Use Google Reader to be Better, Smarter, & Faster

My Google Reader

My Google Reader

With so many great blogs online that provide HR commentary, research, and advice, it’s very tough to keep up with the multitude of posts that appear on daily basis. Earlier this year, I was having a tough time, because I followed about 10 blogs manually (going to each site daily to check for new content). Then I learned about Google Reader, a free tool that allows you to read all those blogs in one place in a fraction of the time!

For those that attended the August chapter meeting, you already have an inkling of what Google Reader can offer you as an HR professional. And it even has some great business benefits, too! For the rest of you, here\’s the short version. Google Reader is an online application that allows you to collect dozens of information sources via RSS (Really Simple Syndication) into one place for easy access, automatic updates, and quick professional development. Sound good? Great. This is a step-by-step tutorial for getting your Google Reader set up.

Go to the Google Reader page. If you already have a Google account, you can log in here. If not, it\’s very easy to create an account. I’ve created a new one just to show the steps, so after filling in my new account information, clicking the link in the confirmation email, and logging into my account, here\’s what you see:

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Click the “Reader” button in the top bar, and you\’ll be taken to the normal Google Reader screen. The default Google Reader address is google.com/reader.

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Google offers several helpful tips, and I encourage you to check them out if you wish. But first, we\’re going to add some resources to your reader to get you started. Click the “Add a subscription” button, and type “upstarthr.com” into the box. You are now subscribed to UpstartHR with your Google Reader! Every time a new post is added to the blog, you will automatically get a new item in your reader. Instead of checking this blog (and the other resources that are coming in a moment) on a daily basis, you can just drop by your Google Reader for a few minutes every morning and you\’ll be done for the day!

 

Now, there are a few small buttons on the bottom of each item that look like this:

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Each has function, but the main ones you\’ll probably use are described below.

  • Add star-For the good ones that you\’d like to re-read later.
  • Email-Got a funny/interesting post that you just HAVE to share? Email it!
  • Keep unread-Sometimes we (I) get long-winded. Keep them for later.
  • Add tags-Have a LOT of subscriptions? (I’m in the 80+ range!) Take control by adding tags like “recruiting” or “benefits” to certain blogs. This can help you stay organized, but it is optional.

Now, I know that you want more than just one puny blog in your reader, so let\’s add some more, shall we? Here\’s a short list just to get you started. Just click the “Add a subscription” button and type these into the box one at a time. If you want to be a little more extreme, you can also add the second batch of blogs to your reader as well.Or you can do the “kid in a candy store” thing and pick and choose the ones you’d like to add. A more definitive and organized list is currently being developed.

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And if you ever get tired of one of these (although not likely), it’s fairly easy to remove a subscription as well. If you have more suggestions on other HR resources, feel free to leave a comment below. I’m always looking for more resources!

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