a.k.a hit the “Mark all as read” button.
Yes, you will feel bad about it. Yes, you will miss things that are great, helpful, amazing, interesting, and cool. Still, you will survive (at least I did).
Why should you do it? Think about it: How can you find peace of mind when you are being constantly reminded that you have 1000+ items to read? Maybe you are an information junkie, but information overload can have drastic effects. For many of us, life’s just too short.
Before: Too many items!
After: Peace of Mind
I used to keep good, long articles that needed concentration unmarked to read them on a later time, but the number of unread items kept increasing. Google Reader automatically marks an item as read after 30 days. So eventually, those articles were marked as read and I never got the chance to read them.
Engadget is a great blog, but I only manged to keep their RSS feed in my subscription list for less than a week. It was just overwhelming to receive around 40 posts/day from a single site. Armed with that little button, I will subscribe to it again.
What if you are not comfortable at all with hitting the “Mark all as read” button? You can subscribe to category feed(s) instead of the main one. This will reduce the number of posts you have to read and will help you avoid the ones that you are not interest in.
If you have 300+ subscriptions and you are able to manage them with ease, or if you don’t mind having 1000+ unread items all the time, then you don’t have to do it. But remember: When things get overwhelming, the “Mark all as read” button will always be there for you (hopefully!).