How to Organize Journals, Blogs, and Articles

You wake up, make your bed, do your ahem, bathroom business, then slowly sulk your way to the kitchen to get some coffee brewing.

While the good stuff brews, you open up your computer and decide to check what’s going on in the good old internet today.

Then it happens.

You see 20 new blogs on your blogroll, Facebook has shared 13 different posts that sound unbelievable, but oh wait, check out that tweet showing Tim Ferriss finally interviewed Zac Cupples (#dreaming), and then oh snap, Eminem just dropped another new song on Spotify!

And then you accomplish nothing.

Except listening to the new Eminem, that will always be a worthwhile accomplishment

I see this problem time and time again with many of the mentees that I work with, and I occasionally fall into the trap myself. We see so many interesting articles coming out on a regular basis, and the pull from FOMO is real.

With so much to consume and so little time, what are we to do?

The short answer: consume at the right time.

Yes, the learning process has to involve impeccable timing with consumption. I’ve spoken about just in time learning ad nauseam (here and here), and it is key to both solving problems and retentaining new information.

Consuming a cornucopia of random posts, articles, podcasts, and Youtube videos without direction is a recipe for time wasting.  You fleet from one cool article to the next and…oh wait, what was that last article about?

We’ve all been there, and the struggle is real.

So how do we overcome this nerd FOMO that we all at some point give into?

What we have to do is give in to that little dopamine hit that comes with every click, but repurpose what we do what the new information.

Instead of consumption, we shift to accumulation.

The Death of Consumption

When you accumulate and store articles, posts, etc, you not only satisfy your nerd craving, but also build an arsenal of things to reference when the learning time is right.

Here is an example of one of my accumulation folders that I have for research on a specific topic.

Locked and loaded.

One of my future areas of study is going to be in nutrition, because I know how powerful supportive nutrition can be, but it’s just not in the cards for me right now.

When I come across a study that sounds incredibly intriguing, I sock it away in the nutrition folder, knowing that I’ll be able to pull that relevant study when the time is right.

Or perhaps a better article will come out that makes the former study irrelevant, which means I save time by trashing the outdated article.

It is this accumulation, this nerd stockpiling, that has me prepared to dive into any topic at a moment’s notice.

I call it, Zacmed™.

All rights reserved. Sadly, there is nothing right about me.

Here is how you can build your own.

Research Mining 101

Research accumulation where I spend a bulk of my stockpiling time. Gotta stay #EBP if ya know what I’m sayin’.

This process works not just for journal articles, but basically any downloadables. That means ebooks, powerpoints, JPEGs, anything goes through this process.

Here are the mining steps.

Step 1: Subscribe to journal article email alerts

This piece is critical. It’s hard to keep up with the latest and greatest of research with just a Pubmed search. Hell, you may not even know what keywords to look for.

If Pubmed searching is shopping on Amazon, email alerts is going to Barnes and Noble. Yes, you limit your selection, but your browsing can be much more focused. Fewer options make for easier selection.

If you want a quick an easy way to subscribe to mulitple journal alerts, get a free account at ScienceDirect. Just sign up, go to manage alerts, and you are in business.

Journal selection is going to be totally dependent on what you do and what trips your trigger, but here is a list of the journal I subscribe to (I’ll add more as time goes on, I sometimes forget which ones I subscribe to):

Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy

International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy

British Journal of Sports Medicine



Frontiers in (way too many of them)

The Lancet

New England Journal of Medicine

Journal of American Medical Association

Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology 

Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics

Another possible option is scouring social media, which I sometimes do, but you have to watch not getting sucked down cat videos for multiple hours.

Yeah. It’s a lot of possible information coming into your inbox, but the key to not being overwhelmed is in the screening process.

Step 2: Screen the email alerts

Once the floodgates open on your email alerts, you must slow the information flow by properly screening useful studies.

The simple solution is to scan the titles. If your interest is piqued, click on the article, scan the abstract, then decide whether or not you need to pursue article acquisition.

I try to get each email done in under 60 seconds. If nothing is intriguing, delete.

Step 3: Project PDF Procurement

Now the fun begins. Many journals will have open access (yay), some you may have to go with like a google scholar or other type of search to get access (meh), and of course you’ll have some brilliant pieces that deny easy access (boo).

