Friday, June 13, 2014

Got Lists? Why You Need Twitter Lists

Managing Twitter
Everyone who knows me, knows I have a Twitter addiction.  Let's face it three accounts (@cathymere, @SnowLeopards1M, @publiced4kids) and several tweets each day only touch on the severity of the problem.  Often I am asked how I manage Twitter, the accounts, and the amazing people I follow; there are three key factors in managing Twitter for me:

  • use of down time
  • letting things go
  • and LISTS  

I became involved with Twitter when I had a lot of down time; you know those moments when you are just waiting to pick your kids up at practice or waiting in that long checkout line at the grocery.  That's when I found my love for Twitter.  Then I panicked.  There were so many tweets, so much loosely related information, so many important things being shared.  I soon knew I'd have to learn to let things go.  I wasn't going to see everything, but thankfully I soon realized the important stuff comes back.

Twitter Lists
Then I discovered Twitter lists.  Twitter lists have helped me manage Twitter, but have also helped me to find it more enjoyable.  One of the hard things about Twitter for me was the constant stream, of often unrelated, tweets.  I would be reading a news tweet, followed by tweet about technology, followed by a tweet about a new book, and then a tweet to a must-read blogpost.  I wanted my feed to make a little more sense so I began putting together groups of people who share common information.  I created lists for technology, literacy, children's literature, and other topics of interest to me (yes, even a little fantasy sports help).

Lists not only help me to keep tweets in similar categories, but they also make it easier for me to keep up when life gets busy. I know I don't want to miss the tweets of my close friends and colleagues.  Sometimes I want to check in to see what the educators in my district are talking about.  Other days I want to build my to-be-read pile.  When I have lots of time, I enjoy meandering through the live feed to see what is happening, but when I am busy my lists allow me to keep track of the tweets most important to me.

Getting Started with Lists
To view someone's list, go to their profile page, click more, and then click lists.  You'll be able to view their lists and see the tweets within each.

Donalyn Miller, @donalynbooks, has
some lists worth checking out
Like someone else's list?  You can follow someone's list by clicking on the list you'd like to view and then clicking "subscribe."  The new list will then be visible under your lists for later viewing.

@richardblanco, poet
If you want to add someone to a list, just click on the toggle wheel near their information and go to "add or remove from lists."  When using your computer and the Twitter site, your lists will then appear or you are able to create a list from this menu.  Most Twitter applications also allow you to add to or create lists, but you may have to play around a bit to locate these features.

Got Lists?  If not, you may want to consider giving them a try.


  1. I forget about my lists. Thanks for the reminder. I think I'm going to Tweet more this summer. Keep coming back to it again and again.

  2. Thank you for the advice. I will give it a try.

  3. It's summer, which means, I spend more time with Twitter. You've taught me everything I know about using Twitter and you help me keep at it. :) Thanks for all the helpful hints and reminders Cathy.

  4. Julie,
    I do it for selfish reasons. I love when you share your thinking and the things you find….and all of your #nwp information. :o)


  5. Melissa MartinezJuly 18, 2014 at 8:20 PM

    I am expected to use Twitter for work and I have not done a good job of keeping up so the lists will help me keep up to date on what I am interested in at any moment. Thanks for the tip!