I love having this discussion with people because I always come away with something new to try. How do you organize what you do on the web? Do you use RSS feeds? if you do, how do you organize them? Do you use an aggregator like google reader or do you prefer something like MY YAHOO or IGOOGLE to organize yourself? I have been using google reader to organize th blogs I follow and IGOOGLE to organize my news and sports feeds. I am sure there are more efficient ways to organize and I would like to hear what other people do.

Tags: RSS, feeds, organization

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Well I am a big fan of iGoogle and Google Reader so personally believe they are the most efficient ways to organise your information. But just so you know that I am not totally bias I did do a road test of the major Feed Readers and Personalised Homepages which you can check out here.

But saying all this, especially after causing a Feed Reader war by saying NetVibes is not for serious blog reading, personalise homepages and Feed Readers are exactly what they say they are -- personal.
Hi Brad,
If I may add some questions to the others... How do people tag their del.icio.us bookmarks? How many tags do you typically put on any bookmarks?

Also, have you read Everything Is Miscellaneous: the Power of the New Digital Disorder? It seems relevant to this discussion. On this Amazon page for that book, there's a book review, and also an interesting essay by David Weinberger called "The Flocking of Information."

If I ever get organized, I'll write back to tell you how it happened, but don't hold your breath. Right now just finding a footpath through the dining room is difficult; the dining room has given way to ONLY books, articles, school materials, photos, certificates, stacks of information-stuff. Oh, and then there's also the now archaic filing-cabinet, big and bulky and organized in only one perculiar way: alphabetically. Hmmm...maybe that's the first thing I can move out, on my way to getting organized (in both the physical and digital world)!

Thanks for asking a good question. Noted: you asked "how do you organize" not "how do you get organized." Points to a dynamic processing, a journey. Which brings up the idea that we never "get there," we're just constantly in the process,to a greater or lesser degree.
Actually I have gotten lazy with tagging in del.icio.us because I use the del.icio.us add on with firefox which means I can search my bookmarks easily without not having tagged well. So most times only using one tag which works well for me but probably does not make it as easy for my del.icio.us network to find the articles they are interested in.
I also use the add-on in firefox and it is probably the single most useful tool I use- searching by your bookmarks is a time saver but I also try to tag every page too

I have taken to using google notebook a lot for saving different sites and bits of information from those sites in the specific notebook that it pertains to
My problem is that I can't think of the one tag that the "future me" will remember the article/site/application by. So I'm multiply tagging everything. Think it'll work? You must have a much more structured "memory bank" than I do. Half the time when I "look upstairs" in my brain things seems to be in a jumble! But on del.iou.us, the jumble has a nice, flexible order; it allows me to focus through some of my brainfuzz.
Here's how I try to stay organized digitally.
I use Firefox as my web browser and have three tabs open at start. The three tabs are Classroom 2.0, iGoogle and Google Reader. I don't use Google Reader much as I use Thunderbird as my primary RSS reader. I use iGoogle as an information center. I have access to my google notebooks and documents, traditional news sources and other areas of interest.
I use igoogle to organize -love the on line calendar, access to my g mail, docu's and spreadsheets. I use delicious to tag then I bundle the tags together under brad topics. That alllws some cross referencing.

My interactive lessons I aam currently using have their own Wiki page. On my server I keep track of lessons by topic under each grade level. I also cross reference by having lerssons under the type the emphasis as well. For eample under 8th grade I may have a folder with their benchmarks, another for each toic area I covered like biodiversity ect. I also have a folder for Digital Photo, another for podcasts, ALice Program, SCRATCH, sQUEAK, sKETCH uP, spreadsheets, wiki's ect. It sometimes means saving in two locations: one under the grade level and another under the Tool I am using. I like the ability to cross reference and find the informatin in two different areas!
I use GoogleReader for my regular feeds and check it daily. I use PageFlakes (NetVibes, iGoogle, or MyYahoo! would do too) for projects and presentations, that are not ongoing, but will evolve overtime.

International Human Rights Day: http://www.pageflakes.com/alice_mercer/17155572
Dean Shareski's Design Matter: http://www.pageflakes.com/alice_mercer/16573397
Web 2.0 Training: http://www.pageflakes.com/alice_mercer/17462800

Others prefer wikis, but I don't like the the formatting and feel it's not as good for laying out video, rss feeds, etc. all on one page. You end up with that ugly table problem that caused the Net to move to CSS in the first place.

There is NO way I would use those for my regular RSS feed with close to 50 feeds coming in. That, would not be organized ;-).
I'm similar to Alice,

I use Netvibes (any of the other will do) as a start page that serves to remind me of what I need to look at each time I open the browser. I have a bunch of tabs, but I never use them. If I can't see it when the page loads, I don't think of it much.

Google Reader is now my aggregator of choice. Again, any will do, but I've found Google Reader suits my needs well these days (Web-based and quick). I have about a 100 feeds (less than half are really active) and Google Reader has a great function that makes it easy for me to work through these. All I have to do is to view "All Items" (view new). It makes it easy and fast for me to wade through around 100 postings every few days.

I have to add Outlook. I LOVE Outlook. Some may call me crazy, but Outlook easily lets me organize, search, and process my emails. I'm able to use ALL of my accounts from Outlook. I have 5 Gmail accounts (different purposes), a hosted email account, a Hotmail account, and an exchange account (Outlook) routed through Outlook. The only account that doesn't run through Outlook is my Yahoo! account, which is why I never check it.

Lastly, I have to agree with Connie. Organization is a process that I'm constantly battling. Thankfully, my pack rat nature is somewhat hidden by the fact that I can hide all of my junk on my hard drive :)

Google Notebook. Setup a bunch of different notebooks(research, lesson ideas, to-dos, reference, future review) Anytime that I am online and find something of interest it gets copied and pasted into one of the notebooks. I'm actually surprised that no one from the GTD cult has added to this discussion(a cult that I would gladly join if I could ever make it through the book.) ;)

So since no one has mentioned it, I guess I will. Organization comes as a lifestyle and not through tools(though they are indeed handy) It has to be a system. "Getting Things Done" outlines an incredible method of developing a routine that allows you to collect, act, and review the things in your life that you need to get done. The end result is organization. Check out the book if you get a chance.

Basically the book says that you need a way to collect everything into a general inbox throughout the day/week, have a time to review, add an action to it(do it, save it, delete it. From that point you can file it to it's respective place. Google Notebook works as my general inbox, and when I do my scheduled review of it I can decide what needs to be done with it(file it, act on it, etc...)



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