Today’s guest post is by Jodi Bonjour, one of the very first blog friends I made when I waded into the blogosphere last year. When Jodi recently tweeted “I cannot even believe what freedom sorting my blog reader into ReadNow and WhenIHaveTime folders has brought me,” I asked her to tell me how. And then I asked her if she would tell YOU how in a guest post for MMD. I’m so glad she agreed!
I think every blogger comes to this place, the Valley of Completely Overwhelmed by Internet Awesome. I arrived there this past winter. For some reason, I couldn’t find time to read all 300-some blogs I had stashed in my Google Reader. It might be related to having my own blog to write, pursuing my passion of sewing, and caring for four small children. It was time for a blog subscription spring cleaning.
It’s a scary thing for a blogger to say, but by trying to stay on top of so many blogs meant I was getting less out of the blogs that truly inspired me. And by INSPIRE, I mean the blogs that made me go…
“Wow, this post is AMAZING. It really breathed life into me. I feel like I can become a better person. I can achieve great things!”
“Wow, that is so amazing. I could never be that amazing, I now hate myself more after reading that post. I’m going to go crawl into a corner and cry.”
Well… it wasn’t really that bad. However, not everything I thought was “inspiring” was truly inspiring me. Cleaning up my blog reader made room in my life for things that fill me up. For me that means I spend a little less time reading about sewing, and a lot more time actually sewing.
How to Declutter Google Reader
To free up my blog reader, I went through each of the blog subscriptions in my reader and storted it into one of four categories. Each category (except for “purge”) is put in a separate folder in my Reader.
- PURGE – Just delete it. I cleared out the blogs I never get around to reading and felt guilty about it, and the ones I felt like I “should” care about but didn’t, and the ones that just made me feel like crud. My life is too full for these types of blogs to clutter it up. Any truly awesome posts will make their way to me eventually anyways.
- Read Now – Here I put my friends’ blogs, both my “IRL” friends and my good blogging buddies. I want to be timely in reading their posts and to be able to comment on them. I check this folder daily.
- When I Have Time – These are blogs I enjoy enough to keep around, but I don’t necessarily need to read every post. I also tossed in blogs that I wasn’t quite ready to delete. I only check this folder as time allows. For me, this is every few days or so. If I get too backed up, I’ll “mark all as read” and let it go.
- IBN – I am lucky enough to be in a private bloggers forum. I’ve grouped these blogs separate from the rest, because most of them aren’t my usual “crafty blog” fare.
These are the categories that work for me. Elizabeth of Things Bright, the blogger who inspired my blog reader makeover with her amazing post called “Read Less Blogs”, sorts her reader into more priority levels. If that’s your cup of tea, go for it. I needed my system to be simple or I would never do it.
“Wait!” you say. “What’s this folder business? How do you make folders in Google Reader?”
I’ll show you.
The quickest way to sort your Google Reader subscriptions is from the settings section. Fire up Google Reader and click on the gear icon in the upper right corner. From there choose “Reader Settings”.
In the Settings window, choose the “Subscriptions” tab.
Next to each subscription, there is a “Change folders…” drop down menu. Use the “New Folder…” option to make folders for each of your priority categories.
Tip: If your new folders aren’t showing up in the drop down menu after your create them. Exit the settings panel (“<< Back to Google Reader”), then reopen it by clicking on the gear again.
With your folders set up, go through your subscriptions list and sort each blog into a priority categories mentioned above. Delete when necessary.
Now, when you open Google Reader, clicking on the folder will bring up only the blogs in that priority category.
Ahhh… that’s much better. Isn’t it? 🙂
How’s your reader looking these days? Is it in need of a spring cleaning?
Jodi blogs at Sew Fearless, her “geeky sewing blog.” If you’re interested in sewing, you must read it (and check out her patterns and tutorials). If you’re not interested in sewing, pop over there for a glimpse of how Jodi’s finding ways to pursue her passion while raising 4 small children. You can find her on twitter, or follow her fabulous Pinterest boards here.