photo menu-home   photo menu-gallery   photo menu-resume   photo menu-resume.png   photo menustudio1.png

19 May 2015

The “System”

A few months ago, I decided that I was never again going to apologize for getting behind on blog reading.  Gibbs has a rule about that!

 gibbs apology

And so I decided to set up a system – a little organization would go a long way.  Gibbs never says anything about organizing, he is all about the doing.  So what are you doing he’d ask without asking.


Before I get down the nitty-gritty details, I will share the two main concepts.  Not rocket science mind you, but worth saying.

1)  Focus on what is meaningful, entertaining or useful.
2)  Dump the rest.

Hmm, that could almost be a Gibbs rule.  What do you think, Gibbs?

mark harmon smiling

First, I deleted many blogs from my reader – but very few of them were written by individuals.  I wanted to concentrate on blogs where I could connect to the writer in a continuing conversation back and forth. In fact I prefer blog reading to forums for just this reason.  In forums (and Facebook to a lesser degree) everyone is talking at the same time to no one in particular.  I know that difference isn’t based in a logical comparison, but it is the reality of my perception.

gibbs stern

Basically anything that was a conglomeration of efforts of many contributors and/or a site solely for promoting product was abandoned.  Likewise, I’ve been unsubscribing from similar type emails.  I disdain the distraction of product temptation – (yeah, right, sure).
Inoreader allows me to sort blogs into folders – I use these:
  1. friends and followers (some from my very first days of blogging),
  2. fakers and forgers (the good kind related to the Counterfeit Kit Club),
  3. storytellers (this is a decidedly English/European group of gals – you know who you are!),
  4. books and reading,
  5. news and current events,
  6. trials/temps.
I have ditched these:  cleaning/organizing, cooking, decorating, kit clubs, paper party (manufacturers blogs), project life (still wavering on this one), and sketches/challenges (although I moved PageMaps to my news feed).  I realized that even perusing this content was time consuming, and ineffective as it rarely led to action on my part.  Besides it quickly ran up the number of unread posts in the my reader to a very discouraging level.  And I still get a taste of these topics on Pinterest.

Also, I do a lot more blog surfing on my Nook where it is darned difficult to comment.  That has imposed a natural limit on how much commenting I do. I still do most of my commenting on the desktop by choosing a folder in my reader and scroll through the blogs scanning and right click on any posts I want to comment on so that they opens in a new window.  But I continue scrolling in the reader (thereby avoiding a back and forth pattern).  When the top header in my browser is full (about 15 open windows), I go to those, read and post my comments.  And I am done for the day.  The next time I come back to read, I start in the next folder.

Generally, the first 3 folders above I usually read on the desktop to make commenting easier.  The last three on my Nook.  In the trials/temps folder, I let 10 posts accumulate on newly discovered blogs before I read them and make a decision to follow them or not.  Now doesn’t that sound like the kind of system an ex-accountant would devise?  Hmmm . . . sounds about right, he’s thinking.


I currently use Inoreader (and pay for the ad-free version), but if any of you are using another reader that could simplify the process even further, I’d love to hear your experience.  This is working better for me now, I am keeping up more easily and more timely.

Now I just need to devise a system for keeping up on writing blog posts!  But after I watch NCIS on CBS (thanks for the pics.)



  1. Wow! Good luck sorting through it all! Better you, than me! PS- love NCIS and Jethro Gibbs!

  2. Great plan...I think I will adopt the "don't apologize" too. Life just happens and gets in the way sometimes.

  3. I know what you mean---the number of blogs we follow can become overwhelming. Occasionally, I'll clear some out, but that, in itself takes time. I can usually scroll through my reader pretty quickly, but when I'm out-of-town, the posts can add up to an unbelievable number. It's hard to just let them go. As for posting to my own blog---it's sometimes hard to fit that in too. I think we all just do the best we can! Thanks for sharing your approach! Considering I consider myself and organizing guru, I do not have my blogs sorted in any way!

  4. It sounds like a good plan to me. I also cut down on the blogs I read and have them in folders to help me prioritize.

  5. Wow, you sure have a system there…I don't quite understand it though, lol.
    I just seem to reply to those that leave comments on my blog daily, butI don't seem to visit other blogs as much as I like :(

    1. Luckily, Tracy, it works faster than I can explain it. My blog gets a lot more readers than commenters, so this is my way of keeping up on more people, even when they don't always have time to keep up with me.

  6. I trim blogs on a regular basis - I use feedly and they are all in folders. When things get busy I can mark an entire folder as read without guilt. I attempt to start with a different folder (and in a different place in the folder) after a busy period...

  7. I love this post - so you! And I love the Gibbs references - always smile at his rules. I need to develop a few of my own, obviously!

    I have become terrible at reading blogs and even more terrible at commenting recently. I don't know where the time goes. Well, actually I do. Pinterest and Facebook (and you know how I feel about FB!). I need to take a leaf out of your book and be more clear about my blog reading objectives. And I need to care for my own blog much more. Thanks for a great read - so interesting to see how you tick.

  8. Sounds like a pretty good system to me and it seems to obe working for you. I don't know the blog reader you mention. I use Feedly and also sort my blogs into a variety of folders, which helps me a lot. Like you, I prefer to connect with people through comments.

  9. Some serious de-cluttering happening here :). I use Feedly (free). If I am feeling overwhelmed and not able, due to circumstances beyond my control, to keep up with blog reading, I'll try and read and comment on the most recent post from everyone in my folder and let the earlier posts go ...