day and only touch the tip of the iceberg, but I wouldn't be able to get any of the clients work done (the reason I am studying the boards). ;)

So does anyone have a schedule or a method to track and log all this information?

I know it's a crazy question, but I'm desperate to find a method to my madness!



 4:35 pm on Nov 16, 2001 (gmt 0)

Are you working 9 to 5?


 4:36 pm on Nov 16, 2001 (gmt 0)

Focus on content.
Trying to read, react, read, react will drive you NUTS.


 4:42 pm on Nov 16, 2001 (gmt 0)

If you are, stay after work, study, take notes of what to do the next day


 4:44 pm on Nov 16, 2001 (gmt 0)

i check rankings monthly - then work on slipping pages the first week of the month.

for pay for play -second week of the month

international - third week

Then I go do the other half of my job in the fourth week and get ready for another round of reporting.


 4:44 pm on Nov 16, 2001 (gmt 0)

i forgot to mention - this is so not a 40 hour work week - try 60-70 with all the research.


 4:58 pm on Nov 16, 2001 (gmt 0)

Yep, 9-5 and but I think it is more like 60-70 like ritualcoffe said! That's not to mention all the other office duties I have too! (I think I need to bring in the sleeping bag!)

So much info. goes whizzin' by that I hope I catch all of it! I doesn't help that I can't remember didly either, gotta write every darn thing down--I hate that!

So onward to the long days I guess!


 5:00 pm on Nov 16, 2001 (gmt 0)

I created a bunch of folders to hold all of the info that I find for further studying and review.


 5:12 pm on Nov 16, 2001 (gmt 0)


Firstly, I read WMW everyday. Anything which is not beyond my comprehension as a newbie webmaster and seems like a really good idea ... then I write down the heading of the post (and a small blurb about the content) and keep in a file on my desk.

Then, when I have the time, I look through my file and pick out my next project. I then go to WMW, use the Site Search feature and type in the heading of the post for the string(s) I want relating to the subject, print it out ... then go do it!

The Search Feature is excellent and it means I don't have to remember a darned thing!


 5:16 pm on Nov 16, 2001 (gmt 0)

WmW is definitely the first thing I check in the morning......see what the guys in other areas of the world were doing while we slept


 5:27 pm on Nov 16, 2001 (gmt 0)

Laine, that's where the big part of my problem is. I have basically learned everything I know from this board!!

I check this board several times a day, and always find something new, especially since I'm pretty new to this. It's like a kid in a candy store, where do you begin and how do you know what candy (info) is the good stuff & the stuff you need now!

The hard part is keeping track of the threads that you find interesting, I will have to try your idea of writing down the heading of the post that I find interesting.

click watcher

 5:43 pm on Nov 16, 2001 (gmt 0)

you can flag the posts you like too!!
(flag this post link at top of page)
that way you don't need to write them down,
as you can then checked your flagged topics and there they all are.


 5:44 pm on Nov 16, 2001 (gmt 0)

The answer for me is 'flag','search' and post

Flag: I use the 'flag this post' option for any post which looks useful, but too complicated to take on board until I absolutely have to. I check my flagged posts first for a solution to a problem.

Search: When I am in a fix, searching usually gets the answer, or least gives me the background to ask the right question.

Post: When all else fails, ask the team.

PS none of this works unless the 70hr+ week is already in place.

But, as someone said (can't remember who):

If you wouldn't rather be doing something else, then it isn't work



 5:46 pm on Nov 16, 2001 (gmt 0)

As a newbie myself i use the flags system on the boards but if i do forget just post the a question about the thread the Moderators have a really great knack of remembering things.



 5:48 pm on Nov 16, 2001 (gmt 0)

the Moderators have a really great knack of remembering things.

That's what we don't get paid for! :)


 5:49 pm on Nov 16, 2001 (gmt 0)

maybe we should start a poll
"how many hours did you work last week?";)


 5:52 pm on Nov 16, 2001 (gmt 0)

I would say that on average, I work 50-60 hours a week.

If WmW was an office, I think I would end up sleeping on the office couch 6 out of the 7 days a week.


 5:54 pm on Nov 16, 2001 (gmt 0)

Yeh just worked out 67 hours last friday to friday
but i'm having a quiet weekend this week

Daven :)


 6:46 pm on Nov 16, 2001 (gmt 0)

I never did know what the "flag this post" was for! Simple things like that make me smile! :)

Its quite fun learning something new ~ especially when its easy like that to remember!!


 6:58 pm on Nov 16, 2001 (gmt 0)


If it helps, I work 75 hrs a week.


 7:09 pm on Nov 16, 2001 (gmt 0)


I list out what I need to focus on right now as the top priority. Good info that is not relevant to my current study I bookmark or save for future study.


 7:42 pm on Nov 16, 2001 (gmt 0)

information, just remember to keep a file of all the url's and whatever else that you deem important to your particular brand of seo.

i work anything from 50 to 70 hours a week dependant on whats going on, though i have maxed 100+ on occasion.