How’s a fam supposed to stay #EBP in this case?

Well I can’t tell you directly how to get article access, but this blog does a great job of explaining the many different ways you can retrieve articles. Some legal, some well, more along the Robin Hood side of acquisition. It’s your conscience, not mine.

Once you get the “physical” article copy, move on to step four.

Step 4: Place the PDF in the organized folder

Here is the key. As you are downloading articles left and right, you need a place to store them. Download Dropbox and get your 1TB subscription, that way you can access the articles whenever you so desire.

From here, I have 3 folders in which I place my articles:

  • Reading List – Articles I haven’t read
  • Highlights – Articles I’ve read, but haven’t formalized into my notecard system
  • Evidence – Articles I’ve read and that made it to the notecard system

Organize each folder based on the topic of study. Again, this will be individualized, but here is a look at what my reading list folder looks like:

If you have to ask what’s in the PR. Davidson folder, you can’t afford it.

In order to  simplify titles on my notecards and expedite study retrieval for reviews, I have a classification system I use. Like some Dewey Decimal kinda stuff #throwback.

Say I read an article that’s in the ACL folder. I’ll then retitle that ACL7 (if it’s the 7th article I’ve read), then any notecards attributed to that article will have ACL7 in the title space.

Step 5: Scour the folder when a problem arises

Here is the implementation and consumption part. Once you have a problem or question, you browse related folders, pick titles that seem like they would help you, read, and repeat. This is exactly the process I went through for my pain and breathing talks.

Saving Blogs and Articles

The process is a bit different for internet articles; namely because it’s a bit more work to get “physical” copies. For these, I have a few separate strategies.

But first, how do I access blogs?

I have two means of getting blog access. One is email subscriptions. Not only with these do you get access to exclusive content, but generally if products come out from people you respect, you’ll get some solid discounts. Definitely worthwhile.

I also have an RSS feed through Feedly. Here I can see all the newest blogs that my peeps have put out, and it makes reading selection go much faster. If a post is irrelevant to my tastes, I can checkmark that I read it, and it goes away.

If the post is relevant, then I have a couple options:

Option 1: Read/skim immediately

The only reason I do this is because I want to share current stuff with my newsletter fam. Unless it’s like something super fascinating. Sometimes you have to give in. People write interesting stuff it turns out.

If something really resonates with me, and I need to know it for later, I’ll notecard it immediately or take notes on Google Keep and notecard later.

Option 2: Download to Evernote

This is by far my favorite option and most used. If there is a post or article that I know I want to read, but don’t have time when it comes out, I’ll simply copy the text and paste it to Evernote.

What’s nice about this strategy is that I can then read the article offline on any device, greatly enhancing portability.  And if you are a Feedly user, you can save the article immediately to Evernote.

Pocket is also another potential option, but what’s nice about Evernote is I can categorize articles in a manner similarly to what I do for research articles. That way when a topic comes up, I just go through Zacmed™ and Zacnote™ for inspiration.

Coming to an app store near you

Sum Up

Accumulating and categorizing is the key to saving time, staying focused, and being prepared when a problem comes your way.

To summarize:

  • Accumulate first, consume second
  • Subscribe to journal alerts
  • Design categorical systems to place your information
  • Scour when the time is right

What strategies do you use to accumulate knowledge? Comment below and let us know!

Photo Credits


Wikimedia Commons (modified by yours truly)

Flickr (modified by yours truly)

Respiration Revisited Preview

Respiration, and how it impacts movement, is a topic of dear interest to me.

I scoured a bunch of resources to better understand how this process works, and I figured I’d record a talk on how I am applying these concepts.

Basically, I do the work, you reap the results #tistheseason

Here were some of the topics I discussed in this talk:

  • The anatomy of respiration
  • The physiology of respiration
  • Alterations in physiology and anatomy as respiratory demands increase
  • How to simply assess how movement is affected by respiration
  • Easy to implement treatments to favorably impact movement

If you want immediate access to the remainder of the nearly 90 minute talk, and a FREE 27 page PDF file of my talk notes, fill out the form below.

Without further adieu, here is the first 30 minutes of the talk.

