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What is RSS?

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication and it’s an easy way to stay up to date with the posts from your favourite blogs and websites.  The information is a news feed that is fed directly to you via a reader so you don’t miss a thing.

You will see that many blogs have a distinctive orange icon like this one somewhere on their pages:

Alternatively they might use an icon like this one.  XML refers to the file format that the feed is sent in:

Both icons show that the site has a RSS feed that you can subscribe to.  Some browsers will also show a tiny orange RSS icon in the URL bar, too.

The feed is then sent to your reader which converts it from XML into something you can read.  You might use Feedburner, Google Reader , My Yahoo or one of many other readers available for free.  Most readers give you the option of having the posts sent straight to your inbox or smartphone, too, which might be even more convenient.

The good thing about RSS feeds is that you don’t have to remember to go to your favourite websites anymore because they come to you.   If you need to pay attention to news reports for fire or emergency warnings, or closely watch information related to your business, RSS feeds save you a lot of work.  It sends you the information as it is released.

As a business owner you should make it clear that you offer the RSS feed from your site and make it easy to subscribe to.   People don’t always come to your site intentionally.  When people find you because they are looking for the product or service you offer, you don’t want to lose them when they move on.  In fact, they probably don’t want to lose you either.  The RSS option will help them remember you.

An RSS feed will keep you in touch with the information that is important to you and it makes content easily shareable.  That’s the whole point of syndication, isn’t it?  Make it work for you.

Is your inbox empty?

Mine is!

I recently watched a webinar of Gihan Perera of egurus.biz, called “Managing the Information Overload”. It has inspired me to become super organised when it comes to my inbox.  My ultimate goal: to keep it empty.

So far, so good!  There are a few ways I have achieved this. Here are some:

1. Rules

I have created a series of rules for regular emails so they are automatically distributed to relevant folders. I’ve done this for my regular emails, such as social media notifications.

2. Folders

All emails are stored in folders which have been carefully categorised.

3. Blogs instead of enewsletters

This is the biggest one for me. I have unsubscribed from many enewsletters and just subscribed to the feed through Google Reader. It saves clogging up my inbox and everything is there for me when I am ready for it!

4. Set times for emails

I now have set times to check emails daily, one being first thing in the morning!  I make sure my inbox is empty. Things that take less than a few minutes are dealt with then and there. Longer tasks are filed and attended to as required. It also helps me focus on the task at hand and not “what’s next?!”.

Do you have trouble managing the enormous number of emails you receive on a daily basis? Even if you take one of the steps listed above I’m sure you will regain some control!