The 24/7 news cycle is pretty relentless. If you miss one day on Twitter or your daily news station, you’re going to feel like you’re weeks behind. This week, to Upgrade Your Life, we’re uncovering some pretty clever apps and websites that bring the news to you so that you don’t have to go looking for it. Even better, they’re doing it in ways that are fast and easy to digest so you can check in at any time and know what’s going on in the world in a matter of minutes.


1. Daily A.M. Updates: Every morning, Briefing gives the news to you beautifully and simply. Did we say beautifully? This website is designed with simplicity in mind, in all black and white, harkening back to the days of the daily paper. We’re more prone to love sites that are image-heavy, but the lack of images is actually one of Briefing’s strong suits. Scroll through the day’s issue, and you’ll see the biggest stories hashed out in one paragraph of simple language that doesn’t require a single Wiki search. They even offer a daily email that sends you all of the info from the site in the morning.


2. Straightforward, In-Depth Coverage: This isn’t the first time we’ve been excited to tell you about Circa. Since this news app came out, it’s gradually become more and more easy-to-use, and they’ve even added a web component. On both the app and the website, you get a quick blurb of each news story and the option to read more. Inside the story, you read through the news in chunks with the addition of only the most important images and maps so you can get the most information out of your time. Our favorite feature is the option to follow a story and get notifications with updates as they unravel throughout the coming days or months. You can download Circa on Android or iOS for free, or just go to the website.


3. Personalized Feeds: It’s about time there was a Pandora for news. Inside gives you 300-character newsy tidbits, getting you the full scoop in a few sentences. Just click on a topic (music, politics, design, etc) or a hashtag (#thedress, #HarrisonFord, etc) and you can scroll through bite-sized bits of news on the topic. Just like Pandora, you can give articles a thumbs up or a thumbs down, and over time, your Inside feed will understand and feed you what you like. This service tends to feature more lifestyle and science news than other services, which focus on big breaking stories and politics. You can download Inside on Android or iOS for free, or just go to the website.


4. For Audio Lovers: Umano is a website and an app that lets you listen to real people read all kinds of articles online. Their Breaking News channel is a must-follow if you want to multitask while you’re making breakfast. Clocking in at around six minutes, each issue of Breaking News gives you several of the days top stories with the need-to-know updates and quotes, all through your speakers. It’s a great supplement to your morning radio session or a substitute for it altogether. With the app, they’ll even send you a notification when a new brief is out so you don’t miss anything. You can download Umano on Android or iOS for free, or just go to the website.


5. Swipe-able Stories: If you haven’t checked out Snapchat Discover, you may not know that one of their premier channels is CNN. Every day, you can swipe through several stories straight from one of the world’s biggest news organizations. From CNN’s Discover channel, you can watch short videos, read story blurbs and look at news-worthy visuals. It’s kind of like getting the best of TV and Internet news right from your phone. You can download Snapchat and check out Snapchat Discover on Android or iOS for free.


6. To Track Rumors: Emergent is a part of a research project at Columbia University to track rumors in the news to the point when they get verified. It’s a fast, easy way to keep tabs on those “developing” stories throughout the day. In addition to giving you the story in a short paragraph, they give you the source too. When and if the story is verified or not, it is marked “True” or “False.” While this definitely isn’t a replacement for getting the full scoop on verified news, scrolling through the Emergent website is an interesting way to potentially see what’s happening before you’re able to see it anywhere else.

How do you get your news fast? Let us know in the comments!