Hypermobility, Pushups Over Quad Sets, and Lat Dominance – Movement Debrief Episode 28

Movement Debrief Episode 28 is in the books. Here is a copy of the video and audio for your listening pleasure.

Here is the set list:

  • How do testing considerations differ for people with joint hypermobility syndromes?
  • What does treatment look like for the hypermobile client?
  • Why I like pushups and other upper body exercises can be effective selections for lower body problems
  • What “pain science” courses do I recommend
  • What’s the deal with overbracing and cueing abdominal coordination?
  • How can you reduce lat overactivity
  • The clinical reasoning model that I am thinking of

If you want to watch these live, add me on Facebook, Instagram, or Youtube. They air every Wednesday at 7:30pm CST.

Enjoy. (sorry about the audio delay, still making some tweaks on my new computer)

Zac Cupples iTunes                

Here were the links I mentioned:

Here is the first way I assess coordinative variability


The next test assess coordination, power, and fatigability of joint variability:

Noi Group

Explain Pain Course Notes

Graded Motor Imagery Course Notes

Mobilisation of the Nervous System  Course Notes

Therapeutic Neuroscience Education Course Notes

International Spine and Pain Institute

“All Gain No Pain” by Bill Hartman

Enhancing Life

Method Strength

Andy Mccloy 

Trevor LaSarre

Here’s a signup for my newsletter to get a free acute:chronic workload calculator, basketball conditioning program, podcasts, and weekend learning goodies:


Check out the mentor program

Practical Pain Education

I gave a talk on how I approach pain education in the land of China, and yes I finally got around to re-recording it.

Here were some of the topics I discussed in this talk:

  • The history of pain education
  • The difference between the three pain mechanisms
  • What the current research suggests regarding pain and threat
  • The 14 most common maladaptive pain beliefs, and how to squash those thoughts via education

If you want immediate access to the remainder of the 1 hour and 49 minute talk, and a FREE 21 page PDF file of my talk notes, fill out the form below.

Without further adieu, here is the first 20+ minutes of the talk.

Infrasternal Angles, Spinal Lordosis, and Restoring Shoulder Motion – Movement Debrief Episode 27

Movement Debrief Episode 27 is in the books. Here is a copy of the video and audio for your listening pleasure.

Here is the set list:

  • The three types of infrasternal angles
  • Anatomical theories regarding the infrasternal angle
  • Infrasternal angle treatment
  • The different positions of the lumbar spine
  • Restoring lumbar position
  • Restoring cervical spine position
  • My treatment sequence for restoring shoulder motion
  • Which are my favorite hikes

If you want to watch these live, add me on Facebook, Instagram, or Youtube. They air every Wednesday at 7:30pm CST.


Zac Cupples iTunes                

Here were the links I mentioned:

Bill Hartman

Pre-existent vertebral rotation in the human spine is influenced by body position.

Right thoracic curvature in the normal spine

Analysis of preexistent vertebral rotation in the normal spine.

Effect of changes in pelvic tilt on range of motion to impingement and radiographic parameters of acetabular morphologic characteristics.

PRI Craniocervical Mandibular Restoration

PRI Vision

Here is the exercise I mentioned from Daddy-O Pops for a retracted and elevated scapula.

Enhancing Life

Method Strength

Andy Mccloy 

Trevor LaSarre

Here’s a signup for my newsletter to get a free acute:chronic workload calculator, basketball conditioning program, podcasts, and weekend learning goodies:


Check out the mentor program

November Links and Review

Every week, my newsletter subscribers get links to some of the goodies that I’ve come across on the internets.

Here were the goodies that my peeps got their learn on from this past August.

If you want to get a copy of my weekend learning goodies every Friday, fill out the form below.  That way you can brag to all your friends about the cool things you’ve learned over the weekend.

Biggest Lesson of the Month

Don’t beat yourself up if you aren’t hitting perfection day in and day out. Consistent progress over time is the key.

There have been many days where I wasn’t motivated to stay on task, and faltered. The key to getting back on the proverbial horse the next day was to not beat myself up. Instead, acknowledge that these things happen, understand I’m human, and get after it the next day.

You’d be amazed at what this shift in perspective can do.

