Save Loads of Time on Facebook with Friends Lists

Facebook is one of the biggest time-suckers out there—if you allow it to be. In addition to setting an alarm and limiting your Facebook time, there’s one big step you can take to save time on Facebook:
Group your friends into lists.
Friends lists help you organize your Facebook connections. Rather than hundreds or even thousands of friends in your profile stream, you can select whom you are most interested in hearing from at any point.
There are numerous ways to create lists in Facebook. I’m going to share the two methods I use most often, and then I’ll show you how to use your lists.
One way to create a friends list is from an invitation
. From your invitation, select “Add to List” (a) before you “Confirm.” Here, you can add to previously created lists or start a new one (b).

Facebook fblists 1 image
Facebook friends list screen shot 1

Another way to create a friends list is to select Friends from the left sidebar of your Facebook Home page
(c). Notice the + Create a List button in the upper right of the center column (d).
Facebook fblists 2 image
Facebook friends list screen shot 2

After clicking the Create a List button, your entire Friends List will open up. Give your list a name (e) and start adding people by typing their names or clicking on their names+images.
Facebook fblists 3 image
Facebook friends list screen shot 3

Voila! That’s it.

Now let me show you how to use your Facebook lists.

To view your lists, select Home / Friends and then click on the name of the list you want to view (f). Your carefully selected stream will display updates only from the people you included on that friend list.
From here, you can also add people to a list. Click on the Edit List button above the stream (g). Your list of friends will open up, and you can either type names (h) or click on the names and photos of people that you want to add to the list.

Facebook fblists 4 image
Facebook friends list screen shot 4

As you can see, I have 10 friends lists. These include Favorites (people and clients I really want to keep up with), as well as Family, high school pals, and more.
FINAL WORD: Take a few minutes to organize your Facebook friends so that you don’t spend too much time on social networking and not enough time in the studio. Categorizing your friends will also help you stay up to date with those who are most dear to you.

For more about staying organized, be sure to check out The Road to Peak Productivity.

Due to the extremely visual nature of this post, there is no accompanying podcast today.

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14 thoughts on “Save Loads of Time on Facebook with Friends Lists”

  1. This is quite a handy tip, and just what I needed! I’ve been debating deleting 95% of my FaceBook friends, but didn’t want to so that I had as big of a reach as possible. This will enable me to do both – lean out the few that I really want to keep up with while keeping the broader reach. Thanks!

  2. Alyson Stanfield

    Sharon: The lists aren’t for posting, but for reading their (your friends’) posts.
    Matthew: Ah, the old implosion trick. I hear it’s quite popular these days. Why are you eliminating them?

  3. Airee Williams Artwork

    i was wondering what the ‘add list’ feature was on Facebook. i will admit, facebook has been taking up a LOT of my time. it is very addictive almost to the point that I can barely concentrate because I am always thinking who is leaving me messages and responding to my status updates! LOL
    (Check out my art gallery)

  4. If you are using Firefox (and you should, wink wink), you MUST install the Leechblock add-on, for things like FB, Twitter, or any other sites you are likely to waste valuable painting time on. You can block sites for certain periods, create multiple scenarios (weekends vs. weekdays, days vs. evenings, or certain days of the week) and even prevent yourself from changing the settings while it’s working.

  5. Alyson Stanfield

    Airee: I hope it helps you with time.
    Randy: I want to know more about this. I’m not sure it’s clear what it does.
    Dian: Actually, I’d never encourage anyone to leave a promo on a blog. It’s inappropriate. Blogs (that are not your own) are for having a dialog with the author and with the people who comment–not for promoting. It’s considered spam. I usually delete it, but I’ll leave it here as a lesson for others.

  6. I get the lists thing so I don’t have to read so many posts, but my problem is that I don’t want to miss what all of my friends are saying. The ones who rarely post are the ones I don’t want to miss and the ones who post several times a day I have hidden because it just takes too long to get through everything.
    My question is if everyone else only reads the posts from the people they really care about, does that mean if I am on one of their “off” lists my posts are not ever read? How do I make sure everyone on my list sees the posts that I really want seen (a show coming up, etc.)?

    1. Alyson Stanfield

      Nancy: You can’t make sure. But you can add good content that you won’t want to miss.

  7. Angela Treat Lyon

    this was a really handy article – many thanks. I just might use my FB account more often now –
    I’m wondering if you know anything about the new (to me) ‘like’ function – is that what used to be ‘friends’? I don’t see friends anymore – ???
    do you have any thoughts about ‘friending’ people – I’m thinking it isn’t about getting as many as you can get, but rather people who are aligned with you and your doings, neh?

    1. Alyson Stanfield

      Angela: They’re not really related. Where don’t you see friends? They’re where they have always been. What you don’t see are fans. Facebook has removed that word.
      You’re right that you’re looking for quality over quantity.

  8. Great posting Alyson! I shared this link on the Society of Animal Artists “Group” page to help the members navigate through there lists of friends!
    Actually I am looking through your lists of categories and it looks like there is a lot to share with the members! I have been apointed the “SAA Social media go-to person” – would it be alright to use this blog as a resource to the SAA members?

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