Change your feed reader, change your life.

Change your feed reader, change your life.

It’s January: the time for lofty ideals and fresh starts.

Like many of you, I love dreaming of possibilities for the New Year, but I have a mixed track record for the follow through.

As an INFP, I am easily distracted by the shiny and new. Meeting goals and forming habits requires focus.

You know I love to read. Long-term focus doesn’t come easy to me, but I use a little tool that helps me harness my love of reading to meet my resolutions.

It’s called a feed reader, and you probably have one too.

A feed reader—like Feedly or Bloglovin’—gathers all the blogs you read in one place. It allows you to create your own custom, curated collection of blogs, easily and for free.

(I’m a long-term Feedly fan and I still prefer it on my phone. For desktop I prefer Bloglovin’ these days: it’s prettier. Here’s my look at the options.)

Like most people, I subscribe to blogs I’m interested in. Obviously. But I discovered a few years ago that attention is a two-way street: if I want to be interested a topic—like organizing, or fitness, or personal finance—I’ll subscribe to blogs on those topics. Reading about the topic increases my interest and keeps my focus.

Gretchen Rubin just published 13 suggestions for keeping your resolutions. Tip #3 is to review your resolution constantly. Reading blogs about your resolutions is an excellent way to keep your goals front of mind.

Every January I go through my feed reader and add blogs on topics I want to focus on in the coming year. This year that means reading and writing, fitness and parenting, simplifying and organizing.

I’d encourage you to do the same: find a few blogs on topics that you want to stay focused on in the coming year and add them to your reader. (If you prefer to subscribe to your blogs by email, that serves the same purpose.)

To keep your resolution, review it constantly. Blog reading can be a fun way to do just that.

What blogs are you following to help you meet your New Year’s resolutions? Any other tips and tricks for staying focused on your goals? Please share in comments!

P.S. You can follow Modern Mrs Darcy on feedly here or on Bloglovin’ here. If you prefer to get new posts by email, subscribe here. Thanks!

Change your feed reader, change your life. How to use a feed reader (like Bloglovin' or Feedly) as an inspirational tool that will help you keep your New Year's resolutions. An easy and free way to stay motivated all year.

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62 comments

  1. Jamie says:

    Good plan! Seems like this would work the same way with Pinterest as well – make a board for your resolution (or related topic) and intentionally start following other people’s boards on the theme. Shiny new pictures related to your resolution every time you log in! 🙂

    • Anne says:

      I would buy The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and call it a day. 🙂 (Kind of kidding. Not entirely.)

      There are good reader suggestions in the comments here for org blogs. I like Joshua Becker for simplifying.

  2. Breanne says:

    Timely post as I’ve been thinking about changing up the blogs I read so that I read intentionally and what I want/need to read. I’m a big fan of taking small steps towards big goals.
    Off to check out Bloglovin’.

  3. Alison Pike says:

    The Pinterest idea is great too!

    I like Organizing Junkie best of the organising blogs.

    Blatant self-promotion — I’m a developmental psychologist, and I write a blog called The Scientific Parent about academic studies applicable to family life, and my journey as a parent. For example, a popular post was about why we should ask children to be a helper, rather than to help:
    http://thescientificparent.com/2014/11/05/ask-children-to-be-a-helper-not-to-help/.

    Now…I need to find me some blog inspiration about writing consistently!

  4. I signed up for Bloglovin’ last year after I switched to self-hosting my blog, which had caused me to lose my WordPress reader. Total lifesaver! Not only does it allow me to share straight from the feed itself, but I could finally follow all blogs from the same place. Back when I had a WordPress reader, only other WordPress blogs showed up in the feed (others had to be sent to my email). My only critique is that I wish I could comment straight from the Bloglovin’ feed as well.