Quote of the Month

“Greatness is a lot of small things done daily” ~ MJ Demarco

MJ Demarco again takes the cake this month. This quote made me reflect a lot on just how many small, quality habits, can make an impact on life. What small things can you do to become great?

Hike of the Month

A late steal this month, but got a chance to check out Death Valley National Park.

Salt > snow. Equally as pretty, less slippery, and DEFINITELY warmer

I wasn’t really sure what to expect with this place since, ya know, it’s hot and things are kinda dead n’ stuff, but the variety in landscape was quite unbelievable. Landscape that I have never experienced before, whether salt lands or sand dunes. I’d definitely consider checking this awesome place out.



Here’s a little sneak preview of the free talk I’ll be putting up for you guys once I re-record it!

Blog: What Evidence Based Practice is Not

Doug Kechijian always telling it like it is. This time, my younger older brother discusses how to think about evidence based practice. How it is much more than a bomb of Pubmed citations. I also love how he touches on effective discussion on the internet.

Here is a little variation on differential tendon gliding you can try next time you see someone with a flexor tendon repair.

Blog: Should We Delay Range of Motion After a Rotator Cuff Repair Surgery?

Mike Reinold again coming on strong with this post. This time, Mike looks at a systematic review comparing early vs. delayed motion after a cuff repair, and I love his interpretation.


Video: Kettlebell Swing Tutorial w/ Justice Williams (via Tony Gentilcore)

My kettlebell game is something I’m hoping to improve upon over the next year, and this was a great intro point to it. Here, Tony Gentilcore and Justice Williams provide an excellent coaching tutorial on the wonderful/brutal exercise known as the kettlebell swing.




Article: Trick Yourself Into Writing Well by Telling Yourself to Write Badly

Lifehacker is an awesome website for many reasons, and this article is an example of that.

Many times, getting started writing is the hardest part, here, the peeps at Lifehacker give you a trick to getting started. Works wonders for those days I don’t want to write.

Making this one little tweak to how I plan email checking throughout my day has made a big difference.

Personal Development

Book: What to do When It’s Your Turn

A dear friend of mine got me this book, which has become my pre-bed reading and I love it. Seth Godin, marketer extraordinaire, writes in this book about handling fear of failure, getting the courage to start something up, and how timing is never right. These are a few of many great topics that I’ve come across, and I always fall asleep in a good mood after I read a few pages 🙂

Blog: These are the 8 Friends You Need to be Happy in Life

Social engagement is something we don’t discuss much when we are trying to reach our health and performance goals. Here, Eric Barker talks about the eight people you should have in your life. How many do you have?

Article: How Frequently Should You Take A Vacation?

This is probably the most comprehensive guide to vacationing that I have come across. It turns out, vacations are incredibly important to your health.

Don’t like vacations? Consider your increase for cardiovascular disease elevated. Read the guide to maximizing them.

Just need to make life a vacation #movesomewherewarm

Blog: How One Young Couple Repaid $87,000 of Student Loan Debt in 27 Months

If you have student loans. Read this. It’s hard work, gruesome, but paying off debt has been a rewarding experience for me. If you are lacking motivation, or can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, here is some hope.

Blog: Struggling Against Good Decisions with Bad Results

This was just a phenomenal message that can be extrapolated not to just finances, but life. Here, Trent Hamm discusses the importance of sticking to sound principles, even if those principles don’t always result in a desirable outcome

Book: Discipline Equals Freedom Field Manual

If you need a swift kick in the ass to get back into gear, this is the book. Many of the pages are snippets from Jocko Willink’s podcast, but the message is not lost. Jocko will make you rethink everything your doing, and eliminate the excuses for you not doing. Change your life, and read this book.

Book: Unscripted

After you’ve been kicked down by Jocko, let MJ Demarco pull off the finisher. This guy is becoming one of my favorite authors because he is brutally honest and pulls no punches in explaining how we fall into business and work traps that not only hinder us, but minimize helping others. If you want to be an entrepreneur (and you all should, this book tells you why) then this is a must read.

My favorite part? “The goal isn’t to make money, but to provide value to others.”

