When I started using feed reader in 2005, I used to place all my feeds into folders by subjects. Sometime in late 2007, I re-organized them by my preference to read, after reading about this practice at another blogger’s. When I moved to GReader in 2008, I continued my organization into four categories of Must Read, Should Read, Could Read and Might Read in decreasing order of importance. Soon after, I introduced a new folder Under Evaluation which hoarded all newly added feeds which I will move into one of the four aforementioned categories in due course of time as I developed preference for them. Promotion or demotion of a feed depended on its ability to continually be relevant to me. One thing in Google Reader which was different from Bloglines, my first feed reader, was that I could tag a feed with multiple labels (just like GMail) and thus put them in multiple folders simultaneously.
As recently as last month, I again reorganized my feeds where each feed is placed into (1) one of five preference categories, named A to E based on how much I’d like to read them, and (2) one of many subject categories based on content. I created category F to hold all heavy volume feeds (Digg, Overhead in…) which publish several dozens posts a day and category Z to hold newly added feeds which will be deleted or promoted to A…E in due course. I also created Private A category for preferred personal feeds (such as my own blog posts and comments, my Google searches, my Facebook feeds) and Private B category for the rest (currently holding feed from LinkedIn updates which is a high volume feed).
Now, I start my day with Private A and then go down from A to E as long as I’ve time. I always read anything in A before anything in B and so on. A post once read is marked read in both categories. I regularly read Z, sometimes before other feeds, to make up my mind about them and reshelf them when I see a pattern. Thereafter, a feed moves up or down categories all the time. If I have really all the time in the world, then I read F but mostly it’s there just because GReader doesn’t have option to switch off a feed and not because I read them. Lastly, feeds in subject category News are not placed in any preference category A…F since I don’t want to mix news with other feeds and because I hardly read news these days. Sometimes, when I am in particular mood, I select feeds by subject categories. For example, on a busy day, I might just look at subject category ‘Friends’ to check new blog posts from my friends which might not be higher on preference of content but are still important because they are from my friends. Or sometime, I just want to read Comics or Jokes only. Use of ‘#’ and ‘$’ is just to quickly distinguish one type of categorization from the other.
If that’s not really clear, I am an organization freak. I sometimes even customize font type and font size of Excel files which I plant to delete in 10 minutes. It must be some kind of mental sickness, I guess.