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In this series on productivity, author Jess Stratton takes you through the latest tools that will help you run your business and life more efficiently. Each installment covers a particular feature or technique in a different online tool, such as Google Apps, Skype, YouTube, Mint.com, Etsy, and more. Check back every Monday for tips on topics from recording and publishing video chats to managing your finances online.
I'm Jess Stratton and welcome to this week's edition of Monday's Productivity Pointers. A few weeks ago, I showed you how easy it was to request and download your Facebook timeline. I cited some examples, like just wanting a backup or even for more professional reasons, like a law firm needing evidence. You can do the same thing with your Twitter archive. Starting from your very first tweet. You can download a local copy of all your tweets down to your computer. Whether it's for posterity or backup purposes, it's good to have.
Here's how to download it. I'm logged into Twitter. Click the gear icon in the top right-hand side and choose, Settings. From here, scroll all the way down to the bottom, and right at the very bottom, there's a link to request your Twitter archive. Click request your archive, and it's going to be sent directly to the email that you have signed up with Twitter. Check your email, Twitter will send you an email when it's ready. It could take from two minutes to 15 minutes, and if you still don't see it remember to check your spam folder.
In the email you'll get a special link to download your archive. Here's what it looks like. I'm going to go ahead and click on that link. And you'll notice right away that this is now my Twitter account, instead of the one that I was using before. That's because I wanted to immediately show you the link instead of having to wait for it, so I switched to my Twitter. Now, instead of a link that says Request Your Archive, we have a new link that says Download. If I click that link, it's going to download it directly to my downloads folder and I'll be able to view it. It's going to be a full index of my tweets and retweets in chronological order.
Just like the Facebook archive, it's going to look exactly like a Twitter page, except it's just local on my computer, so I don't need an internet connection to access and view it. If you've already done this before, you'll notice the next times you go into your settings in Twitter. You'll get a link to download it again. This won't have any new tweets form the last time you requested your archive, but you can click and download it as many times as you want. If you want new, updated tweets from your archive, you'll need to wait until this button changes back to request your archive.
But, let's go see what it looks like. I'm going to go to my downloads, and I'll see a tweets folder. If I double click that folder, I'm going to click on index.html to get into my local Twitter archive. So here is my Twitter archive. I can see my current tweets and if I wanted to, I can move my mouse over my entire archive. And view those particular tweets. For example, in July I only had one tweet in 2012, but I can click on it and view it.
So this is a great way to find out when you're tweeting. Do you have months that you tweet more than normal? Has your tweeting just dropped off the map? And it's also just fun to see what kinds of things you used to say years ago.
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