It’s hard to avoid information overload nowadays. With the technologies that are now available to us in the workplace, information is nearly limitless. If you are an avid blog reader,there is so much out there and it’s so damn easy to spend hours sorting through your favorite blogs and Web sites. I’ve always been pretty good in keeping my reading time under control, that is until I started really using Feedspot RSS Reader to subscribe to feeds. I went through a stage where I really felt swamped by the amount of new posts coming in and amazingly huge number of unread posts I’d have.
I decided shortly thereafter to put into place some kind of guideline, and a process, to keep control of all the information i want to keep up with. I needed to do this so that I do not miss key updates from my favorite websites and keep focused on my work as well.
I imagine many of you feel the same way. I’ve been asked by readers about this and I think it’s something anyone who reads blogs could benefit from taking some time to look at and reevaluate.
I’ve got a few tips that have helped me avoid missing key information from blogs i read, stay updated and actually get more out of the blogs I do read. After all, how much can you really take in if you are flying through hundreds of posts a day?
How to get the most of your blog reading
Create multiple folders to group your feeds and sort them by order of importance. For example create folders like “Must Read”, “Not So Important”, etc. This helps to a great degree. If you group things by topic, re-group them by importance within your topic group. This makes the less important easier to ignore.
I also use a folder called ‘Immediate’ where I put feeds that I want to read the moment they publish something new because it is important for me to know about them as soon as possible.
I think it’s important to set aside time for RSS feed reading everyday. You don’t need to read them all at one go. You could select 2-3 time intervals of 15-20 minutes each, spread evenly throughout the day. This would ensure that you stay abreast with the latest news around the world.
Setting aside time ensures that feed reading activity won’t interfere with your other tasks. You have set specific time intervals when the RSS reader gets your attention and those should be the only times when you open it.
Use “mark all as read” liberally.
Weed your reading list on a regular basis. Unsubscribe to anything you consider “noise” as soon as you realize it’s not being read.
Slow down and read. Spend some time with those sites you really enjoy or those that you find real value in. I’ve found that if I spend more time reading and less time browsing I absorb more.
Ditch a few link blogs. There are so many blogs out there that are just pointers to original content. These serve a great purpose, but try and find those that offer a unique point of view, or can bring items to the table that you can’t find elsewhere. I tend to follow the link lists of individuals I trust more than actual blogs devoted to linking.
Keep in mind that if you read lots of blogs in the same space you’ll see things repeated and will be unlikely to miss anything you really should be reading.
Save some feeds for weekends - Like creating a top feeds folder is important, it’s also essential that you save some feeds for the weekend. This means you won’t touch these feeds on weekdays, no matter what. If you have spare time, do stuff like reading a book, watching a TED video or reading feeds which aren’t a part of top feeds or weekend reading.
Setting aside certain feeds only for the weekends would ensure that you aren’t tempted to read them during the week, when you need to focus on other tasks. Plus, it also helps to reduce your obsession with RSS feeds.
Understand that a day not paying attention to blogs is a day you can spend doing something productive. They’ll be there when you get back.
If you’re like me, then you probably have a serious case of information overload. In today’s web of information, it’s easy to get caught up in the constant news stream. In fact, I have over 100 RSS feeds in my feed reader. Talk about a mental meltdown.
So, what do you do when you wake up to thousands of new items in your feed reader, with hundreds of items which
don’t even interest you? A few smart hacks will enable you to look through all of your favorite feeds in just 30 minutes or less using the power of Feedspot.
RSS Reader Feedspot is extremely powerful and has a very clean interface. Feedspot allows you to read your favorite blogs in much the same manner as you would read your email.
Some of it’s many features include tagging, folder-based navigation, browser integration and the ability to import and export subscription lists as an OPML file. You can also star items for easy access, share your favorite items, and save your favorite items to evernote or pocket.
All of these features have come to make Feedspot a dream machine for the productivity enthusiast.
Here are some tips for getting the most out of Feedspot News Reader.
1. Sort your feeds by priority.
Feedspot makes it easy to organize all of your feeds by topic. However, I would also suggest that you categorize
your feeds by priority as well. This way, you know which items are “Must Read” and which items “Can Be Skipped” on days that you’re busy.
2. Use Keyboard Shortcuts.
You can’t become a Feedspot master without learning it’s keyboard shortcuts. These little tweaks can save you a good bit of time in the long run.
Some of the most common shortcuts include:
mark as read/unread
tag an item
For a complete list of Feedspot shortcuts, press Shift+? from your Feedspot account.
3. Optimize your feed reading time by combining certain feeds into one large master feed.
This can be done using RSS Mix. RSS Mix allows you to merge any number of RSS feeds into one unique new feed.
