Google+ groovyTip: Create a VIP Circle for Your Close Friends and Family

Google+ favorites circle, starred contactsOne of the things that I like about Google+ is that it combines a lot of what I like about Twitter with what I (still) like about Facebook. Personally, I use Twitter primarily for keeping tabs on people who I do not know very well or at all, such as @JadAbumrad and @DemetriMartin, and I use Facebook for keeping in touch with my family and friends. Google+ is set up to let you do both. I can have +Matt Cutts and +Felicia Day in my stream as well as my wife and mother-in-law. But since voraciously adding people to my Google+ circles, my stream has become overwhelming (much like my Twitter account).  In my perfect world, Google+ would implement a “favorites” feature that would allow you to pull together people from various circles akin to the iPhone starred contacts feature. But in lieu of that, and perhaps the reason why such a feature doesn’t exist on Google+, you can manually create a “VIP” or “Favorites” circle and bookmark it. That way, your “default” stream will consist only of the people you really care about. Here’s how I set it up:

Step 1

Log in to Google+ and create a new circle called “VIP” or “Favorites.”

google plus tips: mark contact as favorite

Step 2

Add people to your Favorites circle. You can also do this in Step 1.

favorite in google plus

For me, my Favorites circle is a combination of the colleagues, friends and family whom I’m most interested in. For this reason, a simple Family, or Friends circle doesn’t really suffice.

Step 3

Pull up your Favorites circle in your stream. Now, Bookmark the URL for that circle. Use this as your bookmark for Google+, effectively changing your “default” stream to one that’s a bit more relevant and intimate.

bookmark favorites in google plus

I don’t know about you, but for me, this subtle tweak makes me enjoy Google+ much, much more. I stopped using Twitter long ago because there’s just too much noise-to-signal ratio—though that’s my own dang fault for following so many people. But the way, I have Google+ set up, I get my inner circle most of the time, but if I feel like getting my fill of celebrity deep thoughts or cool link recommendations, I can just view my full stream.


[Image adapted from lolololori]



  1. Erewhon

    August 1, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    One thing I’ve noticed that I find a bit hard to follow is when an update to the stream has been made. For example if someone posts a comment a stream entry from 3 days ago – that entry is already buried deep down the list. I know you have the notification button at the top but it just doesn’t seem to flow well. Would be nice to always see your latest updates at the top or some other way to see the thread and that there as an update made to it.

    • MrGroove

      August 1, 2011 at 9:29 pm

      True – I think they still need to work out the updates, and replies etc… I’ve been watching this close and a lot of people complain that a really old post keeps coming back up to the top just because it keeps getting more comments added to it.

      I think the problem is Google+ is having a hard dealing with the POST/UPDATE with the discussion.

      So far, the typical “Forum” like what I have here – is hard to beat….

  2. MrGroove

    August 1, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    Awesome! I made it into Jack’s favorites! ;)

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