Organize the blogs you read with Google Reader

Do you follow several blogs? Do you find that keeping up with a lot of blogs to be time consuming? Google Reader can help.

Google Reader is one of many helpful Google tools that help people with their productivity. It is an automated interface that organizes your subscriptions to news sites and blogs in one place.

You can easily have the news and updates on subjects of interest delivered to your e-mail. You can read through them at your convenience. I find it just as easy to log into Google Reader and view unread blogs and news directly from there.

  1. Subscribe to the news feeds and blogs you want, then read the new postings and updates whenever it’s convenient for you. If some content doesn’t interest you after a while, simply unsubscribe.
  2. It’s easy to keep track of the feeds you have already read and those you haven’t. Google Reader shows unread items in bold.
  3. Whether the site or blog you follow updates daily, weekly, or monthly, you’ll get the notices of new posts right after they happen.
  4. You can also search for new and interesting content through Google Reader without taking hours of surfing the Internet. Let Google Reader do the work for you; even sort blogs and news into categories/folders for easier reference..

If you’re on the go a lot, well, you can access Google Reader from your phone, from any computer, or add a gadget to iGoogle.

If you already have a Google account, you’re ready to go. Sign in to Google Reader with your Google username and password.

Otherwise, getting a (free) Google account is painless. Go to Google Reader and sign up on the spot. Help for Google Reader can be found here.

Google strives to make its interfaces as user-friendly as possible. There are help files and step-by-step instructions available to get you set up and proactive.

If you’d like a hands-on introduction to Google Reader, check out the Google Reader Tour. You can also visit the Newbies Guide to get a handy walk-through of the basics of Google Reader (including shortcuts and scripts) and RSS feeders.

I find it incredibly handy to see all the unread blog posts in one spot. I’m still floored by how much time it saves me on a daily basis.

If you haven’t discovered Google Reader, why not give it a try. If you are already using Google Reader, have you discovered anything you’d like to share with our blog readers?

Lisa J. Jackson is an editor, author, book coach, consultant, Big Sister, cat owner, and chocolate lover. She writes fiction as Lisa Haselton, has a blog for book reviews and author interviews, and is on the staff of The Writer’s Chatroom where she gets to chat with writing professionals on a weekly basis — and you can too! ©Lisa J. Jackson, 2010

Manage Your Time, Deadlines, and Sanity with One Tool – Down with the To Do List!

How would you like, at a glance, to be able to quickly know the following?

  • What you absolutely have to get done today
  • How many hours it’s going to take
  • Whether you’ll have time to goof off watching True Blood reruns tonight
  • What percentage of your working day will be spent on deliciously billable work vs. evil-but-necessary marketing
  • How you’re faring on your quest for a better work/life balance
  • Whether you remembered to call back that editor who emailed you yesterday
  • What the rest of your week looks like

… at a glance. Really.

A girl with a past
I have a long history of To Do list addiction. My love of lists – color-coded, prioritized, categorized, highlighted, and so on – began when I was just a child. I made elaborate lists of my Breyer horse inventory, what I wanted to be when I grew up, journal entries, and homework assignments.  More recently, the frequency of my trysts with various time and task management systems has left me feeling exhausted, disappointed, and a little bit dirty.

Enter Google Calendar (GC)
At first, it was just a casual meeting. A client asked to share a calendar with me so we could coordinate meetings more efficiently. At first glance, I didn’t think GC was anything special – just another piece of the Google empire. But then, we started to get to know each other a little better. Pretty soon, I was turning to GC for personal appointments as well as professional ones.

And then, an innocent request changed everything. Continue reading