My Favorite Tools in Ten Installments: 2. Twitter

This is post 2 of 10 in my 10 favorite tools series. I regularly get asked how I “do it all” so I’ve put together some of handy tools that (in addition to hard work) help me do it.  I covered the many ways I use Google last week, this week its Twitter! Now that might seem obvious since I have over 4,000 followers, but hopefully you’ll find something useful.

In the past I’ve written how I decide who to follow on Twitter, and that hasn’t changed much. Although at that time I was trying to keep the number of people I followed around 250 and I stated I “absolutely wont go over 300.” Now I’m up to almost 350, I’m trying very hard to keep it under 350.  But the rest of the information is the same

I have Gmail set to filter emails from Twitter with their own label and to skip the inbox. I go through them every week or so.  I try to look at each one.  Any of the following disqualifies the account for a follow:

  • the default avatar
  • 10,000 followers or more
  • businesses
  • social media experts
  • marketing experts
  • no bio
  • no real name
  • private account

I also look at the bio and think about some questions, the first being do I know this person personally? If the answer is no I look at the location and the bio, those 140 characters matter, if it catches my attention or its witty I look at the tweets and ask is this person sharing something new/different from other people I follow. It may seem harsh but I don’t need to follow someone else who’s tweeting the latest Mashable story, I already follow 100s who do.


No matter when I’m using Twitter I have push notification turned off. It’s distracting and bad time management to be constantly interrupted. Remember these are tools that work for you, not the other way around. Don’t let them dictate to you.  I’ve disconnected Twitter from my phone number so DMs do not come to my phone anymore, that’s what text messages are for.


I’m a big fan of Twitter lists and the ability to view those list dictates what tool I use on which device.  I have 4 main lists, don’t bother to go look for them, most of them are private to avoid hurting feelings etc.

  1. Friends – people I know personally and consider friends.
  2. A-Team – these are the people who most often share links that are of interest to me.
  3. Non-libs, in the last couple of years I’ve made an effort to follow more non library types and I get some good information and interaction from this list.
  4. Local – these are people in or around Des Moines, IA. This is a fairly new list and I don’t follow the majority of the people on this list. I wanted to try to connect with more local people and info without following a lot of additional people. The nice thing about lists is that you don’t need to follow someone to add them to a list, but you can still see that list in your tools

Scheduling Tweets

Yes its true! I schedule tweets. I’m not always on Twitter when it looks like I’m on Twitter. I schedule for a couple of reasons, one I’m often up early , so I schedule things to come out when more people are up and online.  A lot of what I share comes from my GoogleReader and rather than sharing it all at once and flooding Twitter I space it out. I use Tweetdeck (see below) for scheduling.

Now for the tools!


When I’m using Twitter at a computer I’m using Tweetdeck. I can’t imagine using Twitter with out it.  I have 12 columns, a couple of weeks ago I wondered if that was too many, Audrey assured it is not since she has 16! 🙂 I use Tweetdeck on my work computer, my laptop and my netbook. It allows me to show my lists as columns and have searches display as columns as week, very helpful for conferences or webinar or other events with a hashtag, such as Day in the Life.

I’ve also use Tweetdeck on my iPad, but it often crashes so I’ve been exploring other options

Hootsuite – so far Hootsuite is the closest competition for Tweetdeck on the iPad, I’m still deciding between them. But it meets all my requirements: allows me to see my lists and choose between old and new style retweet on each tweet.


When I first got my Android phone Tweetdeck didn’t have an app so I tried a LOT of options until I found Seesmic. My requirements included being able to see my lists on the phone, and being able to choose my retweet style. Sometimes I like to add a comment but sometimes I like to use the new style.  I also needed to have the option to turn push notifications off. Even after Tweetdeck released their android app I’ve stuck with Seesmic.

What didn’t I cover? If I left out some info you’d like to know, let me know!


Stay tuned for Tips & Tricks Three!


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9 thoughts on “My Favorite Tools in Ten Installments: 2. Twitter

  1. I second the Lists kudos! I have many many lists and can easily switch from a “work” view to “music” to an isolated list of verified members of Congress. (Go to!/verified and click on Lists to see which other celebrity collections they curate–Cricket! Olympians!) Totally handy!


  2. Enjoyed reading the article. Could any advanced Twitter users tell me why my followers are having trouble receiving my tweets by SMS text? I have a little baseball team, and Twitter would be useful to get announcements out to parents. But parents keep complaining that they only get 1 or 2 tweets, then nothing. Twitter’s tech support has not been helpful.

    Any inside tips would greatly be appreciated,


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