Thursday, June 24, 2010

How do you read your blogs?

I read a lot of blogs (ummm, probably too many).  Back when I started I struggled with visiting them all each day to check for updates which can became tedious, especially when some don't post frequently or some post multiple times a day.  At some point I discovered Google Reader and it was amazing!

I've been trying to figure out a sorting mechanism and way to organize items and read them and I was wondering how everyone else organized theirs?  My biggest complaint was when I've starred items, I end up having to scroll through a whole bunch of different posts to find them again.  I read blogs about Sewing, Cooking, Paper Crafting, Personal Blogs, and still a Wedding blog occasionally so there are starred items interspersed that are not related and it was driving me crazy but I may have figured out a solution.

I thought I would share some tips, but I was hoping you might have some other tips for Google Reader as well.  I found some other tips you might find useful here.
  1. Organize Feeds in Folders - When you add a feed to your Reader, click on Feed Settings and choose your Folder to add to.  If you don't have any made yet, click on new folder and create the one that you want.  I like to organize mine by subject, but some people like to organize them by importance.
  2. Use Keyboard Shortcuts - Some of the most common shortcuts include:
    • j/k: item down/up
    • o: open/close item
    • s: toggle star
    • m: mark as read/unread
    • t: tag an item
  3. Rename your subscriptions - Sometimes feeds don't have names that I recognize easily, so if you click on the subscription, there's an arrow on the right, if you click on that, there's an option for 'Rename Subscription'.  Renaming it might help you recognize it easier. 
  4. Star Posts - If you like something and would like to refer back to it, use 'Add Star' at the bottom of the post
  5. Tag Posts - At the bottom of a post there is an 'Add Tags' 'button'.  This allows you to tag a specific post and categorize it vs. tagging the entire feed like you would do in a folder.  This is how I started organize my starred posts.  To better sort through my Starred posts, I started to Tag my starred posts with different tags that would help be go back and find them again.  Like, Recipes to Try or Sewing Tutorials. (I'm a bit of an organization freak, so once I've tagged them all correctly, I'm going to go back at some point and probably tag them more descriptively, like Dinner Recipes or Salad Recipes, because it's bugging me already :-) )

    (I cleaned up unread posts just for this picture :-) )

  6. Clean Up Monthly - Sometimes blogs are not of much interest to you anymore, sometimes bloggers abandon their blogs.  I try to go through monthly and unsubscribe and clean things up.
  7. Update your Blog Roll - Kimberly Michelle posted this great tutorial on how to use your Google Reader subscriptions to keep your Blog Roll up to date.  I did it here.
Those are some of my suggestions for Google Reader.  Does anyone have any others that would be useful?  Do you use Google Reader or visit blogs directly (or is there another feed tool that I don't know about)?


  1. Loved your tips! I found Google Reader a few months ago and love it too. I haven't gotten too into the folders yet ( which is totally odd for me!)But I found it frustrating not to know when people actually read something so I am one of those super annoying people who have their blog on a limited view in readers.

    I love having all my blogs in one spot but still find that my commenting takes a while or I forget I together! Still a learning process I guess!

  2. I'm new to your blog, and thought I'd weigh in :) I've got a fairly obsessive system for reading blogs, but it seems to be the only way that I can keep it all under control (because I subscribe to WAY too many. Every time I sort through, I end up adding more!).
    I use folders too, by category, but then I also have separate categories for new commenters on my blog, blogs I've just recently found and haven't decided if I love them yet :) and blogs on my blogroll. All the folders are in order of importance, so if I'm short on time the top folder gets read first, etc. I star posts frequently, but I forget to go back to them so I set it up to "share" items. Now the posts I starred so I could share them on my blog, I just share directly from my GR. People can subscribe to that RSS feed just like my blog.
    There's more, but that's the gist :) I don't really utilize tags, but I might have to start - especially for recipes!


Comments make me smile!

Have a wonderful day!