Reorganising my RSS feeds

Last week I started writing up my Personal Knowledge Management Workflow as part of that workflow.

You know, the best notes are about note taking, just like the most popular blogs are about blogging and the most popular YouTube videos are about creating YouTube videos.

Back to my notes.

When describing the concept of garbage in = garbage out I realised that it had been ages since I pruned the RSS feeds I consult each day during breakfast.

So I left my notes to take a deep dive into my Inoreader account. This turned out to be a multi-hour project, so I chunked the task as any productive human would do.

Then, when checking between two chunks, I ran into a post called Feed Reading By Social Distance by Ton Zijlstra. I loved the idea!

Until now I have always organised my feeds by interestingness, using numbered folders:

  1. Quality control: my own publications which I always want to check first.
  2. Interesting: my favourite blogs which I want to read whenever I can.
  3. Bulk: the rest of the posts.
  4. Triage: new subscriptions that I want to try out before moving them to ‘Bulk’.
  5. Whenever I have the time: some high volume feeds that I usually skipped.

After reading Tom’s post, I first renamed all my feeds with the author name. As Tom said: feeds express a personal relation.

I unsubscribed from most business and group blogs, with a few exceptions for some blogs run by two or three people I know well.

Then I dedicated several hours to reorganise the 242 remaining feeds into social distance based folders:

  1. My Publications: this folder actually has number 0, but in HTML it is complicated to create numbered lists not starting at 1 and being strictly sequential.
  2. Close Contacts: People I know well and with whom I have a relation spanning several years.
  3. Dunbar’s Tribe: feeds from people I know in real life, through digital exchanges or by having followed them for over a decade (as long as they also publish some personal information).
  4. Outer circle: interesting writing by people I don’t know at all.
  5. The Fire Hose: some feeds by businesses. I assigned number 99 to this folder to indicate the correct social distance.

While reviewing all those feeds I also made sure they are all configured to use the ‘https’ protocol, that they use the current domain name (some blogs moved from using the platform’s subdomain to having their own domain) and to use a current feed address.

Speaking of the latter, it surprised me to see that several blogs, including some high volume sites, still channel their feeds through Feedburner.

So there we are, all feeds organised and read. Not the only thing I can do to procrastinate a bit more is write about it on my blog…

Having a clear purpose is the key for a happy life.

Even when researchers compared lonely people with purpose to social butterflies without it, purpose came out on top. In other words, it’s possible when we’re doing things to better our society, the body assumes there’s a society there to better. We’re technically alone, but it doesn’t feel that way.

Via Jason Kottke

What a great idea! I would love to work as a CWO.

To see themselves through the I.T. revolution, companies hired chief information officers. Perhaps the coronavirus pandemic will make chief workflow officer an equally important role.

I closed my Facebook and Instagram accounts over a year ago and have not missed it for a single day. I am still dreaming of leaving WhatsApp as well, but that proves to be more difficult.

Since then, not a single month have gone by without news coming out about Facebook’s blatant disrespect of its users, privacy and ethics.

I have made my choice, and I encourage you to make yours. If you disagree with Facebook and its policies, leave. You might be one account, but if you are one among millions, you will make a difference.

Nicholas Bate is the master of helpful advise in bite sized lists. I’m already waiting for the second part of the list Covid–19, 101, 1–10m

8. Your business will continue to be a blend of high-tech and high-touch. The former must be fast, easy and responsive. The latter must be fast, easy and attentive.


10. A phone call without visual distraction can be surprisingly productive. Try it.

For his 68th birthday, the amazing Kevin Kelly shares 68 bits of unsolicited advice.

There is no limit on better. Talent is distributed unfairly, but there is no limit on how much we can improve what we start with.

Usually when organizations talk about a VUCA environment, they are simply covering up bad planning, collaboration and organizational practices.

If you apply the growth mindset to organizations, you should stop talking about VUCA.

You can’t control the future:

When the future doesn’t cooperate, we spend even more time trying to change the next bit of future so that it ends up more closely matching the future we were hoping for.

What if, instead, just for a little while, we simply did our best?

What I believe in:

While there are many benefits to using software tools, there are many hidden costs as well. Consider all the time you’ve spent researching, learning, evaluating, upgrading, and maintaining various software tools. Are you getting a good payoff for your investment when you consider the total time you’ve had to invest?

Now add the additional time you may have lost from digital distractions when you use software tools, especially on an Internet connected device. How often did you break away from using a genuine productivity tool to check email or social media or to look something up online?


40 years of experience working from home compressed into 10 pieces of solid advice:

Every morning, I’d have breakfast and dress as if I were going to “the office.” Then, I’d leave my house, locking the door behind me. I’d get in my car and drive around the block. Then, I’d get out of the car, go up the stairs to my front door, unlock it, and head for my office, where I was ready to work.

Sometimes, if you can’t muster the discipline to work, you must fool yourself. That’s what I was doing. You may have to do it, too.