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.
A Feedspot Power user