 3:01 pm on Nov 20, 2001 (gmt 0)

beasscr, like Caine I used to pull 100+ hour weeks, but I think the real trick is to gather and eat separately. i.e. go hunting for new information, saving/printing all the documents, links etc. on the way. Then take the good ones away and read them. Do the same for reporting and promotion; check rankings and target vocabularies for a whole load of Web sites, then go optimise them before checking again.

This has three advantages - firstly you can keep following your trains of thought during the 'gathering' phase without interruption. Eventually you keep finding the same information on a particular topic at which point you can relax. Secondly, you can concentrate on the 'eating' phase without getting side-tracked (as you followed the interesting tangents previously). Thirdly, you get a nice interface between the two phases, which you can use for drinking and winning money at cards. ;)

A recent stay in hospital provided a marvellous excuse for uninterrupted Google research. I had read the early Brin/Page papers umpteen times, but an excuse to lie back and read, read read was needed for it to make sense. Oh, and thereís always a pile of docís by the pillow. YMMV



 6:12 pm on Nov 20, 2001 (gmt 0)

Calum, thanks for the input. You are right the key is to gather and eat seperatly.

It's so gosh darn hard to do though when just about all informtion you read is new. But I will try your way and see how I do.

Calum, hope all is well with you now and I send my best wishes. I guess you got Google down pat now, huh?

Thanks to all for your help too!


 7:50 pm on Nov 20, 2001 (gmt 0)

Hi, beasscr. In my last job I kept a weekly list of goals to work from on my desktop. This included research topics to study and what I needed to focus on for each day of the week. I set a day for intense study of the logs (besides my daily look-over)and had specific folders for submissions of new tech books that I did on a daily basis. I kept a re-submission folder with my upcoming re-submissions on file. All notes were kept of what I needed to do when in my weekly list. I also kept individual folders with research articles and notes for topics such as link popularity, spiders, META tags, etc.

At the end of the week I had to write up a short basic report for my supervisor of what I had worked on during the week. It was a pain in the @$$ to do, but helped me be even more organized.

If you look at the amount of work all at once, believe me, it will drive you over the edge. Break it down into yearly, monthly, weekly attainable goals which will help you keep track of what you do. It also helps you realize how much time you really need to complete some projects. :)


 8:36 pm on Nov 20, 2001 (gmt 0)

Beasscr, 3 words for you: Beware BURN OUT!

I was working the typical 60-70 hours week until Pubconference. I realized I was in really bad shape when I kept babbling about "too much" during my drunken stupor after the conference. RC & wife had to listen to me mumbling about burn out for hours ;)

After Pubcon I'm down to working 15 hours a week ;) Learned my lesson.

My suggestion:
Take time to relax and pursue other interests. Try to learn a lot but try not to go overboard, or you'll lose pleasure in the job.


 1:15 am on Nov 21, 2001 (gmt 0)


I chart key items.

Each project has its own set of sheets depending what is important.

New advertising programs (example: Ink and Alta inclusion) have their own.

Sales on specific sites are charted by search engine, keyword, day of the week.

I modify a key variable and then quantify the results.
Record the data in a spreedsheet.

Its the only way I can put my arms around everything.

I do the entry in the morning over coffee when my brain hasn't quite warmed up and do the analysis during the day when I need some stimulus.

All togther I spend two hours a day in this process.


 2:09 pm on Nov 21, 2001 (gmt 0)

Come to think of it... I don't really think there is enough hours in the day nor minutes in an hour for all the information that you could gather from the boards. Moderation, devotion, and a healthy sense of a balanced lifestyle might be the keys. Spreadsheets, gathering opposed to eating, are all great tactics.

I might suggest focusing on what really interests you.

My two cents...

SEO Speedster

 2:16 pm on Nov 21, 2001 (gmt 0)

Just try to make the most of your time. If you're using <insert evil> automated tools <end evilness> than only do so to report. You should know by now to never submit with these things.

Anyways, many automated tools that offer reporting tools also have the ability to generate CSV's for databases or tables... I find that tracking things is really easy. Outline a site, run reports every Monday and Friday, chart everything (position, the top three URL's, per engine, etc.) - then, just analyize it when you can. From there, you can begin to predict when updates will occur, and most importantly, can track rank changes based on things that you implement within sites.

It seems to be all about research, and that you have pointed out. But don't limit yourself to what everyone else is providing. There is no doubt that it is useful, and that is why this is one of the most popular WM forums... But, if you need to find something out - do it yourself so you not only get the raw information, but the ability to tune the research to exactly your needs. From there, you'll then just start making US seem overwhelmed!

Just my $0.02 - like I can afford it! ;)

Take care all, and happy t-day.


 3:49 pm on Nov 21, 2001 (gmt 0)

This is too good of a thread not to contribute to.
Add endless research with all the ins and outs of running a business and 'freak out' is right around the corner.

There are 3 of us here right now and everyone is rockin'. Plus, now there is the U.S. holiday coming tomorrow and both Thursday and Friday are obligatory family days.

It's easy to let things get out of control. However, I think 2_much has the right idea. Even a 20 to 25 hour work week is possible. It just has to be a priority.

Maybe it will be a New Year's Resolution.

Take care everyone!

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