I’ve just changed the way I organise my
I’ve only actually caught up with reading all of my RSS feeds a couple of times in the last few months. I’m always behind, and even if I could take the time to catch up, I’m not entirely convinced it would be worth it.
I do my reading in Google Reader, and had my feeds organised into folders (or ‘tags’ in Googlespeak), sorted by their category. I had a folder for stuff relating to music, one relating to photography, one for all of PigPog’s feeds, one for comics, one for photo feeds, and so on.
This wasn’t working.
After a bit of thought, I decided to try completely changing the way they are organised. I created a set of numbered tags/folders, depending if I really need to see the stuff in it, or if it could be missed if I was short on time. I split the ‘must read’ feeds depending on how soon I really needed to see them. I was left with a few folders…
- 1-First – the things I really need to see first. If there’s anything in one of these, I need to know about it quickly. PigPog’s feeds go in here, so I get to see newly posted stuff quickly – saves the embarrassment of failing to see something Sam posted hours ago, and means I get to see the mistakes reasonably soon in my own posts. Some typos are always invisible until I see them in the feed.
- 2-Soon – stuff I need to read, and need to read pretty soon after it appears. This includes some of the more relevant search feeds, and some friends’ feeds.
- 3-Fun – ahead of the other ‘must-read’ items, the things that I don’t have to read, I want to read. Comics, lolcats, etc. It may seem sill to have this folder a step above the ‘must-read’ folder, but I want my reading to be fun as well as informative.
- 4-Must – stuff I really have to read. I really can’t miss anything posted in these feeds. It includes some friends and search feeds, but is mainly just blogs that often enough have great content that I wouldn’t want to miss.
- 5-Should – this is stuff that I really do want to see, but it won’t actually matter if I don’t. Lifehacker is great, and I love reading it, but it’s difficult to keep up, and it won’t hurt if I miss a few items sometimes. I’ll try not to, but by deciding up front that I won’t get too hung up about it, I’m letting myself skip if I get behind again. Who am I kidding, I am behind again. Sorry, Gina.
- 6-Dip – anything that can just be dipped into when I have time. From a practical point of view, I may rarely get to feeds in here, because I have enough to read in the other feeds. This way, though, they’re still there if I want them, and if I happen to catch up enough to read some of them.
There are two extra folders after these…
- 7-Bin – Stuff I either don’t actually read, or I’m coming to terms with the fact that I’m never really going to get to them. It’s a halfway house to actually deleting them, just like a computer’s Recycle Bin or Trash folder. I don’t lose my unread counts, though, if I change my mind later.
- 8-Dead – contains a bunch of feeds that haven’t updated for so long that I doubt their owners are coming back. They’re still here because I do want to know if they become active again. They’re not in the other folders because it didn’t seem worth making a decision about which folder they should go in.
I think I should also add something back that I did have before – an ‘Incoming‘ folder. New feeds that I subscribe to could go in here whilst I decide how important they are.
So far, this all seems to be working out well. I’m still way behind, but at least I can tell at a glance that I’m up to date on the important things.