Keeping Up with the Internet

I have a confession to make. I’m an information junkie. {I even took a personality quiz from a local newspaper that said it!} I love reading about new products, fun ideas, and just about anything else you can think of. I subscribe to over 145 RSS feeds, at least 38 YouTube channels, and of course whatever else I happen to stumble upon during the day. Media overload is a normal thing for me, so I have to have some elaborate organization to keep up with everything. Now I had been planning to do this post since I started by blog, so with the recent death of Google Reader, now seemed like as good a time as anyto explain how I manage {or at least try to manage} all of those the things I read and watch on the internet.

Another confession: When I heard of the news that Google Reader was going away, I have to admit I started freaking out. I may or may not have tweeted some complaints to Google and signed some petitions pleading for Google to get rid of it. We all know how that turned out though, and that brings me to Feedly. After trying several options, Feedly seemed to fit my current workflow the best. If you’ve been floundering around since Google Reader died, I highly recommend Feedly. Basically, any RSS feed I follow got migrated to Feedly with their seamless transition from Google, and that’s basically where it all starts.

A view of Feedly in my browser.

So a ton of people posts to blogs I follow, those posts go into Feedly. From within Feedly, I can quickly skim through everything that was posted, and that’s where I choose to read the article immediately {only if it’s short or super interesting}, save it for later, or just ignore it. For now, I’m using the web-version of Feedly on my computer while I wait for my “go to” RSS Reader app, Reeder, to update both it’s Mac and iPad apps. Reeder for the iPhone has been updated to support Feedly though. {If you don’t want to use Reeder, Feedly does have it’s own iOS app that is also pretty nice.} Oh, by the way, Reeder for iPhone is currently free right now, so  if you’re interested in trying it, now’s a great time to do it!

Reeder

Reeder for iPhone

Now back in the day, I starred anything I wanted to save for later in Google Reader. The downside to that is not everything I wanted to save for later was from an RSS feed which led me to Pocket. I can save anything from the web, including articles from Feedly directly to Pocket. Both Feedly and Reeder offer the ability to add items directly to Pocket quickly. There’s also a browser plug-in for those non-RSS items I want to catch up on. Then, when I have the time, I can catch up on those articles on my iPhone, iPad, or computer either through the Pocket app for Mac or the web. {When I’m on the computer, I prefer the Mac app, but it does lack some of the features of the web version like bulk update so occasionally, I do use the web version.}

Pocket App for Mac

I do have some feeds where I always read every post like the Skimm which posts a “skimm’d” down version of current events for us, “non-newsy” people. For those, I save myself a step and set up an IFTTT {If This Then That} recipe to automatically send those posts to Pocket so that I don’t have to add them to Pocket each day. If you haven’t checked out IFTTT, I also recommend it. You can set it up to do just about anything from sending you a text that it will rain the next day to tweeting Happy New Year for you. It’ll even turn your lights on or off based on events like when the sun sets if you have certain electronic gizmos.

By this point, everything I want to read or check out later is in Pocket. I’ve successfully filtered down my thousands of articles into a more manageable hundreds, but that’s still pretty chaotic. Right now, I probably have about 330 articles to catch up on. Further organization methods vary depending on my mood, but in general, I try to take care of the quick items like pictures or short blog posts first. If there’s something worth saving, for instance, a really good cleaning tip I’m going to want to return to later, I usually pin that onto a relevant Pinterest board. {I know, not the best way to archive information should the author delete content.} Since I typically catch up on things stored in Pocket while on my iPad or iPhone, I usually star {mark as a “favorite”} any particularly long articles, things better suited for viewing on a computer, or videos so that I know those are ones I should catch up on when I’m at a computer.

Now that I’ve covered my RSS feeds, I still have to do something with all those Youtube videos. Since watching videos at work is usually frowned upon, I save watching them for later. Thankfully, YouTube has a handy “Watch Later” playlist for that. On any normal day, that’s where I’d put these videos, but right now I have over 210 videos to watch, and apparently, YouTube has a 200 video limit on your Watch Later playlist which I have reached more than a few times. Now if these were silly 30-second cat videos, this wouldn’t be an issue, but videos seem to be getting longer and longer. {I have one that’s almost an hour long!} I usually try to watch the quickest videos first just to keep the number down, so who knows when I’ll actually get to that hour long video. It seems like more and more people are making longer and longer videos. {Note to all the YouTubers out there – Make shorter videos so we have time to watch them all!} For now though, I have a second playlist, “Watch Later 2.” {How original!} Anything under 9 minutes {because my shortest videos are about 7 minutes right now} goes into that playlist, and I’ve been whittling down that playlist little by little {at least until the next Web Finds}. I plan to keep increasing that time limit up little by little as I watch the shorter videos at least until I get my original Watch Later playlists gets out of the zone where I risk hitting the dreaded 200 video limit. Oh and if any of you are curious as to how I watch these {being the App hoarder I am – I like to try apps until I find the best one…}, I either connect my laptop to my TV and just watch them through the web {42″ of planners, cat videos, and Jenna Marbles…}. If I don’t feel like doing that, I watch them on my iPad or iPhone using my favorite Youtube app, Jasmine.

Jasmine for iOS on my iPad

Jasmine for iOS on my iPad

So that’s my super-OCD method of keeping track of what I read and watch on the internet. {Actual books, movies, and TV shows are a whole other ball game.} If you have any tips on managing RSS feeds or YouTube videos, if you happen to love any of the apps or products I mentioned, or if you just happen to get something out of this post, I’d love to hear from you.

P.S. If any of you happen to have tips on how you keep your RSS feeds organized, I’d love to hear that too. That’s one part of this process I’m not happy about. I just can’t seem to find a good way to categorize them.

And again, all apps mentioned in this post are currently free. I wasn’t asked to mention these products, I just genuinely enjoy using them, and wanted to pass them on to my readers.

Until next time,

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