Organizing Blog Comments and Topic Ideas With G-Mail and Google Reader

This brief tutorial will walk you through the techniques I use to organize my WordPress comments and potential blog topics. As far as blog topics go, I use a combination of WordPress drafts and G-Mail labels. Logging into WordPress and setting up a quick draft isn’t as convenient as e-mailing a blog topic in my opinion. I also use Google Reader to e-mail myself potential topic ideas. I will show you how I use Google Reader and G-Mail to automatically label topic ideas.

The Google Mail Settings

Most of this tutorial will be spent in the Settings section of Google Mail. See below for a screenshot.

Google Mail Settings

Google Mail Labels – Organizing Your Blog Topics

The first thing I did when I wanted to organize my blog topics was to create a ‘blog topics‘ label. This label acts as the storage container for all of my potential blog topics. Setting up a label is rather straight forward.

For this example, I created a new label called ‘blog topics‘.

Google Mail Labels - Blog Topics

Google Mail Labels – Organizing Your Blog Comments

The next thing I wanted to do was organize my blog comments under a common label. I chose the label ‘Comments‘.

google Mail Labels - Blog Comments

Add a Filter – Blog Topics

Since I didn’t want to manually assign my e-mails the ‘blog topics‘ label, I added in a filter that did this automatically each time I had the ‘blog topic‘ phrase in my subject line of an incoming e-mail.

Setting up a filter in G-Mail is simple. Under the Settings section, select Filters. At the bottom of the screen, you’ll see a link that says, ‘Create a new Filter‘.

Now it’s time to set up the filter that will automatically label your blog topics appropriately. I set up my filter to label any incoming e-mail a blog topic if:

  • The from e-mail address is from one of my e-mail addresses.
  • The to e-mail address is to my G-Mail account.
  • The subject contains the words blog topic.

You can relax some of the restrictions by removing the e-mail address in the from section.

Google Filters - Blog Topics

After clicking the ‘Next Step‘ button, you are taken to a screen where you can choose what actions to take. Make sure you apply the label ‘blog topics‘ to any e-mails that match the filter.

Google Filters - Blog Topics Selection

You can also select the option to ‘Skip the Inbox‘ so your inbox isn’t flooded with new blog topic ideas.

Add a Filter – Blog Comments

I also wanted a way to capture all of my blog comments and store them in one area.

The next step is to set up a filter that will label new comments with the label of ‘Comments‘. I set up my filter to label any incoming e-mail a comment if:

  • The e-mail was from wordpress@mydomain.com
  • The subject line contained the title of my blog as well as the word Comment.

Google Filters - Blog Comments

The next step is to assign the label to the e-mails that match the filter. I also chose to send the comments straight to the archive.

Google Filters - Blog Comments Label

Use Google Reader for Topic Ideas

I personally get a lot of topic ideas when using Google Reader. This next screenshot shows the interface for Google Reader.

Google Reader Screenshot

On each post within Google Reader, there is an option to e-mail the post.

Google Reader - E-mailing the Post

By adding in the words ‘blog topic‘ in the subject line and e-mailing the post to your G-Mail account, your filters will automatically label your post for you and store the blog post as a topic idea.

Google Reader - E-mailing the Post

Conclusion

Using Google Reader and Google Mail can be powerful allies in organizing blog content. Feel free to share your own blog organization tips in the comments.

3 Comments

  1. Thanks for such a nice tip Ronald. I like Gmail, though I have not uses Google Reader a lot. With the labels and the filtering, I guess emailing from anywhere should filter into specific categories/labels in Gmail. I am still trying to organize my posts and planning everyday; right now, I use notepad/Pspad and sometimes Treepad [http://www.treepad.com] Writing stuff down is good in Pspad is good, though organizing things within the same file can be time consuming. Treepad helps, though it is a bit slow and still needs a lot of improvement when it comes to its inline editor. Gmail should help a lot, as I can do it from anywhere.

    Thanks. 🙂

  2. I read today that Google Docs (docs.google.com) can publish to WordPress also. I haven't personally tried it out though. I'm always skeptical the way third-party blog tools handle images.

  3. I’d also like to know more about publishing to wordpress from google docs if anybody knows?

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