"Start with human needs.
Sometimes focusing on the underlying human emotion in a story or idea can help you see why it matters and how it connects with others. For example, the basic human need for belonging fuels many activities that people engage in online, from sharing their images on social media to joining online communities.

"Recognize the obvious.
Along the path to uncovering non-obvious insights, there's value in recognizing and celebrating the obvious. For example, you can use an obvious common denominator among articles and stories to group them — say, all the stories and ideas about new wearable technology. Later you can identify the non-obvious insights hidden among them.

"Save unusual ideas. When you train yourself to be more observant, you might find that you start to develop an intuition for stories that somehow feel significant — even though you can't articulate why yet. Embrace that intuition, and always save the story. Its significance often will reveal itself later."