Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Guest Post: Organizing Your Blogs

Today, I'm participating in the Grow.Swap.Share.  I'm posting over at Space For Living about Managing Home and Kids during Summer Vacation.   I'd like to welcome Autumn from Space For Living...



I am so excited to be participating in a blog hop today! A blog hop is a chance to trade blogs for a day and I have always wanted to do one. I love blogs and wish I could keep up with all the various blogs I follow! Since the blog hop is a perfect chance to be introduced to some fabulous new blogs, the question that my organizing obsessed mind keeps mulling over is- how do we organize and keep track of all the blogs we read or would like to read? Chances are your favorite blogs are scattered throughout various "placeholders": bookmarks, RSS readers, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and maybe even Google+. This would be the definition of “virtual” disorganization. If you are longing to corral your blogs and quickly find the sites you love when you want them, then it is time to get your reading list organized! Reader Organizing If we think about blogs like paper articles or magazines the number one rule is to keep like with like. One of the easiest places to organize your blogs is in a RSS reader. RSS readers check the feeds of various sites you subscribe to. By clicking on the feed icon (usually in the top right corner of the page) you can add the blog to your reader. When new content is available it is "pushed" to your reading list. There are oh so many benefits of an RSS reader! You can:
  • scan blogs quickly
  • read the whole post without leaving the reader, (unlike clicking on links in Facebook or Twitter)
  • sort sites by category
  • search all your favorite blogs at once
  • star your favorite posts
  • mark what you have already read
I've noticed that with the RSS reader, a drawback is you still have to go to the site to comment. Also, following your favorite blogs on a social media site does offer benefits, such as networking on Twitter or connecting on Facebook. But for your daily blog reading, a reader is a far more efficient a way to go. More efficient=more blogs to read; it’s a win/win! Have I convinced you to use a reader? One of the most popular is Google Reader. Google reader is super easy to start up if you aren't using it already. Just Google it! Once you have your Google reader up and running, you are ready for step 1 in organizing your favorite blogs.

1. Collect Websites

Make a visit to all of your favorite sites and subscribe to their feeds. Look for the RSS feed symbol. Be sure to edit as you go, just because you once loved a site, doesn't mean you need to keep it on your daily read list. You can also add a Google Reader bookmarklet, a little button on your browser, that allows you to quickly subscribe to any page. It saves searching around web pages looking for the RSS feed button. You can find the Google Reader bookmarklet by clicking on the settings button while in Google Reader, and select Reader settings. It is under the Goodies tab.   Now stay with me, this is the hardest part of the process. Try to have tunnel vision as you come across all the lovely blogs you'd love to meander through. Repeat with me "organizing blogs, organizing blogs, I'll have time to actually read the blogs later." Believe me, I know from experience. It's far too easy to get distracted with all those new posts just waiting for a read. While in Google Reader you can star all the posts you want to read later and have a mega blog browsing session!

2. Create Folders

After subscribing to your favorite feeds, it is time to organize within Google Reader! Or maybe you are starting at this step with an already overloaded reader. Reader Overload Google has given us a few options to create folders.

Batch it up

While in Google Reader, click on the settings icon in the top right corner (right under your lovely name) and select Reader settings. From the tabs, click on Subscriptions. Your list of subscriptions will pop up and select Add to folder… on the right side. From there you can create new folders or choose folders you have created. Need a little visual? Fullscreen capture 622012 95955 PM-001Fullscreen capture 622012 102545 PM-002  

One by One

You can change the folders without going into the settings menu by hovering over the site and clicking the arrow that appears just to the right of the title. Select New folder… (all the way down on the bottom) to create one or add the blog to a folder you have already created. You can also drag and drop blogs into folders too.

Fun Extras

  • Rearrange folder by dragging and dropping
  • Rename the feeds to make them more personal to you
When you are all done you will have an organized reader! Fullscreen capture 622012 101514 PM Here are just a few category ideas for naming your folders-
  • Daily Reads
  • Inspirational
  • Need a laugh
  • Just trying out-a holding place for new blogs you want to try out and see if you like them before making the big commitment of adding them to your folders.
  • Link parties or sorted even further by the days of the week- Example Saturday link parties
The possibilities are endless! And of course, you can always select All items if you want to see all the newest posts at once. Play around with the folder function and see what will work for you. The search function is also super helpful since I seem to always seem to forget where I read about that fabulous craft project I want to try "someday". Looks like I need to create a new folder!

3. Bookmark

Last step is to add just one bookmark for Google Reader. With one bookmark click, you can find all your favorites and settle in for a read. How do you keep up with your favorite blogs? Are you a Google Reader aficionado? Or do you prefer jumping around to different sites to get the full experience? Please do tell in the comments below!

3 comments:

  1. That is a great way to organize your blogs. I do get overwhelmed with the ones getting emailed to me everyday. I love the step by step photos.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great step by step! I had no idea that Google Reader was different than my Blogger feed! Thanks for the info!

    Jill @ Create.Craft.Love.

    ReplyDelete
  3. OMG, I had no idea how to make folders until now! I just did it and I can see how this wil streamline my reading. Otherwise I just start at the top and I never get to the M's let alone the Y's:)

    Jessica
    stayathomeista.com

    ReplyDelete

Thanks and have a great day!