My Tools: Buffer

In my post How I process information (2015 update) one of the changes I highlighted was that I’d started using Buffer.

What Buffer does is relatively simple, but no less useful for its simplicity, and it’s elegantly done.

When I read through information in a morning I find things that I’d like to share with other people, primarily on Twitter. As I come to these items I could just share each one as I go through them. The problem with this approach is that it would turn me into that annoying kid who is constantly saying “have you seen this”, “have you seen this”, “have you seen this”. What Buffer allows me to do is to spread these posts across the day in a way that’s, hopefully, less annoying.

The way Buffer works is that you define a standard set of time slots for your normal day. When you add something to the Buffer queue it picks the next slot and then sends the tweet (or updates Facebook) at that time slot. If you fill the slots for one day it will flow over into the next day.

Setting up the slots is easy. You tell Buffer how many time slots you want, it can then analyse your twitter statistics and propose a set of slots for you, which is what I did.

With time slots set up I use the Buffer integrations with TweetDeck, Feedly and Chrome (and on my iPhone) to add to the queue. The TweetDeck (and Twitter) integration is smart enough to use Quote Tweets, the other integrations create a tweet with the title of the item and a url with the option to update the text and to add a picture.

Most things only get posted to Twitter, but I can also post the same content directly to Facebook using the same integrations.

Once added to the queue items are posted as they reach the front of the queue. As a Brit there is something very satisfying about adding things to a queue. You can reorder the queue if you want to, but that feels very un-British.

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