Google Reader is one online tool that I truly could not live without. I can’t imagine catching up on my favorite blogs without it.
It surprises me how many people have never heard of it or used it.
Here is how you can use it so that you can do all of your blog reading in one place.
1. Go to http://www.google.com. Create a google account if you don’t already have one. If you have a gmail email address, then you’ve already got one, but you don’t need a gmail email in order to use it.
Click on “More” (image shown above) and there you will find the Google Reader.
2. Subscribe to a blogs RSS feed. When you go visit your favorite blogs, they should have either an RSS subscribe button that you can click, which will take you to a page where you can specify how you’d like to subscribe. Google is usually an option you can click and add to your Google Reader.
If you are using Firefox, just click on the start in the top right of your browser. You will see a Subscribe to this Feed, click on it and it will take you to a page where you can add the feed to your Google Reader.
I used to be an Internet Explorer user but have completely switched to Firebox and wouldn’t go back. IE just doesn’t work so well incorporating subscriptions into your Google Reader.
3. Once you’ve subscribed to a blog and added it to your Google Reader, you should organize the feeds by categories. My categories include Fashion, Home, Business, Cooking, Thrifting and Miscellaneous.
In order to have the feeds categorized, you to go into “feed settings” (above) and “Rename Subscription”. What I do here is add my category name to the beginning of the feed name. I also prioritize the feed categories with A, etc. in the order of importance (meaning what I like to read first..LOL!). In the above example, I have added an “A” priority to all of my fashion feeds, as those are the ones I want to read first.
This is a blog that I recently started following and really enjoy: Fabulously Average. You’ll notice that the category is Fashion, but I’ve added an A in front of it so that the Fashion posts show up first in my Google Reader.
4. Get Google Reader to import full feeds, not excerpts. Some blog subscriptions are set up to only give you a snippet of the feed and you have to actually click on the blogs title to exit Google Reader to read the entire feed/article. Save time without having to leave Google Reader to read the full feed by using this handy, dandy full feed converter: http://fulltextrssfeed.com/
Just type in the feed (you can get the feed details from the “View details and statistics” (2nd line below your “Rename Subscription” menu) and you the feed converter will give you a new feed url that you will just include in the “Subscribe” button in your Google Reader! Love this…this has saved me so much time as I don’t have to leave Google Reader to view the full post.
5. Use the space bar. One little tip that I just accidentally discovered is that when you are reading your blog posts in Google Reader, you can hit the space bar and it works basically like the page down button. But what’s really cool about the space bar is that it will also forward you to the next post without having to use your mouse or touchpad. Another great way to help you save time. Easy peasy!
Google reader is also compatible on all e-readers and phones. Just look for the Google Reader app.
Hope this is helpful to you guys and please let me know if you know of any other Google Reader Tips. I’d love to hear them!