Saturday, 11 July 2009

7 Tips and Ideas to Manage Your Online Life

When I mention my blogging and social bookmarking habit, I am always asked the same question: Where do you find the time? The answer is: time is an abstract concept...

1. Establish routines:
Use dead time-on the bus, train or while your dinner is in the oven. How often do you read your emails? I have a social networking email where I let emails accumulate and keep things to check out, then I decide to spend a set amount of time on that account. If I like what I see, I Diigo it or send a shortcut to my desktop and read later if it is a more substantial document. When my desktop starts looking untidy, I scan the shortcuts again for a set amount of time and delete anything that is unlikely to be of immediate use in the near future.
If this leads to a blog post, I don’t necessarily write out and publish straight away. Unless the post is strongly time-related, it is probably better to try to blog once a week than do it every day for 6 weeks and not at all for another 2 months...

2. Multitask:
I put my Twitter on when I am working and often upload pictures to Flickr while I am doing something else on the computer. If I need uninterrupted concentration on a particularly difficult task, I just switch off my tweetdeck alerts.

3. Integrate:
I used to use mechanical plurk but it does not seem to work for me anymore. It was great for sending all of my tweets directly to plurk and start other conversations that I could access directly from my blog-I need to check this one out again. Friendfeed is also a good one for checking communication on many networks at the same time.
I have also been using tweeetdeck to check out my friends’ Facebook activities and my favourite blogs link from my blog-keeping the RSS feeds for extended reading session once in a while. I am sure there are a lot more ways to “integrate” my online life and I am always on the lookout for them...

4. Find out where to look for every occasion:
If you get to know your online friends better, you are likely to know where to look for specifics e.g. Spanish or French teaching, ICT integration training materials, management or e-learning resources...

5. Use to-do lists:
I have started to use the simple Ta-Da lists system, thanks to a post by Alice Ayel.
It is very simple, but it ensures that all my blogging ideas can be logged and prioritised.

6. Don’t feel the pressure:
Blogging should be a pleasure, not a chore. We have enough deadlines in our lives-I strongly feel blogging should not be like that. I am not a professional journalist, I am just a person using blogging to provide me with a bit of thinking space and hopefully engage in some kind of a dialogue with other people.

7. Don’t worry about missing anything:
If it is that good, it will be shared again! I also view the information shared on social networking site a bit like a lottery, some days you get very lucky and others you just don’t gain that much...


skip zalneraitis said...

Thanks for your lucid, sensible, and appealing post.

Abimbola said...

Thanks you...Good tips...Love points 6 and 7.

Blogging should be a pleasure otherwise there's no point to writing a blog...

Robin Dickinson said...

Thanks for this list, Isabelle. I especially like the last point. Some days you get lucky!

Cheers, Robin

Marcy Webb said...

Thank you for your tips. I actually try to do as little multi-tasking as possible. However, if, say, I am giving myself a facial, or deep-conditioning my hair, that gives me 30 minutes to upload pics, or read.

Points 6 and 7 really resonated with me. I find that I have the most time during summer vacation to blog daily. I do, however, try and not blog on Saturdays and Sundays, unless it's something about which I feel compelled to write.

Grace Kat said...

Thanks for this post. I am always on the lookout for time-management tips.

James Padvis said...

I use my downtime in front of the TV. 5 secs to get a pearl of wisdom. Twitter and RSS push stuff to me, I just need to glance and filter.

Graham Davies said...

Good advice!

The best way to manage your online life is to take early retirement. This is what I did in 1993 :-) Did you know that over-65s spend on average 4 hours more per week online than 18-24s?

I don't worry about missing anything. I don't suffer from email stress (which is a recognised problem). I go online to have fun, doing silly things like listening to an Elvis impersonator's concert in Second Life, playing games etc.

But I do have a serious side. I manage two websites:

ICT for Language Teachers at, and my business partnership site, Camsoft.

I also spend a lot of time talking to friends and relations in far-flung places, using Skype, Second Life and various forms of synchronous and asychronous text chat.

I am not a great blogger, but I dabble occasionally:

But, at 67, my main preoccupation is keeping fit and well. I walk at least a mile every day, swim three times a week and play golf when I can. Did you know that you can get Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) from sitting too long at a computer? There are many documented cases.


Benjamin said...

Great list! I find that aggregators are also a good addition to managing one's online life. I particularly like NetVibes and Google Reader.

Anonymous said...

That is definitely helpful. Sometimes all the new technology can really take up much of one's time. That's for sending me a link to your blog!

eric said...

My reaction on this is a bit late. Usefull article.

I had the same problems managing my online life.

Therefore I build which solves all this:

If you have several accounts with online services and media than is the ideal solution to bring your content together in one place. It´s fun and saves you a lot of time.

But it goes further. 80% of the things that people do online (video, photo, music, games,...) is being offered in

So basically you are creating an online dashboard for yourself. The best way to organize your online life.

Regards, eric