PAT: “I just gotta get a strategy, you know?”
TIFFANY: “Me, too.”
Silver Linings Playbook

Twitter-icon-31

By George, I think she’s got it.

Twitter still overwhelms and baffles me at times–not the dreck that many people bemoan, since I simply ignore that. What I struggle with is the sheer volume of information. I open my feed, turn away for a few seconds, and come back to dozens, hundreds of new tweets. In despair, I usually try to scroll down far enough to find something from a friend or a good resource to retweet before closing the tab in defeat, but, if I’m to be honest, I haven’t used Twitter to anything near its potential for gathering resources, sharing information, or connecting with followers old or new.

Like Pat and Tiffany, I gotta get a strategy.

Today I took a big, first step in my new Twitter strategy by creating and using lists. Only after I recently talked to a student who told me she never looks at her general feed and only uses lists did I realize that I could do the same.

I had set up a handful of lists a few years ago when I signed up for Twitter (the second time I signed up, after I had quit months before in exasperation), but I never updated them, so they weren’t at all useful. This time I started from scratch, using a free tool called Twitlistmanager, created by Michel Hendriks. I did some online checking, and while Twitlistmanager hasn’t received too much attention, it does seem to be legit and made the process very efficient.by showing one hundred of the people I follow at a time in rows, with my lists in columns. From there, the process of checking or unchecking boxes to add or remove accounts to specific lists was a snap.

I created a dozen lists, nine private and three public, for everything from friends to publishing, gifted and talented to news and op-eds. Whenever I follow someone new, I will add him or her to any appropriate lists right away rather than waiting until  later never.

The next step in my strategy is to see which mobile app does the best job of letting me use my new lists on my phone (suggestions welcome!).

How do you use Twitter lists?