Google Reader productivity hack: change your Home

So, if you use Google Reader, read your news with the “All items” page, and are subscribed to hundreds of feeds, it can be pretty overwhelming. I’ve found a better way to deal with this.

Select a ‘most important’ subset of feeds. For each of those, click through to the feed details page, hit the “Feed Settings…” menu, and select “Change folders…“. Put the feed into a new “top” folder (creating it if necessary).

Now go to “Settings” -> “Preferences” and check out the “Start page” preference. By default, it’s set to “Home“; change it to “Folders and Tags: top“.

Hey presto — now, when you load Google Reader, it’ll come up with your “top” items. You can get through those quickly enough, and get on to other more important tasks. When you’re bored and need something to read, though, just hit “Navigation” -> “All items” (or even just type ‘ga’), and every other feed is now there for your delectation. Sweet!

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  1. Jorn
    Posted March 11, 2009 at 16:53 | Permalink

    I’ve forgotten what their defaults were, but I have 600 subscriptions sorted into 20 folder/tags, always displayed in bottom half of lefthand pane, folders arranged by priority, so when I fall hundreds behind I can go by folder, then when I catch up with the high priority stuff I switch back to ‘all items’.

  2. Posted March 11, 2009 at 17:04 | Permalink

    Nice tip. I maintain an “essential” folder and a “read often” folder for this reason (and a “don’t read” folder). Another tip: you can use the iphone browsing interface for google reader from any PC via I prefer it to the PC one.