May 052014

Facebook can be a great tool if utilized properly.

However, it is super easy (at least for me!) to get lost in time and space in Facebook land. There are tips and tricks that can help us better utilize our time and energy on Facebook. Lists are one of these.

Spring Cleaning Facebook

So our next step to

Spring Cleaning Facebook: Use Lists

List can be used for a variety of things on Facebook, so while it may take a bit of effort to manage your lists at first – it can pay off BIG later!

Lists can be used to control:

  • who sees your status updates
  • whose posts you see on your Newsfeed
  • what type of posts you see on your Newsfeed
  • what notifications you receive
  • when you only want to see certain groups of people’s statues.

Lists also are heavily factored into the Facebook algorithm that controls what you see on your Newsfeed.

Each list has its own Wall, so that if you only want to see posts from your Friends on a specific List you can do this. This can be a good tool for Time Management on Facebook.

Types of Facebook Lists:

Default Lists:
  1. Close Friends – Your closest and best friends – those you want to see regularly on your Newsfeed
  2. Acquaintances – People you don’t know as well, who should show up less in your Newsfeed
  3. Restricted – Friends who can only see things you post as  Public

These are very helpful lists to start with, so make sure you take the time to utilize at least your Close friends list (I’ll show you how to put your friends in lists below.)

Smart Lists

Smart lists are created by Facebook to save you time. These lists are based off of information in your Facebook profile.

Smart lists are formed for a variety of information:

  • where you live
  • where you work
  • where you went to school
  • etc.

People who have the same information in their profiles are automatically added to these lists. You will see these lists when you add a friend or click on their name. These lists are also denoted by a lightning symbol next to them.

Custom Lists

Custom lists are very helpful when you have certain groups of people you want to keep track of or send certain types of messages out.

For example, I have a custom group for my Church friends and one for my Christian Friends. If I’m posting about a specific event at Church I can select it to go to one of these lists.

How to Manage Lists

There are several methods for adding your friends to different lists. Each friend can be apart of as many lists as you like.

From News Feed:

  1. Hover over friends name until  their profile pops up.
  2. Put mouse over where it says Friends until a menu pops up.
  3. Here you will see 2 of the Default Lists options: Close Friends and Acquaintances – a check mark will appear beside any list your friend is in. Click to change.
  4. Click Add to another list … to see what other Smart Lists or Custom Lists your friend is apart of and to change as desired.
  5. To Create a New List – click Add New List in this menu.

From Friend List:

  1. Click on your name in the top bar to go to your Wall
  2. Click on Friends underneath your Cover Photo to see a list of all your Friends
  3. All of your friends will have a button located next to their picture that shows Friends – with one of 3 symbols in front of it.
    1. Star – Close Friends List
    2. Rectangle with a Silhouette – Acquaintance List
    3. Check Mark – Friends but in neither of the above categories
  4. Click on this button to Add or Change List of each Friend – it is the same menu as listed above in News Feed instructions.

From List Menu:

This is a great way to quickly add Friends to each list you create, and to control what type of posts and notifications you receive from people on this List.

  1. Locate where it says Friends along the Left Sidebar of your News Feed. Hover over it until “More” appears and click More.
  2. You will now see a list of all of your Lists. You can create a New List from here using the +Create List Button.
  3. From this list you can see the number of notifications for each List, as well as Cog that allows you to add this List to Favorites at the Top of your Left Sidebar for easier access to seeing a Wall with just the people included in the List.
  4. Click on List you’d like to edit. This will take you to the List Wall.
  5. Click on Manage List, click Edit List.
  6. Apopup screen will appear with all the Pictures and Names of Your Friends on this List. Click to remove friends. To add:
    1. Search for Friends in Search bar
    2. Click On this List – all your friends will show up, with a Check Mark designating who is on this List, Click to add or remove friends.
  7. Click Finish when done.

Using Lists

Lists can be used in many ways to get more out of Facebook:

Get Notifications from Close Friends:

Ever miss out on an important status update from a VIP? Yep – me too.

However, now you can set your Close Friends list to send you a notification whenever one of your Close Friends posts a Status Update (that you’ve opted to see). You can do this from your Close Friend Wall by clicking on the Notifications button.

Note: This can overwhelm your Notifications if you have a lot of close friends or if you have opted to see all types of Status Updates (see below).

Choose what types of Status Updates you see.

You used to be able to do this for each individual on your Friend list – however, it was very time consuming to do for each friend. The Follow button replaced this option, I thought, until I stumbled across it on Lists. This is a great way to clean up your News Feed from all those annoying Game statuses! Now for each List of people you can choose what types of Status Update you want to see!

Here’s How:

  1. Go to List Wall (see last set of instructions for how to do this).
  2. Click Manage List, click Choose Update Types …
  3. Click to Check/Uncheck the types of posts you’d like to see/hide from this List.
Control Who Sees Your Status Updates

Sending out a status update about changes in your Grandmother’s health? You probably only want/need your Family to see this update. Using Lists you can set your Status Update to only go to those on your Family List, or maybe your Family and Close Friends List.

Facebook added this feature a few years back so that you can specifically control who you want to see your posts.

Here’s How:

  1. To the Left of the Post button, you will a button showing who will see your post when you click Post. This can be anything from Public (everyone on Facebook can see it) to a specific list. This button will stay at whatever you used the last time you posted a status update. (Note watch this especially if you use the Public setting to make sure you don’t post things publicly that you don’t want seen publicly!)
  2. Click this button to change. A menu will popup with your options – and a check mark by what is selected.
  3. To choose a List not seen, click See all lists … OR to choose more than one List choose Custom.
  4. The Custom option also allows you to hide a post from a specific List or person.

If you’ve already posted a status update and would like to change who can see it follow the steps below:

  1. Just under your name on the Post, you will see the time you posted the Status Update and a little icon next to it with a small blue arrow.
  2. Hover over this icon for the name of the List to popup.
  3. Click it to see the Menu to change who sees this post. It is the same menu as when you originally post a Status Update.

As you can see lists can control a lot of things on Facebook – and really give you that control if you use them! So, while it might be taken a little bit of time to do (I updated and cleaned up mine in about a half hour) – it’s well worth your effort!

We’ll take a look at Likes in Step 4 of Spring Cleaning Facebook, and how they impact Facebook!

Meanwhile, check out Step 1: Hide It, and Step 2: Evaluate Who You Follow.


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Have you used Lists before on Facebook? Any tips or tricks to add – please share!

  4 Responses to “Spring Cleaning Facebook: Step 3 Use Lists”

  1. This is fantastic! I will be doing this for sure! I will be recommending it to everyone else as well!!!

  2. We were just talking about this yesterday but wondered where to start. Thanks for a very clear outline. One question though …. Can people see what list you’ve put them in?

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