  5. Sara K. says:

    I love my feed reader! I switched to NewsBlur after Google Reader was cancelled. (Personally, I found Feedly too confusing and not at all like what I was used to, but I’ve heard that a lot of people switched to it after GR). I never miss a blog post for my favorite blogs this way! 🙂

  6. Jennifer says:

    I love this idea though traditionally January is the month I cut electronic ties to the blogs, email subscriptions, even FB friends that aren’t building me up or encouraging me. For instance, there is a beautiful home organization blog I followed all of 2013 but I found towards the end of the year my home want any more clean or organized than when I started reading and hers only got more asked more amazing, and somewhat unbelievably good even with having several young kids like me. I found I was disappointed in myself everytime a new post appeared in my feed and I avoided reading them and let them pile up for a day I had time and energy to make my house perfect too. Last January, I simply deleted the subscription and felt so much better!

  7. Patti says:

    I follow you on Feedly and subscribe to your newsletter. At first, I was only subscribed to your site. But, then I saw that you were publishing posts that I wouldn’t know about until your newsletter arrived in my inbox. Your blog is the one I look most forward to reading. So, you can imagine that I want no delay in reading your latest posts. Thanks for all the work you put into your blog, Anne!

  8. This is such a timely post. I just signed up for feedly right before the holidays and I’m still figuring it out. I’m not yet sure how to find all the blogs I want (some don’t seem to be on feedly?) or how to find new good ones. But it seems like an excellent tool.

  9. Hannah says:

    This is so true! I subscribe to blogs about writing, productivity, reading, etc and they spur me to keep making progress in those areas. Good thoughts.

  10. Kitty Balay says:

    Thanks to you, I already subscribe to bloglovin’. It has been a tremendous help in intentional reading. Yours is the only blog that goes straight to my inbox. Yep, you’re my favorite!

    For further streamlining, I recommend unenrollme. You can in enroll from multiple email subscriptions with one click. I mainly use this for businesses and organizations that I like. Use the “roll up” feature to combine subscriptions that you aren’t quite ready to part with. Thanks to you, I already subscribe to bloglovin’. It has been a tremendous help in intentional reading. Yours is the only blog that goes straight to my inbox. Yep, you’re my favorite!

    For further streamlining, I recommend unenrollme. You can in enroll from multiple email subscriptions with one click. I mainly use this for businesses and organizations that I like. Use the “roll up” feature to combine subscriptions that you aren’t quite ready to part with. Then I receive one combined “roll up” emal a day.

    • Amber says:

      I’m curious to know if the Power Sheets are worth the money. Do you find they are worth more than the free printable out there?

      • Anne says:

        Amber, I did these last year (and I’m curious to hear Patty’s thoughts too). If you are good at working a plan but have a hard time coming up with one, Power Sheets give you a plan. Some people are great plan makers. I’m better off paying someone to give me a head start in that regard. (Although if you struggle with follow-through, Power Sheets can only help so much. I struggle with the follow-through. 🙂 )

  11. One of my priorities this year has been streamlining my day (from using toggl late last year I discovered that my productivity is hampered by jumping activities too much) and your post reminded me that I NEED to switch all my blog subscriptions from email (yes, I’m that old school) to a reader. I just tried out Feedly based on your recommendation and, so far, I love it! Thanks for this!

  12. Jenn says:

    Love this! I’ve been doing this, though not consciously, for several months now. Currently in my feedly:

    Reading: You, of course, and Amazon’s http://www.omnivoracious.com/

    Writing: http://thewritepractice.com/ and http://thewritelife.com/

    Simplifying: http://theartofsimple.net/ and http://www.slowyourhome.com/

    Parenting: http://www.brainchildmag.com/ and http://www.literarymama.com/

    Faith: http://addiezierman.com/ and http://deeperstory.com/

    (Ha! It looks like we have similar focuses for the year! :-))

  13. liz n. says:

    What a timely post! I’ve been switching from email newsletters to Bloglovin’. By the way, IHeartOrganization is a great blog for really creative and workable organization ideas. I love her blog!

