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The Simple Manifesto #60 – Simplify your RSS feeds


This is part of our series on Leo Babauta’s Simple Living Manifesto. We invite you to join us on the journey.

The 60th idea in the manifesto is:

Simplify your RSS feeds. If you’ve got dozens of feeds, or more than a hundred (as I once did), you probably have a lot of stress in trying to keep up with them all. Simplify your feed reading. See How to Drop an RSS Feed Like a Bad Habit.

RSS Feeds

This is an area I’ve made some drastic cuts in over the last several months. When I started this journey (January 2010) I was subscribed to more than 300 feeds in Google Reader. Shortly after reading Leo’s book, I decided to simplify some more and dropped down to around 270 subscriptions. By the end of February, I was below 200 — at 198.

Somewhere along the way I was down to 175, but I’ve also slowly seen that number creep up (currently at 186) as I’ve found a number of amazing bloggers writing about Living Simply and Minimalism.

Leo on the other hand only reads 16 or so RSS feeds a day. Crazy!

Of course my wife checks in with only 20 or so blogs each day (if that). And she keeps it simple by only bookmarking the sites she really cares about. When she gets the time, she’ll open her browser and manually visit each of the sites she wants to check in on.

So what is it about my RSS reading that keeps me checking in?

I honestly enjoy checking in on the latest news. I enjoy being “in the know.”

But I’ve also realized that my enjoyment can be taken to the extreme for sure — which is why I’ve cut my subscriptions in half over the last several months — and why I’m continually checking to see if there are other feeds that need to be dropped.

It’s like purging everything else — if I haven’t read it or received any noticeable benefit from it in the last three months — toss it.

Tips for purging…

One of the best ways I’ve found to track this is with Google Reader’s built in trends information. Simply click Trends on the left hand column (in the top section under Home) and you can find out which blogs you read most, which blogs you share content from the most, and how active your various subscriptions are.

In addition, I know some of you still aren’t using an RSS reader (which is fine) but perhaps you’ve subscribed to lots of newsletters in your e-mail. Now’s a good opportunity to get rid of the ones you rarely read.

For a quick solution, simply search, “unsubscribe” in your inbox and start unsubscribing from those e-mails that haven’t benefited you in recent months (just don’t unsubscribe from ours!! :-) ).

Remember, there’s nothing inherently wrong with subscribing to a lot of RSS feeds, or e-mail newsletters, its like anything else — when it consumes your time and energy and takes you away from the things that really matter — that’s when the problems begin.

So, how many RSS feeds/newsletters will you purge today?

Join us!

Write a blog post about the point above and then share the link in the comments below…

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4 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Simple Manifesto #61 – Subscribe to Unclutterer | we live simply :: learning to live simply so others may simply live 23 06 10
  2. Simple Manifesto #63: Carry less stuff 25 06 10
  3. Simple Manifesto #64: Simplify your online life | we live simply :: learning to live simply so others may simply live 28 06 10
  4. Simple Manifesto #66: Simplify your budget 06 07 10

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