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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February 2013 Favorites

Hello everyone! This post is going to be all about the products I loved this month. It’s a fairly random list of things including everything from makeup to apps to pet products.

{Disclaimer: I purchased all of these products on my own and was not paid or asked to review any of these items.}

Make Up, Hair & Nails

  • Gel Eyeliner by MicaBeauty – This was my first time trying a gel-based eyeliner. I was always too afraid that I’d screw it up, but it turned out easier to apply than I had anticipated. This stuff was awesome for my nights out when I wanted to give my eyes a little more {well a LOT MORE} oomph.

  • Pixi Flawless & Poreless Primer – I typically use Too Faced’s Primed & Poreless primer, but this was another Ipsy product I enjoyed using. I think it’ll be a toss up between what primer I order now. The Pixi primer is available at Target for $29 or through Ipsy with a 20%  , but I typically shop at Sephora so I’ll likely reorder the Too Faced primer.

Mac/iPhone/iPad Apps

It seems like more and more lately I’m replacing the stock apps on my phone with other third-party apps.

Sunrise Calendar App

{Image from Tech Crunch}

  • Sunrise – This app is a wonderful calendar app that really took me by surprise. It as a great look to it. It also has Facebook integration which is wonderful for wishing your Facebook friends a Happy Birthday which some of you may remember is one of my goals for this year.

  • Mailbox – This app claimed it would revolutionize the way you used your Gmail accounts and boy did it. I feel like I waited an eternity for this app, and almost deleted it because I was tired of waiting in line. I don’t necessarily agree that the idea of downloading the app to “reserve your place in line” to get to use the app was the best roll out method, but I’m glad I waited. I have a few coworkers that like to send out emails at 9pm, so being able to mark those emails to return to my inbox later when I’m at work is great. It did take a bit of time to reconfigure my Mail app on my Mac so that everything worked together nicely, but I decided to take the time to do it and clean up my folders in the process.

  • Jasmine – I watch a lot of YouTube videos if you hadn’t caught on to that from my “My Week” posts by now. Watching them on my iPad or iPhone is one way that I catch up on them. I tried a lot of Youtube apps and this one is by far the prettiest. It does have some glitches at times, but this is still the best in my opinion.

  • Pocket – I had this app on my computer for a while, but never actually used it. I subscribe to a lot of RSS feeds that I read on my iPhone, iPad, and Mac using my favorite RSS reader, Reeder. I typically run through the feeds and star what I want to read so that I can come back to them. Pocket seemed redundant until I started using it. Now I typically send things I want to read straight to Pocket. When I’m reading, if I find a link to something else interesting, I save that link to Pocket and continue reading. This works wonderfully for Webfinds. I open up the Philofaxy post, and save all the finds to Pocket and I can read them later.

Pet Products

  • PetGuard Leaf and Flower Organically Grown Catnip – I got this from Petflow’s Spoiled Rotten box. I’ve since unsubscribed from it because I don’t think the products were  worth the money, but my cats did enjoy everything in the box. One of their favorites was a tin of organic catnip. Only my two younger cats are usually affected by catnip, but this time even Abu joined in on the fun. Within minutes, they were acting crazy, and at one point they were following me around excited like I had canned cat food for an oil filter I was carrying to the garage.

Stationary & Such

  • Schedule Stamps from Etsy – I picked up two sets of stamps from the Etsy store, bysiuc. The first set was weather related. The second set contained various events like date night, movie, etc. It doesn’t look like the event type stamps are still available, but there is one left of the weather related ones, here. {Check back Monday for how I’m using them in my Filofax.}

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