  14. Connie Janke says:

    I have been reading your blog for about 6 months and I look forward to each post. My reading life is richer because of your recommendations and tips. Two of my all-time favorite books that I haven’t seen mentioned here are Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns and Patty Jane’s House of Curl by Lorna Lovick. I mention these because, based on your favorite reads, I think you would like them, too.

  15. Kendra says:

    Thank you for explaining how feed readers work! I’ve often wondered what they were and just figured it was more technical than I needed to get into. Not at all. I downloaded Feedly as soon as I finished reading your post this morning. I think it will be a game changer in simplifying my online reading. One of my goals this year is to be more intentional with my blog reading time and it looks like I’m not alone! Thanks so much!

  16. Christa says:

    I’ve always been interested in minimalism, but this year I’m refocusing on it. I find that the more I blog on my own site (chocolateandbacon.blogspot.com) the more a simple life appeals to me.

    I’ve been reading rowdykittens.com for years and love it.

    I’ve recently gotten into:
    elisejoy.com
    un-fancy.com
    inkedincolour.com
    hellohive.co

  17. Byrd says:

    I’ve tried both Feedly and Bloglovin, but I really miss commenting! Bloglovin in particular won’t let me log in from my wordpress account to comment. I forget the exact details of what happens – it’s been a month or so since I’ve tried it – but it’s really annoying and I couldn’t find a fix.

    I really WANT to find a feed reader I love, it just needs to allow me to comment without changing my identity!!! Until then – still using the WordPress reader like a dinosaur. At least it’s functional.

  18. Maryalene says:

    I love feedly!

    My regular reading list (found many of these through your site actually…from when you were sharing survey results):

    Modern Mrs. Darcy
    Money Saving Mom
    Art of Simple
    Carrots for Michaelmas
    Cup of Jo
    Mom Advice
    The Mom Edit

  19. Stacey says:

    Thank you for this reminder. I have tried both Bloglovin’ and Feedly in the past and just couldn’t quite wrap my head around them. I have relied on e-mail subscriptions (talk about old school!) and this is really not a great plan. For example, yours will periodically land in my spam folder. Not a good place for you to be at all! Thanks for the motivation to re-visit these organizational tools!

  20. Anne says:

    A Slob Comes Clean is a funny, real look at the thinking behind forming habits/cleaning/simplifying/or as she says deslobification, though I don’t think you have to be a slob to appreciate her thoughts.

  21. Amy says:

    Anne,
    This is such a great encouragement! Now maybe you could share your favorites with us in the categories that you follow? That might be a great follow-up. ALSO: have you heard of unroll.me? If your inbox is just clogged with emails and you’ve signed up for more lists than you can keep up with, this is a great service to sort through them all, delete the ones you no longer need (or even remember!) and keep the ones you value. THEN it will send you a daily digest of the new posts every day from the lists that you stay on. It’s awesome! I went from 488 lists I was subscribed to (yikes, I know, crazy!!) to only 40. It’s a time-saver! Much easier than manually unsubscribing from one list after another.

  22. Frances says:

    This was an lightbulb moment for me. All of the blogs I read except for yours are specifically geared towards home decorating. So I have really been focused on getting my house looking good over the past year. That’s great and all but I do have other interests that I have let slide over the past several months since I was focusing my time on the house. I really want/need to get back into exercise especially running. I am now on the hunt for those type of blogs to add to my list.

  23. Danita Sullivan says:

    Love your blog !!! Thanks for the new addiction! I love bloglovin, its awesome to go to one place to read all of my blogs( I have more than a few)!!! Thanks again for the reccomend!

  24. I totally did this at the start of the year! My mom got me an AncestryDNA test for Christmas, so I’ve been working on our family tree while I wait for the DNA results to come back. I don’t know a whole lot about genealogy, but I’m a good researcher, and one of the first things I did was add a bunch of genealogy blogs to my feed reader this year. I also subscribed to a bunch of digital-themed podcasts for similar reasons – something I want to be more intentional about this year.

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