Matt\’s Cuppa

My take on tea, technology, and our environment

How I Prioritize My Google Reader Feeds

Posted by telecommatt on July 8, 2007

I was intrigued by Lifehacker’s article on feedreader Fastladder, particularly by it’s ability to search and prioritize feeds. After spending the better part of an afternoon playing with Fastladder, I came to pretty much the same conclusion that Lifehacker’s Adam Pash came to. While Fastladder provides a few features that are glaringly missing from my current reader of choice, Google Reader, I’m too much invested in my current reader for me to make the switch.

Fastladder Logo

However, over the course of the afternoon I spent with Fastladder I really began to see the value to being able to prioritize my RSS feeds. For example, if I had only ten minutes to check my news, how do I make the most of that time? In Google Reader (GR), I would scroll through my feeds looking for ones that interested me at the time. Five of my ten minutes were spent deciding which feeds to read. In Fastladder, I simply sorted my feeds by priority and started reading. When I returned to GR, I sorely missed this added productivity.

Google Reader Logo

The next morning I embarked on my quest to find a way to prioritize my GR feeds. I devised a simple plan that, so far, has worked marvelously. Going into the Manage Subscriptions section of the GR web interface, I created five new folders. I named these folders, simply, “1”, “2”…”5″. I then assigned each of my feeds to one of the folders. All of my must-read feeds were assigned to folder “1”. The next highest on my list were assigned to folder “2”, and so on. Now, when I scan my news, all I have to so is click on the folder name and all the feeds in that folder are available to read. I read them all at once in list view rather than selecting each individual feed. Once I’m finished with folder “1”, my highest priority feeds, I move onto folder “2”, then “3”, until I run out of time or my eyes go numb. I’m absolutely amazed at how much this has increased my efficiency using GR. If you already to something similar, let me know how it works for you. If you’re not, give this a try and post your thoughts.

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6 Responses to “How I Prioritize My Google Reader Feeds”

  1. Thanks! Great tip!

  2. Robert,

    Thanks for the comment; glad it helped!

  3. Lauren said

    I think this is the best solution to prioritize GReader. I was frustrated by not being able to prioritize either. What I did was very similar–I kept my category names, but added a 1_, 2_, etc prefix so that they’d always show up at the top of my list in priority order. My top-priority feeds are all feeds from blogs of people in my network, which I want to stay on top of the most.

  4. Lauren,

    That’s a great tip, especially if you have loads of categories to keep track of. I’m glad to see I’m not the only one frustrated by this missing feature. And thanks for taking a moment to post. My blog lives for people like you!

  5. […] this is very similar to my own previously posted method for organizing my Google Reader feeds. Instead of labeling them "Can’t […]

  6. […] Reader, my feedreader of choice, gets a little more web 2.0 by adding personalized feed recommendations and drop and drop feed […]

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