5 Tips for Organizing Your Google+ Circles

My Google+ Profile: http://gplus.to/dshiao


Want to get the most of Google+? It’s all about the Circles. I’ve been using Google+ for a number of months; however, it wasn’t until recently that I made the investment in time to organize my Circles properly. Having done that, however, I can state with confidence that it was more than worth the time. Here are five tips on organizing your own Circles.

1) Prioritize to Organize.

It’s best to “get organized” when you first start using Google+ (e.g. when you add your first batches of users to your Circles). Since I’m used to the “full stream” on Twitter (where I’ve been similarly lax on organizing), I figured that I’d simply add all new Google+ users into a single Circle. For a while, this seemed fine. But the reality is, there are some users I’d like to hear from more than others (just like on Twitter).

And Circle management helps you do just that. First, define the categories or topics you’d like to organize around. I went with the following:

Event Profs
Social Media
Digital Book Club
VCs & Execs
VWs & Gamification

Since I organized late in the game, I worked backwards to create some Circles. If you’re starting out early, you’ll have less work to do on organizing people, but you may find the need to create new Circles as you go (which is completely fine).

2) Order Your Circles.

Did you know that you can define the order that your Circles are listed? Simply visit your Circles page (you can click on the “Circles” icon in your Google+ navigation), left-click on a given Circle, then drag it in front of (or behind) another Circle. Return to your Google+ home page and you’ll notice that the list of Circles has been re-ordered.

3) Tune Your Stream.

The default view in your Google+ home page is “Stream,” which is a combination of all your Circles. You can “tune” which Circles appear most/least in the “Stream.” Simply click on a Circle, then adjust the “tuner settings” left (least) or right (most). What I like to do, however, is glance briefly at “Stream,” then navigate directly to individual Circles.

4) Find Shared Circles.

In my list of Circles (above), you’ll notice one called “12Most.” This Circle was created by +Peggy Fitzpatrick of 12Most.com. Peggy created a Circle of all 12Most authors and contributors, then shared it with the Circle members. I added the shared Circle and now I’m able to conveniently view a Google+ stream from authors at 12Most. Be on the lookout for users who share their Circles.

5) Share Content Wisely.

Once you’ve organized your Circles, sharing content becomes more efficient. I may share event planning links with my Event Profs Circle, while sharing the latest Mashable article with my Social Media Circle.

Similarly, a picture of my dessert may be best shared with “Friends” and not “Social Media.” Finally, note that users in your Circle will only see content you share (with that Circle) if those same users have added you to their Circles.


Putting in the time and effort to organize your Google+ Circles is well worth it. Start organizing up front and you’ll have less to do over the long term. Use the Comments section below to let us know your tips for organizing Circles.


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4 Responses to 5 Tips for Organizing Your Google+ Circles

  1. Dennis – Did not know I could prioritize circles. I need to do this clean-up work too!

    • Dennis Shiao says:

      Jeff: it would be ideal to drag/move Circles directly from your Google+ home page. Nonetheless, it’s neat that you can do this from your Circles page. Good luck with your clean-up and housekeeping.

  2. Thanks for the shout out in your post Dennis! Looking forward to another 12 Most from you soon.


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