Ever have somebody share WAYYY too much information (TMI) with you? The internet is getting to the point of TMI also.
There are a lot of authors and sites I enjoy reading regularly. Bloggers in my field (Project Mgt and Lean) provide a great community and help with my professional development. There are writers who inspire me to post an article to add my perspective on a topic. The trouble is – who has time to visit sites frequently anymore?
Google Reader has helped me increase my productivity and unleashed my ability to keep up on many sites. I am able to focus on my projects and not get sidetracked looking for updates or trying to remember that one site I really liked a couple months ago but can’t find it in my favorites.
I popped all of my favorite RSS feeds into “Add subscription” and now I can see site updates quickly. I can read about 45 sites in about 10-15 minutes a day. I use three folders to separate work-related sites, personal interest pages, and sites that I only read when time permits (low, low priority). I set my preferences to open on my work-related sites folder.
The following keyboard shortcuts quickly separate the articles I want to read from the ones I wish to skip (there are more but this is what I use):
j/k: next/previous item – Marks the post as read once I am done with it and goes to the next article
s: star item – Highlights a post I want to read again or more thoroughly
v: view original – Quickly opens up the native blog in a new window
<Shift> + s: share item – I do this to capture posts I think my readers will find interesting. This is found at My Shared RSS under Discovered Posts
<Shift> + a: mark all as read – I use this primarily for my low, low priority folder because I know I won’t worry if I missed anything
If you run a site, you should use the reader to your advantage. I think more and more people will be using this (or something similar). If your site doesn’t have an RSS feed, the chances of people keeping up with you may dwindle. You can easily add a button to your posts so visitors can subscribe to your content. I use this whenever I find an interesting site.
I was finally inspired to use the reader after reading Tim Ferriss’ post 12 Filtering Tips for Better Information in Half the Time: RSS, Del.icio.us and StumbleUpon. There is more advice in the article.