beka stays committed : to controlling the (blog) mayhem

I did something beneficial for my mental health yesterday.

(Some of you are probably thinking it has to be something born out of this post, but it actually isn’t. Although tonight I’m still wearing my pants, so we’re clearly making progress.)

My love for blogs – both writing and reading them – is well-documented. As is my devotion to Google Reader. But recently things have gotten out of hand. I was, perhaps, too devoted considering the amount of time I had available to devote. I was subscribed to about 120 blogs. My consequent daily reading list was usually over 100 items long. Which meant that whenever I didn’t have hours of free time to click through pages upon pages of blogs (which, let’s face it, is always) they snowballed into an overwhelming heap of reading material. And with each passing day the snowball grew larger and larger until I felt like it was going to roll out of my computer, into my living room, and squash me whole.

Now, I love blogs. I love keeping up with them through Google Reader. But I don’t love getting stressed out by something I love. That’s just a killjoy.

So I did something about it! First things first: I whittled the subscription list down to less than 100 blogs. (And yes, that means 99.) Then, I organized my main list into folders so I can quickly browse through whichever topic is important on a given day – food, photography, motivational, etc. But the best thing I did, the thing that will dramatically change my angst over hundreds of unread items, was make a Top 25 folder.

The Top 25 folder holds the 25 blogs I routinely check first anyway. Now they’re already grouped together. This means that instead of feeling like I’ll never get to the bottom of the pile when I open Google Reader at the end of a long day and see 347 unread items I can just go to my Top 25 folder and read through the  20-30 posts there before calling it a day. The other posts are still important to me, but they can wait until later.

Want to see the list? I’m sure that it will change over time, but here’s the December 2011 edition of the Top 25:

a cozy kitchen

big mama

bower power

can you stay for dinner?

carpool queen

composing nows

cookies and cups

eat live run

how sweet it is

jasmine star

jon acuff

joy the baker

making things happen

nancy ray photography

nat the fat rat

packers

peter king

the pioneer woman

quiet life

seth godin

shannon nicole smith photography

snoodlings

southern weddings

tim teblog

young house love

It’s a good mix, I think. There are plenty of food blogs, a few sports blogs, some about health and fitness, a bunch of fun ones, a handful of photography blogs, and a couple of pretty ones thrown in for good measure. It’s basically all of my favorite things in one tiny folder. My little blog-lovin’ heart couldn’t be happier.

People, I’m SO pumped about this development! Give it a whirl over the holidays. Your unread items mountain will thank you for it!

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