Productivity, Solving Problems, Success, Technology July 19th, 2007
How Do You Eat an Elephant?
Of course the answer is one bite at a time. If you find yourself with too many RSS feeds in your feedreader, as I have lately, you have two choices. You can either pare it back or try to manage the list somehow. I am a bit of a pack rat and RSS feeds are no exception. When I find a great website or blog that I want to come back to I add it to my reader.
What follows is a list of ideas on how to manage your RSS feeds to make it more manageable. As you implement these, I recommend doing some pruning of RSS feeds that no longer hold your interest. Keep in mind as you read this, that this is for people who want to be able to read all their feeds, but need a way to manage it. If this seems like too much work for you, then by all means, purge and simplify!
Days of the Week
With this idea create a folder for each day of the week. Go through your feeds and put them into these folders. Then each day read just the ones that are in that folder. If you like to make comments this will be a little more efficient too you’ll get all your comments in for each blog on that one day.
Here you can use the same idea as days of the week, but you can lengthen out the time frame to say 2 weeks or 1 month. For example if you want to spread out your reading over 2 weeks you could have folders numbered 1-14. Or for monthly reading you could have folders numbered 1-30.
The Combo Platter
If you really want to customize things you could have the following folders:
- Daily Favorites Folder- for your top 5-10 A+ blogs that you like to read daily.
- Weekly Folders – M,T,W,T,F,Sa,Su. This would be for your B list blogs to be read weekly.
- Monthly Folders – Folders numbered 1-30 for your C level blogs that you would read monthly.
- Quarterly Folders – Folders labeled Fall, Winter, Summer, Spring for D-list blogs that you’d like to check in on less frequently.
How to Keep Up with the Combo Style
- You don’t have to keep up! Your feed reader is for your entertainment, education, leisure. If you have ones you must read for work or some other obligation, then create a “Must Read” folder.
- Whenever you feel the desire to check your reader, only go to the folders for the day you are in. For example if it was June 21st of this year, you would read the following folders only:
- “Daily Favs”
Important Success Tips
- File as You Go. Every time you add a new RSS feed file it in the appropriate folder(s).
- Purge as You Go. Every time you read through a folder, if there is a feed you don’t like anymore, unsubscribe. If you’re a real packrat and you can’t make the cut, then change it to a folder called “Six Month Purge” that you check twice a year.
- Make It Actionable. If you want to do something with the information you’ve read then find a way to capture that idea now. Some suggestions:
- Star the item. Be sure to have a routine in place to remember to check these items either during daily planning or weekly review.
- Write it down in your Capture notebook.
- Enter the action directly into your electronic calendar or to-do list.
- Use Google Notebook. (Add the Google Notebook Firefox extension first or you could add Google Notebook to your Firefox Sidebar ) Google Notebook can be used for GTD implementation. Here’s what you do: As you read your feeds, highlight the part of the article you want to clip, then click on the Google Notebook extension in the lower right hand corner of your Firefox browser. Click on “Clip” inside Google Notebook. The highlighted text will appear. Then you can add a “add a comment” with the action you want to take. Once you’ve done that then unstar the item.
- Scan and Read Later. If you only have time for scanning during the day, then create a folder called “ToRead” that you can read on your commute (bus, train, or car if you’re the passenger!) or that you read when you have time later in the day or evening
- What is RSS and How Does It Help Me?
- Help! I’ve Fallen into My Google Reader and I Can’t Get Out!
- Recommended Feed Reader: Google Reader or iGoogle/Google Homepage
What are your favorite RSS feed reader hacks?! All comments big and small are very welcomed!
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