Article: Sink or Swim: Managing RSS Feeds with Better Groups

Great post at one of my favorite productivity blogs, 43 Folders:

http://www.43folders.com/2007/11/27/sink-or-swim-managing-rss-feeds-better-groups

So it dawned on me to group my feeds by the way in which I want to read them, not by topic. If there were some feeds that I didn’t mind missing, and some of which I wanted to read every single word, I should organize them that way, not by their putative subject areas. Here’s what I came up with:

News – Self-explanatory, but specifically feeds from traditional news outlets like the New York Times, BBC, et al that pump out so much stuff I can’t possibly hope to keep up. I usually read this group starting with the newest items first, and stop and delete the rest when I get tired. I won’t miss anything; if I get behind, most of those items are either updates on breaking stories, or tidbits I’ve already heard elsewhere on TV or the radio.

Can’t Miss – Again, pretty obvious, but these are my favorite sites, ones where I want to at least scan every single item, like blogs of friends, publications where I write, etc. Not just anything can go in here—this group has a high barrier to entry to keep its volume manageable.

Skip ‘Em – The aforementioned feeds that I like to read when I have time, but don’t mind missing either. Grouping them together like this makes it easy to dump them en masse on one of those days where I just don’t have the time or energy. However, this shouldn’t be an excuse to subscribe to every bleeping feed you see; I still try to keep this bunch to a minimum.

Not News – This is a combination of the Can’t Miss and Skip ‘Em groups. I usually like to read the standard news over breakfast, then save this one for later. It also makes a nice subset to peruse later in the day when I’ve had my fill of the ticker tape feeds. This is another area where Google Reader helped out, because it uses a tagging model that makes it easy to group things in multiple folders.

Great advice for anyone dealing with a mountain of feeds and finite time.

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