Recently I’ve had questions on how I follow so many people on Twitter (at present, I follow 2,300 people) and keep tabs on all of them. The truth is, I don’t. What I’ve found out is, you learn how to filter the people who interest you, and cut out those who don’t. And while you’re at it, learn to increase your productivity too, as Twitter can be a SERIOUS time-waster, if not done right.
Please leave me a comment if this helps you, or if you have better ideas on organizing your Twitter client.
If you’re new to Twitter, get Tweetdeck. You need no other application. It works on Macs, PCs and iPhones. Believe me, it’s the most advanced Twitter client and I’ve tried several. It’s easy to use, pretty and works well.
So here is how my Tweetdeck screen looks like.
What do the columns (also known as groups) mean? Well, “All Friends” is the standard column for everyone I follow. This column updates the most frequently, and the fastest. My philosophy is, if I miss something here, so be it. Once in awhile, I scroll down a little, then back up. But ONLY if I am absolutely free.
“50kmh” is for friends I’m more interested to keep tabs on, and I’ve got a subset of “All Friends” here.
“25kmh” is for even closer friends whom I know well in real-life and “NEED” to keep tabs on. This column moves the slowest, and has even less people in it than the 50kmh column.
A common misconception is that the faster lane is always the better one. Not true. Sit back, relax, sip your latte and enjoy the slow lane!
“Mentions” is yet another standard column that comes with Tweetdeck. Anytime someone mentions your @username or in my case, @TheBackpackr, it will appear here.
Finally, “Direct Messages” is another standard column where personal messages that no one else is privy to appear.
You may decide to structure your Tweetdeck columns differently, but this is how I do it. I know some who want to keep track of their fellow countrymen specifically, and have columns for “British”, “Australians” or “Malaysians”, but I follow diverse individuals and prefer this method. You may also decide to categorize by interest group such as “Photographers” or “Golf-mates”.
Whatever you decide on, do realize that using the columns feature is extremely useful. To start a group or column, click on this icon, name it and select the members you want to add to it.
Here’s a productivity tip: Turn off the “Show notification window”, “Include All Friends notifications” and “Play notification sound” in the settings menu. It will help you focus on your work, believe me.