4. Add tags to your feed items.
Feedspot lets you organize all of your feed items by tags. This is one of the best features for those who are
looking to optimize their time.
To add a tag to a post, simply click “add tags” and enter the relevant tags.
5. Search your feed items.
Feedspot’s powerful search engine lets you search for articles within the feeds you’ve added to your Feedspot account. It’s like your personal search engine unlike Google which shows results from entire web. Advanced search filters is an amazing way to find the content that matters to you. You can filter your search results by specific folder or choose to see results only from a specific feed you are following. Feedspot also lets you search within your favorited items.
6. Star items for future reference.
Feedspot enables you to quickly star items for future reference. This can come in handy for items that you want to refer to later.
7. Smart Feedspot Subscribe Button
The Smart Feedspot Subscribe Bookmarklet is a great way to add RSS feeds on the fly. This tool enables you to quickly
subscribe to any site that you find interesting while surfing the web.
To access the subscribe button, click on Account Settings on the top right-hand corner of the Feedspot interface and
then click on Apps tab from the left column. You will see instructions on how to add the bookmarklet to your browser..
8. Use Expanded View.
For optimum productivity, use expanded view. Expanded view makes it very easy to scroll all of your feed items and
scan for interesting posts.
However, I don’t suggest that you simply scroll down the page. You can go from one entry to the next simply by
pressing the “J” key. Whenever you want to go backwards, use the “K” key to return to the previous post.
9. Do a weekly or monthly cleanup.
Over time, there are certain feeds that you simply don’t read anymore, or read very infrequently.
These feeds should be dumped on a regular basis to keep your feed reader under control.
10. Dedicate a certain time of the day for reading your feeds and stick to your allotted times.
If you allow yourself 30 minutes to read through your feeds each day, then stick to it. Believe me, everything will still be there tomorrow.
Google Alerts now support RSS feeds so that you can receive and view alerts right from your Feedspot account. Until now, alerts have been delivered via email only, but those days are over. Now your News, Web, Blog, Video, and Groups alerts are more easily accessible than ever.
Open Google Alerts and try to create a new alert. Press on “Show Options”“ . Change "Deliver To” from your email address to RSS feed. Create the alert. Copy the RSS address from the alert and add it to your Feedspot account.
Feedspot is a tool that let’s you keep track of what is going on in your industry. We all know that staying current on the latest news and trends is vital to remaining competitive, and we all know how difficult and time consuming it is to read dozens of articles from dozens of websites. Feedspot allows you to “pull” all of those articles into a central place for your easy reading pleasure. The articles come to you, saving you hours of your time and allowing you to keep on top of what’s happening in your industry.
Along with it’s desktop reader, there is also a neat looking mobile version that allows you to read articles on your smart phone. In just a few minutes a day, you can quickly scan and read dozens of articles to see what is happening and what people are saying. If you run a blog for your business, Feedspot is a great tool for finding new and relevant ideas for articles.
What if you could get your Twitter timeline on your Feedspot ?
Well yes you can do this. To get started all you need to do is, first visit the web site http://sgrunwald.com/statusfeed/ to get RSS feed for your Twitter account. Simply add the RSS link to your Feedspot. Feedspot will automatically fetch new updates from your twitter timeline.
Feedspot keeps track of which tweets you’ve read, so you only see unread tweets when you come back.
We’re excited to tell you about our latest feedspot Gold feature: Dropbox integration.
The Dropbox integration automatically backs up your tagged and saved articles(also called as Favorites), and a list of all your feeds (OPML file) to your Dropbox account. We believe that all the valuable data you collect in your feedspot belongs to you, and this integration makes it easy for you to export, backup and access that information from wherever you are.
All of your Favorited articles, tagged articles and a list of the feeds you subscribe to will be backed up to Dropbox. Any time you save or tag a new article , it will be backed up to Dropbox automatically. Your entire OPML file will be backed up once every week.
2. What is the format of the back up?
We offer HTML file format for your Favorites and Tags.
Your feed list will be backed up using the OPML file format.
3. How hard is it to set up?
Setting up the Dropbox integration takes only a couple of clicks. Once you turn it on, you can forget all about it and the Dropbox integration will continue to operate in the background and back up your Favorited and tagged articles, as well as your feeds and folders.
Snow fell yesterday in the northeastern United States, and it looked quite a lot like this photo, taken by Carl Kurtz. His Thanksgiving crows remind us that there is much to learn about the creatures we share the earth with. Crows have been connected in folk culture with mischief and ill fortune, but recent research has shown that they are highly social and among the most intelligent animals in the world, able to solve puzzles and use tools. They are nature’s recyclers, too, very much part of the circle of life we celebrate at the American harvest festival of Thanksgiving.