Best Twitter List Management Tool: @Formulists [Updated]

Update 5/11/11: Before you use Formulists please read my update and the comments at the bottom of this post.

Call it a 2011 New Years Resolution if you must but one of my goals for this year is to do a better job of managing my Twitter feed.  I’m trying to get ahead of it before it turns into the next email management problem.

To date I’ve been reading every single Tweet that comes through but unfortunately that is increasingly becoming more challenging.  There are many topical accounts I follow (ie outdoors sports, beer, local news, etc.) that needs to take a back burner to the individuals who are sharing more valuable to my role at uTest on a regular basis.  I’ll still read every beer post but it might only happen Friday nights for example.

Step one of this organization is utilizing Twitter lists – making sure that everyone has been included into one or more categories.  The challenge I’ve found to date is figuring out how to manage 500+ people and I finally just stumbled onto a tool that makes this process much easier for me – Formulists.com (@Formulists).

What Formulists allows me to do is create a list of everyone I follow excluding those who I have already added onto specific lists.  The end result is essentially a “to sort” list.  My goal is to get this new list down to zero (currently 362).  One of the nicest things about Formulists is that it’s dynamic so as I pick away at the list and follow more people the “to sort” list will continue to update.

Below is a screenshot of the list creation process:

 

By the end of Q1, hopefully I’ll be caught up and able to read every tweet and save my sanity.

Update 5/11/11: Formulists was great to organize existing followers but it seems incapable to responsibly handle any new-follow requests.  This morning while playing with it and looking for new people to follow Formulists essentially spammed all of the people I follow (some for four years) that I’m just now following them.  While many friends laugh at the email alert there are a lot of people (nearly 1,000) that will have a negative impression of me just following them now. Lesson learned: when trying to build close relationships be very leery of trusting a 3rd party tool to help. [See additional comments below]

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