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100+ RSS Feeds: How Do You Eat an Elephant?

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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”
  • “Thurs”
  • “21”
  • “Summer”

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:
    1. Star the item. Be sure to have a routine in place to remember to check these items either during daily planning or weekly review.
    2. Write it down in your Capture notebook.
    3. Enter the action directly into your electronic calendar or to-do list.
    4. 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


Please Share!

What are your favorite RSS feed reader hacks?! All comments big and small are very welcomed!

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9 Responses to 100+ RSS Feeds: How Do You Eat an Elephant?

  1. Urbanist July 19, 2007 at 5:55 am #

    I’m so backward I still go and visit pages and don’t use feeds, except to help blogging-friends get better rankings 🙂 I DO use Technorati as a kind of low-tech feedreader and wish I could customize it as you suggest.

  2. Matthew Cornell July 19, 2007 at 9:53 am #

    Thanks for the suggestions. I suggest using a methodology like GTD to rapidly process posts. I’ve been keeping some stats, and I’m averaging between 11 and 19 seconds per post. I wonder how that compares to others…

    There’s more at: Afraid to click? How to efficiently process your RSS feeds

  3. Jon July 19, 2007 at 12:02 pm #

    As someone who has over a hundred feeds, I have them all in folders by topic. As I go through them I skim and delete. Anything that I want to really read gets moved to a folder called “To Read”.

    The topic method seems to work for me, because I can focus on the topics that I want without trying to read everything.

  4. agentsully July 20, 2007 at 12:17 pm #

    Thanks Urbanist. Always appreciate your support!

    Matt – thanks for sharing your link!

  5. mai July 21, 2007 at 7:33 am #

    I do have RSS overloading syndrom, where I have hundred of RSS feed in my reader. I organize them based on favorite, friends and less interesting

  6. agentsully July 22, 2007 at 7:57 pm #

    Thanks for sharing Mai!

  7. Wake Up Early July 30, 2007 at 1:00 am #

    Thanks for great ideas, I’m going to try assigning feeds to days of week. I have 30+ feeds in “personal development category” alone but hardly read 10…

  8. Stephan Miller April 8, 2008 at 2:09 pm #

    Great bunch of tips. My feeds number over 900. Now they will be 901. This is a big help for issues I have been dealing with lately.


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