staying organized with an rss reader

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The most frequent question I am asked from friends after revealing how many blogs/sites I follow (over 100) is “How do you keep track of them all?” Well, it’s super easy!

First, for those who don’t know what a RSS feed is, read this.

After you know what an RSS feed is and why it’s useful, you’ll want to find an RSS reader. For me, the simplest and easiest to use is Google reader. If you have a gmail email account, you’re all ready to go and if not, sign up here. If you don’t have gmail or don’t want gmail, there are many RSS readers out there, you just have to do some research to find one that suits you.

Once you’ve figured out what kind of reader you’re going to use, go to your favorite blog/website and find the RSS feed icon. It should look something like this: . If you use firefox, you can find it in the URL bar. If you can’t find it there, it can be found any where else on the page. For example, on my website, you can find it in the left hand column, too, as well as at the top.

After you’ve located it, just click on it. It should take you to a page that will give you a choice to add it to your Google reader or another RSS reader.

Google reader makes this even easier. Just copy the URL of the website you want to receive updates from then head over to Google reader, click on the button that says “add subscription”, paste the URL, enter and you’re done!

You’ll start to see a list of the sites on the left hand side. When the website updates with a new blog post or entry or news story or what-have-you, they appear there. They will just be sitting there waiting for you to read them and as soon as you have, they’ll disappear.

After you subscribe to a large number of website, you’ll want to start organizing them. On the Lower left hand side, under your subscriptions, there is a blue link that says “Manage Subscriptions”. This will take you to a list of your subscriptions where you can organize them. To the right of each feed, you will find a drop down menu to “add to folder”. Simply create a “new folder” and that feed will be placed in that folder. After you’ve created a few folders, use the drop down menu to move subscriptions into these folders. Everything I subscribe to fits in these 4 folders:

rss reader subscriptions

If you’re like me and want everything to be accessible on your phone:
iPhone or Blackberry – Google reader mobile website
Andriod – official Google reader app

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