Staying on top of the news can sometimes seem impossible -- there is so much news and information blasting onto the Web every second.
How do we filter through the noise and find what is important to us? It's actually quite simple, with the right sources and a few simple tools.
Get a Google Reader account
Google's handy Reader finds and filters the content you care about and displays it in an easy-to-read way. Instead of having to visit a bunch of different sites every day, or falling behind in the news because you're too busy to constantly refresh their pages, Google Reader will aggregate content from those sites and include headlines for news stories you might want to read. You can learn how to set up Google Reader here.
Once you include all of your favorite news sources, Google Reader will automatically feed top news stories into your reader so you can keep up. Scan the headlines and click on links that look interesting to you. You can bookmark important items and email them to yourself, even share them with the team.
RSS subscriptions are a fantastic way to keep up with the resources you know will be helpful. But what about news from other sites you don't know about?
If there are companies or topics you feel are especially more important to you, set up an email alert that will send you the latest news as soon as you'd like.
Google has a great Alerts service. Just type the term you care about (maybe it's your company name or your competitor's name) and use the preferences to customize how you would like to receive updates. You can get the updates in your Google Reader or direct to your email address. You can also request immediate delivery or receive the updates in a daily digest. Anytime your chosen terms appear in Google’s index, you will be sent a notice so you can check out the latest news from anywhere on the Web.
Sign up for a Twitter account, and you will find smart people who stay on top of the news better than you ever could. There is a great Twitter list of small business owners here.
You can also check out Business Insider's The Hive to see which specific news stories are bubbling up on the social service.
Get a great mobile news service
With the right mobile application on your smartphone, you'll never feel like you're falling behind while you're on the go. MobileRSS is a great application available on the iPhone. It hooks up with your Google Reader so you can browse the latest news while you're on the go. Viigo for the BlackBerry is another great app.
Bonus tip: Read Business Insider!
We find, filter, curate and aggregate the best finance and business news on the Web, and our War Room section is all about you small business owners. Don't forget to visit the site and let us know how else we can help you be a better small business owner.