Are you familiar with feed readers? An RSS reader is a web tool that allows you to follow all the blogs you read in one place. It’s made to be a convenience tool–but it can also change your life, if you let it. We’ll get to that part in a minute; first, let me tell you how a reader works.
Google Reader is the feed reader I use. (Other popular RSS readers include Bloglines and Bloglovin.) I’m a recent Google Reader convert–it’s only in the past year that I’ve discovered Google Reader and learned that instead of bookmarking my favorite blogs, or typing their addresses into the address bar to see if they’ve been updated, I could use a feed reader to gather all the blogs I read together in one place. A feed reader like Google Reader allows you to create your own custom, curated collection of blog: it’s like a magazine you design just for you.
I follow several blogs that aren’t updated very often, and Google Reader is a brilliant tool for reading these blogs. I don’t have to keep going back to the blogs to check for new posts: as soon as a new post appears on the blog, I’ll be able to see it in my reader.
The RSS Reader as Motivational Tool
I subscribe to blogs that write about stuff I’m interested in. Doesn’t everyone?
But I accidentally made a discovery: If I add blogs to my reader because I want to be interested in those topics, I’ll be much more likely to be interested. If I’m reading The Simple Dollar everyday, I’ll stay interested in frugal living. If I’m regularly checking the Crossfit main page, staying fit will stay on my mind. And if you’ve recently made some resolutions or set goals for the New Year, I highly recommend using your feed reader to maintain your focus and follow through.
When you subscribe to a blog’s RSS feed (RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication”), you’re asking that new content be delivered to you regularly. And if you’re trying to maintain focus on your finances, or good health, or staying organized, having regular reminders appear in your feed reader helps you keep your eye on the ball. (And if you don’t think a feed reader is for you, you can always choose to subscribe by email and have new posts delivered to your inbox.)
In the past week I’ve deliberately added blogs to my reader in categories I want to stay focused on. For example, I want to learn about the craft of writing this year, so I just subscribed to Goins, Writer and The Handwritten–two writing blogs to help me stay focused on the subject.
What do you want to stay focused on this year? Feel free to borrow these blogs from my reader to help you keep your focus:
What do you want to stay focused on this year?