Health and Wellness


Podcast: Dr. Ruscio – The Real Deal with Gut Microbiota

I’ve been binge listening to Robb Wolf’s podcast, and I’ve come across Dr. Ruscio a couple different times. I admire his brutal honesty and simple approach to dealing with the gut microbiome, and I hope you guys like it as well.

Want to know some of my big keys for starting my day off right? Check out this week’s quick hit.

Podcast: Dr. Richard Maurer – The Blood Code

Again, another simplified and stratified approach to functional medicine courtesy of the Robb Wolf podcast. Here, Dr. Maurer outlines his key blood markers and first-tier treatment to help individuals with their health and wellness goals.

Article: Do You Need to Refrain from Coffee to Get the Maximal Effect of Caffeine?

If you want to maximize performance, do you need to give up coffee for a bit to get the benefits? Researchers compared how caffeine affects performance in heavy, moderate, and low users.

The answer might surprise you!

The addiction is now #ebp #blessed


Which goodies did you find useful? Comment below and let me know what you think.

Photo Credits

Nick Kenrick

Julius Schorzman

Kyphosis, Post-Rehab Total Hips, and Coordinating Three Planes- Movement Debrief Episode 26

Movement Debrief Episode 26 is in the books. Here is a copy of the video and audio for your listening pleasure.

Here were all the topics:

  • What treatment parameters should be considered when working with someone who is overly kyphotic
  • What to look at when assessing a total hip arthroplasty
  • What training pieces should be considered and focused on with a total hip arthroplasty
  • Should anything be avoided on the training floor with a total hip arthroplasty?
  • How do I restore shoulder flexion
  • How do I use cervical rotation to restore cervical lordosis
  • What exactly do I mean by restoring sagittal, frontal, and transverse planes?
  • How do I assess the three planes
  • How do I restore the three planes
  • Can the ribcage and t-spine act independently?

If you want to watch these live, add me on Facebook, Instagram, or Youtube. They air every Wednesday at 7:30pm CST.


Zac Cupples iTunes                

Here were the links I mentioned tonight

Enhancing Life

Bill Hartman

An Anatomic Investigation of the Ober’s Test

The Ultimate Guide to Treating Ankle Sprains

Ipsilateral Hip Abductor Weakness after Inversion Ankle Sprain

Method Strength

Andy Mccloy 

Trevor LaSarre

Jeremy Hyatt

Here’s a signup for my newsletter to get a free acute:chronic workload calculator, basketball conditioning program, podcasts, and weekend learning goodies:


Check out the mentor program

The Guide to Travel Physical Therapy & Psychology – A Randy Bowling Movement Conversation

I recently had the pleasure of talking about all things travel PT and psychology with my dear friend, Randy “The Dolph” Bowling.

Travelin’ fam

Randy has been a traveling physical therapist for almost 10 years now, and has a substantial knowledge base on the traveling process. He also is very much into psychology, and thought me a few things.

You can find Randy on facebook and Instagram.

Here were some of the topics discussed:

  • Why Randy chose to become a traveler
  • How to best interact with travel companies
  • How to network with other travelers
  • The need for negotiation
  • What do travel contracts look like
  • What does the interview process look like
  • What makes a good traveler
  • Randy’s thoughts on psychology
  • How important is focusing on pain?
  • Why Randy is a big fan of Louis Gifford

Here is the video, audio, and scroll down to read the modified transcript.



Here were some of the links mentioned by The Dolph

Fordyce’s Behavioral Methods for Chronic Pain and Illness

Clinical Reasoning for Manual Therapists

Pain-Related Fear: Understanding and Treating the Complex Patient

Aches and Pains

The Seductive Allure of Neuroscience Explanations

Modified Transcripts


Zac: Hello you beautiful, sexy, outstanding people. This is Zac Cupples from, and I’m bringing you another movement conversation with my good friend, the legend himself, quo board extraordinaire, straight out of Arkansas, “The Dolph,” Randy bowling.

Say hi to the people Randy,

Randy:  Hey my name is Randy.

Zac: The reason why I wanted to bring Randy on for this movement conversation is because Randy is incredibly experienced at being a travel PT, and he knows a lot of the ins and outs.
Continue reading “The Guide to Travel Physical Therapy & Psychology – A Randy Bowling Movement Conversation”