One of my favorite things to do, especially at the beginning of the year, is getting myself all organized. From my closet to my desk at work, I love taking a few minutes (or more) to clean up and clear everything out. After helping Cassie organize her Goodreads account and noticing some questions about it on Twitter, I've some tips that will hopefully help if you're resolved to get Goodreads in order.
Here are ten things you can do to get organized on Goodreads - followed by step-by-step instructions showing you exactly how to make some of the changes I've mentioned. Tips that correspond with instructions below are noted with (See Below) at the end.
- Temporarily hide your activity from the update feed so you don't spam your friends and followers with all your changes. (See Below)
- Remove all the books you're no longer interested in reading at all. (See Below)
- Create a new exclusive shelf so you can separate what you've got to read/TBR from what you want to read/Wishlist. (See Below)
- Move books from your exclusive To Read shelf to your brand-new Wishlist shelf. (See Below)
- From the My Books page, look at the bottom of the left-hand sidebar where your shelves are listed and click "Find Duplicates." It's a quick way to find out if you've got multiple versions of one book on your shelves so that you can get rid of the duplicates.
- Create a some additional, non-exclusive, descriptive shelves so that you (and others) can easily browse your books. Here are some suggestions when you're thinking of shelves:
- Who Gave It To You: Kindle, Library, NetGalley, etc.
- What Genre It Is: Historical, Contemporary, Fantasy, etc.
- When You Read It: Read in 2013, Read in 2014, etc.
- Where It's At In The Bookstore: Adult Fiction, Young Adult Fiction, Non-Fiction, etc.
- Why You Read It: Strong Heroines, Diversity, Series To Finish, etc.
- How You Felt About It: Did Not Finish, Favorites, etc.
Those are a few things that I think can make a huge difference. With that - here's how to do some of the things I've mentioned! And let me know if you've got questions that I can help answer.
Hiding Your Goodreads Updates
First of all, consider hiding your activity updates if you're planning on making a significant number of updates to your account. I know some bloggers who worry about spamming their friends and followers with a ton of updates, but there's a quick change you can make to solve that problem.
1. Select "Edit Profile" from the drop-down menu next to your profile picture.
2. Click on the "Feeds" tab.
3. If you temporarily want to hide all activity, uncheck every box.
4. Click "Save Feed Settings."
Once you're done making organizational changes, just repeat steps 1-2 and then check the boxes for all the activity you want your followers to be able to see again.
Remove Books From Your Shelves
1. From the "My Books" page, select the shelf you'd like to edit. For example, I'm editing my "To Read" shelf.
2. Click "Batch Edit" to begin making changes.
3. Select all of the books that you'd like to remove (delete) from your shelves completely. For example, these could be books you were interested in at one time and no longer want to read.
4. Click the gray "Remove Books" button. The page should refresh and will tell you how many books you've now removed from your shelves, which you'll also see reflected in the number next to the shelf name.
Add or Remove Batch Of Books From Shelf
1 - 2. Follow steps one and two in the previous instructions on how to delete books.
3. Similarly to step three in previous instructions, select the books you'd like to move. This time, you'll be shifting them from one shelf to another - not getting rid of them completely.
4. Once you've selected the books you want to move, choose the shelf you'd like to move them to from the drop-down menu at the top.
5. If you're adding books to a shelf, click "Add Selected." The books you selected will now be added to the shelf you selected from the drop-down menu.
6. If you're removing books from a shelf, click "Remove Selected." The books you selected will now be removed from the shelf you selected from the drop-down menu.*
*This doesn't work if you're trying to remove the books from your account completely. It only removes a book from shelves you've created (like "Read in 2013"), not from default shelves (like "To Read"). See previous instructions on how to delete books if that's what you want to do.
This is also how you can easily move books from one shelf to another. Let's say you accidentally added 5 books to your "Young Adult" shelf instead of "Adult" shelf. Just select the 5 books you want to move, choose "Adult" from the drop-down menu and click "Add Selected." With the same books still selected, choose "Young Adult" from the drop-down menu and click "Remove Selected" to take those books off that shelf. That's it! Now your books are exactly where you want them.
Moving books from one exclusive shelf to another is even easier. If you marked books as "To Read" instead of "Read," it's simple to update them all at once. Select the books, select "Read" from the drop-down menu and click "Add Selected." The end! Since books can't be on more than one exclusive shelf, you don't have to remove them from "To Read." They're automatically removed when you switched them to "Read."
Separate Your Wishlist From Your TBR
One thing I've never liked about Goodreads is that all of the books you want to read are automatically added to your "To Read" shelf. Why don't I like it? Because I want to know what you actually own to read versus want to read. I can't tell you the number of times I've gone to look up a book on Goodreads to see if a blogger friend has it only to find it shelved on "To Read." WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? I want to know if I can buy it for them, but Goodreads isn't telling me with that shelf designation!
The three default exclusive shelves are "Read," "Currently Reading," and "To Read." These three are mutually exclusive, which means that a book can only be one of them at a time. It's SO easy to create additional exclusive shelves - like "Wishlist." Here's how!
1. From the "My Books" page, select "Edit" next to "Bookshelves."
2. If you haven't already created the shelf, type the name in the white box and click "Add."
3. Check the box in the exclusive column! Now, you've got a new exclusive shelf.
4. (Not Shown) Click the "I'm Done!" button at the bottom to save your changes.
While it's not for everyone, I would love it if more people started separating their wishlist from their TBR. Both are books you want to read, but they're not exactly the same thing. The reason I find "Wishlist" better as an exclusive shelf (versus adding a book to "To Read" and then adding to a non-exclusive "Wishlist" shelf) is that it's so much less time and work shelve a book in one place.
Not everyone updates their Goodreads frequently, and it's easy for a book to remain on your non-exclusive wishlist shelf indefinitely unless you remember to remove it. Yes, you'll still have to move a book from "Wishlist" to "To Read" - but Goodreads won't let it be both places if you've made the shelf exclusive so it's not as difficult to keep it current.
Adding Books To New Exclusive Shelf
You've created your new exclusive shelf (steps 1 - 4) and now you want to add some books to it!
5. Whether you're on the book's page or browsing from search results, click the books portion of the green icon either next to the book's information.
6. Select where you want the books to be shelved - "Wishlist" in this example.
Well, those are a few easy ways to get organized on Goodreads.
Hope that helps, but let me know if you've got questions!