Google Reader – Using Folders and Tags

[Note: this is the fourth in a series of posts about how to use Google Reader to susbcribe to and follow various genealogy blogs. I'll be using my personal settings used for close to 600 genealogy blogs followed by GeneaBloggers as examples.]

One of the most powerful features of Google Reader is the ability to “group” blog feeds and individual blog posts.  The reasons for doing so are to categorize blog posts for easy retrieval at a later date, to create groupings of similar blogs such as those that deal with Irish genealogy, etc.

Folder or Tag?

Before you begin classifying items in Google Reader, you should understand the difference between a tag and a folder.

  • Folders are used for blog feeds; appears in the sidebar with a folder icon.
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  • Clicking on a folder will display all the blog posts from the blog feeds in that folder.blog_user_22
  • Tags are used for individual blog posts; appears in the sidebar with a tag icon.

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  • Clicking on a tag will display all the blog posts with that specific tag.blog_user_24

Creating a Folder

  • In the Subscriptions section of the sidebar, select the blog feed to be placed in a folder.blog_user_25
  • In the main window of Google Reader, click the Feed Settings drop-down menu.

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  • Scroll to the bottom and click New Folder.

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  • The New Folder dialog appears.  Enter the name of the new folder and click OK.

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  • The new folder will appear in the sidebar.  Click the (+) symbol next to the folder icon to see all the blogs listed in that folder.

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  • In addition, if you scroll to the bottom of an individual blog post, you will see to which folders (and tags) the blog is assigned.

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Folder Settings

You can select the way in which the individual blog posts are sorted using the Folder Settings dialog.

  • In the Subscription section of the sidebar, select the folder to be adjusted.
  • In the main window of Google Reader, click the Folders Settings drop-down menu.

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  • Select Sort by newest to have the newest blog posts appear at the top. Select Sort by oldest to have the oldest blog posts appear at the top. Select Sort by auto to have the blog feeds with fewer posts appear at the top.
  • Note:  Sort by auto doesn’t make sense or does it? This option is meant to give a preference to those blogs that only post occasionally so they are not “drowned out” by blogs that post once a day or more.

Assigning and Removing Folders

  • In the Subscription section of the sidebar, select a blog feed.
  • In the main window of Google Reader, click the Feed Settings drop-down menu.blog_user_32
  • Select the folder to be assigned.  Click again on Feed Settings and you will now see a check mark next to the folder name for that blog feed.
  • To remove a blog feed from a folder, repeat the process except click on the folder name with a check mark and it will be removed.

Creating a Tag

  • In the main window of Google Reader, select the blog post to be tagged.

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  • Scroll to the bottom of the blog post and click Add tags.

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  • In the Add tags dialog enter the tag name.  Separate multiple tag names with commas.
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  • Click Save.  The blog post will now be tagged and the tag will appear in the Subscription section of the side bar.blog_user_36

Assigning and Removing Tags

  • In the main window of Google Reader, select the blog post to be tagged.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the blog post and click Edit tags.blog_user_37
  • For a new tag, enter the tag name and click Save.  To edit an existing tag, locate the tag name and make changes then click Save.  To remove a tag, delete the tag name and click Save.

Previous posts:

Google Reader – Getting Started
Google Reader – Add A Subscription
Google Reader – Using A Blog’s Subscribe Link

Next post: Google Reader’s New Send To Feature

© 2009, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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