If you haven’t heard of Flipboard, get yourself a cup of coffee, sit down in a comfortable chair and keep reading. I’m about to make your life simpler. Thanks to Scott Biddulph over at Two Drops of Ink, I took his advice and checked out Flipboard. I have fallen in love with this app, and I know you will too.
Flipboard provides a free format for reading and collecting information. Think of this as a Pinterest for magazine articles. Instead of creating boards, you create magazines.
The app was originally created for mobile readers, but now there is a desktop version. In 2015 there were 34,000 topics and 21 million magazines; I can’t imagine what the statistics are now. If you can’t find something you like, you’re not trying hard enough.
Imagine a newspaper or magazine delivered to your door that was custom written for you. You no longer have to browse through every page looking for the articles that piques your interest. Now everything is interesting, and you don’t have to feel taken because you forked out $5 for a magazine stuffed with those annoying stuffers.
First step is to sign up for Flipboard. Then let the fun begin. You get to tell Flipboard what you want to read.
Up in the right hand corner, click on the button that says “What’s your passion?” Scroll through the list and find the main topics that interest you. Many of these will have subtopics. I love American history, so I clicked on the topic. Under it were over 25 subtopics providing an opportunity to narrow my passion.
If you’re interested in something that is not listed, go up to the magnifying glass and type it in to see what’s available. Choosing a passion signals Flipboard to automatically create a magazine.
When you start choosing your list of passions, resist the urge to go crazy. I’ve created thirteen so far and receive more than enough articles delivered to me. Think of the Smart Magazines as individual magazines divided up by genre. If you’re into cooking, you’ll get all the cooking magazines dumped into your smart magazine. You’re probably not going to read every article. I’m already thinking of deleting a few because of over information overload.
Besides topics, you can also search for specific people or publications you would like to follow. Make sure you choose the real deal, though. Some people might title a magazine the name of the publication or person you happen to be looking for.
You can stop here and let Flipboard do all the work going on your merry way reading and discarding. But I doubt you’ll be happy stopping here. There will be articles, videos, and pictures that you’ll want to save. Now you’ll need a magazine or two, or ten to organize your gems. I don’t know if there is a limit, but if there is, I doubt you’ll reach it.
I currently have eight magazines. Among the eight I created three magazines to coincide with my website: Simple, Smart, and Sassy. Here is where I put my blog posts. I can also collect other articles that have subject matter similar to mine and put them into these magazines. Besides these three magazines, I also created magazines on topics that I would collect and store.
Think of this as your own magazine rack. For example, when I find an article on writing, I’ll save it to my “Writing Well” magazine. This magazine also includes my articles from Two Drops of Ink. Flipboard allows for self-promotion, so take advantage of it.
I would recommend a magazine to collect articles that you may not have time to read right away. I call mine “Read Later.” Brilliant, I know.
There is also a profile section if you want to share some background information. Since I use Flipboard as another social media outlet for my website, I completed the profile to coincide with my writing website.
Remember, the magazines you create will only have the articles you put into them. The Smart Magazines have information that changes based on your interactions and interests. Flipboard users will only see the magazines you create.
You can also decide to make a magazine private or public. Click on the magazine and look in the lower right corner for the edit button. Click and you’ll come to this page.
Under settings you’ll have the option to set your privacy. I have a few magazines that don’t coincide with my website, so I keep these private. If one of my friends wants to see one of these private magazines, I can add her to the share list.
If you enjoyed an article, like it by clicking the heart. This tells Flipboard that you want to read more articles like that one. You can also comment if you so desire. These are strictly Flipboard comments which means only fellow Flipboard users will see them.
If you find that you’re receiving too much information, or the information you’re receiving you don’t like, delete the magazine. This is easy to do once you figure out how, so pay attention so you don’t waste as much time as I did.
Click on the magazine that you want to delete. You’ll see three dots after the title.
Click on the dots. You’ll see three options:
- Delete from home
- Personalize, or
- Delete. Clicking “delete” will remove the magazine completely.
As you become an active Flipboard user, you’ll see articles in your daily feed that come from sources you don’t like or trust. You can tell Flipboard to mute the source. I couldn’t find this option on the computer version, so do it on your phone. In the bottom right corner will be three dots. Click on the dots and find “mute” in the listing.
What happens if you find an article or blog that you want to flip but you’re not reading it in Flipboard? I have an answer, and it’s simple. Find the Flipboard extension and add it to your Google Chrome.
- Open a Chrome browser.
- Click on the three dots in the upper right corner of the tool bar.
- Scroll to More tools.
- Click on Extensions
- Click on Get more extensions.
- In the search window, type in +Flip it
- Click on the blue box where it says Add to Chrome.
- You’ll see the icon in your toolbar. Make sure that you enable the extension.
When you want to save your article to one of your magazines, click on the F icon. Choose which magazine to put it in, and you’re done.
I’ve covered the basics that will get you started on your information junkie journey. We are surrounded and inundated with information on a daily basis, and here is a simple tool to help you harness that information and only receive what you want to. Flipboard is your filter and your siphon for the information overload we encounter every day.
I encourage you to check out my magazines and if you see something you like, follow the magazine. Or, if you find me extraordinary or exceptionally interesting, feel free to follow all of me. I promise not to think you’re a stalker.
Let me know how you like Flipboard and how you plan to use it. If you have a question or problem, let me know. I’ll try to help.