Last week, we brought you a little Twitter Lists 101: what they are, how they can be used, and how to create them.
But we have a confession: we may not have told you the easiest way to manage Twitter lists. In our defense, we told you the most basic way, and the way that Twitter intends for you to make lists.
However, Twitter's methods for creating and managing lists can be time-consuming and tedious. Thankfully, a lot of services have been created to make using lists easier for you. From creation to completion, there are tools that make Twitter lists and their management much more quick and efficient.
To understand how Twitter lists work, it is a good idea to use them on Twitter.com. But once you have a few lists to your name and it's become time consuming to manage them, these three tools should come in handy.
To create Twitter lists and add and remove users: TwitListManager
Creating Twitter lists can be a huge time-suck when using Twitter.com; you need to click on each user, select 'add or remove from lists,' and select which list you'd like to add them to. It's the same story for removing someone from a list. If you're trying to create manage a list with hundreds of users, you better carve out at least a few hours.
So thank goodness for tools like TwitListManager! I'm pretty sure you can do everything but delete an entire list using this site, and you can do it a lot easier than you would using Twitter.com. You can create a list and add a description, then quickly add users to it. Across the top of the dashboard is all of the Twitter lists you've created, and going down the page is all of the users you follow. Use the checkboxes to add and remove users to lists from one page. The only con here is that you can only add users you follow to lists.
But TwitListManager makes up for that with a unique feature that's great for users who like to categorize every user they follow by adding them to a list. There's a button at the top that says 'toggle unlisted friends.' This shows you all of the users you follow that aren't on any of your lists, so you can quickly run through and add them somewhere, even if you add them all to the same "Miscellaneous" list.
For finding Twitter lists: listatlas
It's not easy to find lists to subscribe to on Twitter. The only way to discover lists is through the profiles of people listed or the list creator. That's where listatlas comes in. listatlas is an easy-to-use search engine for Twitter lists. You can log in through Twitter to search for Twitter lists by keyword, and what's great is that it appears to look for the keyword in list descriptions in addition to the list title.
I like this feature because sometimes users will come up with more creative names for lists that may not have anything to do with the topic on which the list is based. Hopefully, in those cases, the list creator adds a description that tells you what the list is about.
Another great feature of listatlas is that you can browse popular lists, top lists from the past month or week, and the fastest growing lists. These lists are ranked based on the number of users that subscribe to the list instead of anything having to do with list members.
So you've used the two tools mentioned above to create and subscribe to a bunch of great Twitter lists. Now it's time to find an easy way to view all the streams for these lists in one spot. You can probably do this with the social media dashboard of your choice, but my favorite free dashboards are TweetDeck and HootSuite. Both of these dashboards allow your to add columns for Twitter lists you've either created or subscribed to. This is a lot easier than viewing one stream at a time on Twitter.com and switching back and forth between different lists and your main feed.
How do you make Twitter lists work for you? Share your tips and tricks below in the comments!