When I’m churning through new feeds in Google Reader and I want to flag a post for later, I just Star it, problem is my current Star section is massive…search helps, but I’d like to organise my Star section by topic or tags.
del.icio.us lets me save stuff and organise it, same with my browser favourites, so why not my starred items in Google Reader?
But Google Reader does have tags, only these live outside your saved items, nonetheless they can still be used to store items for later.
But they also have another use, reason why they live outside your Starred items is that you can use tags as a kind of bookmarking tool.
These tags can be published link streams (turn them on in your settings)…every tag you create has its own feed and public page. You can also create public link streams another 2 ways; a Shared items folder, and each folder/tag (label) you organise your feeds in can be turned on as link streams (these are moreso auto-streams, whereas tags and Share items are manually clipped link streams)
NOTE: Google Readers new search feature doesn’t search in tags
Anyway, I’m not interested in using tags in Google Reader, as I use del.icio.us for bookmarking (personal topic web archive, which is also a link stream, just like Google Reader).
Problem I found is that if I did want to use my Google Reader tags for link streaming, I can’t have a tag the same name as a folder (label)…this is a simple limitation.
eg. I have a folder called “library”, if I want to tag/save stuff with the tag “library” I can’t.
When I tag an item, it already lists the name of the folder it lives in as a tag, these should be two different fields or boxes.
Since there isn’t tags in my Starred Items, I thought I’d keep stuff I want to blog in my Starred Items and tag stuff I want to read.
Once I have read an item, I just untag it and it disappears.
If I want to get rid of the tag altogether, then I have to go to my settings and delete it.
Another thought is that I could snub Starred Items altogether and use tags for both “To read” items and “To blog” items, all I have to do is prefix the tag
read-library…for an item about libraries I want to read later
blog-library…for an item about libraries I want to blog later
I just found an earlier blog post where I mentioned this exact scenario, and it’s not a smooth ride, read on:
“7. Collect stories for future blog posts
- I can easily “star” these items, but my starred items are for stuff I want to read later, I want a section for stuff I want to blog about. I could tag these items, but I can’t keep them unread as when I finish reading a folder of feeds I mark all as read. When I view items in this tag, they are all read, I can’t tell which ones I just added (I’d have to mark them unread again, otherwise later on I won’t remember if I’ve blogged about it)…see more.
- I guess I want the ability to create other icons similar to “star”…this won’t fix my issue, but at least I have items that I want to blog about in a separate stream from my starred items.”
This would only work if Google Reader had a button that said “Mark all Read with exceptions”…these exceptions are items you have opened and tagged and marked unread again.
I can prevent this problem after all, I mention, “…I’d have to mark them unread again, otherwise later on I won’t remember if I’ve blogged about it”…I wouldn’t have to remember if I blogged about an item previously as once I’ve blogged it, I would delete if from my tag.
Now what about outside items, items that I come across from elsewhere, there is no way to save these into Google Reader…and there is no way for me to annotate these items, or leave a note.
I’ve written about this before, and came up with a workaround, this is more focused on using tags as public link streams.
The focus of this post is more on saving stuff in an organised way, and deleting it when I’m done.
Ideally I’d like one spot to collect all the stuff I want to read and blog later, but this isn’t always the case, as you get emails, people send you links,etc…
Anyway, what you can do for outside stuff is bookmark it at del.icio.us with a tag, eg. “To read”, or “To blog” and then subscribe to the RSS of each tag in Google Reader.
Now when I surf the web or get sent a link in an email, I can bookmark it, and it will turn up in my Google Reader, sure I will have 2 “To read” spots and 2 “To blog” spots in Google Reader, but at least all stuff I want to action is in the one place.
The outside stuff I bookmark can be annotated with a note (del.icio.us comments), but I don’t have a solution to annotate items already in Google Reader.
NOTE: this post is focused on 2 things to do, I realise I could have other to-do’s like blog admin stuff which isn’t in the realm of Google Reader as it’s not a task manager, etc…this post is dealing with the depth of just 2 activities: reading and posting.
Anyway, I wish Google Reader had a few more icons, or perhaps you could create sections yourself, like Starred Items, I’d create my own sections: To Read, To blog, and Notes…I think the Gritwire RSS Reader has a notes feature.
So it seems I’m in need for both organising and publishing modules for my RSS Reader (maybe a Greasemonkey hack), for some, these activites are naturally the next in line after reading feed content…I need some sort of unified workflow.
This is an old lament, as there are different takes on digital lifestyle pages, I’d like mine based around my RSS Reader…hmmm, I wonder if Google gadgets will one day be accessible in Google Reader. Bloglines now have a startpage view, Google Reader could easily do this, and they wouldn’t be restricted to just feed widgets, you could add a notes widget, etc…
Actually a startpage would solve my issue as I could read my feeds in one widget, bookmark “to read” and “to blog” posts in other widgets, keep notes in a notes widget, etc…but then I like using an advanced RSS Reader, and I’d rather have the choice to connect modules to my RSS Reader.
How do you use Google Reader tags?
How do you organise stuff to read later and blog later?