Organizing RSS Feeds

I recently switched from using Bloglines as my feedreader to using Google Reader. I liked the ability to publish shared items on Facebook. As the number of my feeds has exploded past 150, it has gotten harder to manage the feeds. I found this especially true when I was on “vacation” at my in-laws in Missouri two weeks ago. After a few days off-line, I had several hundred unread items.

Jack Vinson got me thinking about organizing feeds by priority instead of content. I really liked being able to view my feeds by subject, but also wanted to make sure I saw very important items very quickly.

I very pleased to find that Google Reader allows you to organize your feed BOTH ways. Feeds can be in multiple organizational folders.

As you can see from this screenshot of my feed list, I have given my feeds a ranking of 1, 2, 3, or 4. Each feed is placed into one of these ranking folders and one of the subject matter folders.

I used numbers because the folder list is alphabetical. My first attempt was using “high” and “low” but they got buried in the folder list.

I can focus on the “1” feeds when I am busy, dismiss the “4” feeds when I fell overwhelmed by the number of unread items and focus on a particular subject when I am in the mood.

Its great when software allows you to have it both ways.

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