Welcome to the latest edition of Toolkit Tuesday. Today we’re going to talk about a tool that I use every day to stay on top of news, blogs, and what’s happening within my circles of influence: Feedly.
If you’ve used an RSS reader in the past, then you know you can streamline your time, and stay on top of what’s happening by using a reader. For those of you unfamiliar with RSS and why you would need a reader, here’s the deal:
- An RSS reader helps you stay up-to-date on news, websites, and blogs that are of interest to you. Basically, instead of going to each site or blog, if the site has an RSS feed (and most of them do) you can compile all of the sites you want to read into one, streamlined format called an RSS reader.
Previously, these RSS readers weren’t very user-friendly, and didn’t have the rich capabilities that are now available through tools like Feedly. For example, you can create categories, lists, change the way subscribed content appears within your feed, and further customize the Feedly platform to make RSS reading super easy and streamlined.
I’ve been using Feedly for over a year now and have only recently started using it more in-depth. Let’s review how to get started using Feedly and then I’ll share some tips and introduce you to Feedly Pro.
Feedly Quick Start Guide
Feedly can be a simple or as robust as you want it to be. It doesn’t take much effort to get started, and the platform design and layout can be customized to your preference.
- Sign-Up and Install.
Signing up and getting started with Feedly is super easy. Just go to Feedly.com and you can either add it to your browser or click on the “Try Feedly Pure Web” button to start using Feedly right away. If you plan on using Feedly long-term, you’ll definitely want to install within your web browser and create a login.
- Customize Your View.
There are tons of options when it comes to the layout, look and feel of your Feedly account. You can keep things simple or choose more elaborate designs and content layouts. Feedly put together a great walk-through on this, which can be viewed here.
- Add Content to Your Feedly.
There are a few different ways to add content to your Feedly feeds. You can either:
- Subscribe to a site’s RSS feed.
- Add the site within your Feedly dashboard.
Simply copy and paste the site’s name or url into the “Add Content” box:
- Add new content via Feedly Mini.
See below for details on this feature …
- Organize Content by Categories.
Just click on the “Organize” link on the left-hand side of your Feedly account when you’re logged in. Here are examples of some of my categories:
- Start sharing and consuming content.
Once you’ve added content to your feeds, you can read and share what you’re reading via social media. Just click on the content you want to read and it will expand from a preview to the full piece of content. Then you can share it how you see fit. Here’s an example:
Feedly Tips and Tricks
- Diversify Your Feeds – Did you know you can add podcasts and YouTube channels to your Feedly? You can! Just search for the podcast within your Feedly dashboard’s search field and presto! Here’s an example:
- Feedly Mini – this is a SUPER awesome tool. It’s actually one of my favorite features within Feedly because it allows you to quickly add new sites to your Feedly while Visiting other sites, without having to be on your Feedly dashboard.
How it works: Unfortunately right now they’re revamping this feature so it’s not available for me to show you, but once it’s live early this fall, you can download and install Feedly Mini. Once you install the feature, you’ll begin to see a little Feedly symbol on the lower right-hand of websites when you navigate to them. You can then click on the symbol and add the site to your Feedly dashboard. It’s super easy and I can’t wait to have this feature back.
- Feedly Mobile – You can add Feedly to your mobile device and any changes you make or sites you add to your feeds will be integrated within the desktop application. This is ideal for reading when your laptop isn’t handy, and I love the easy swipe shortcuts:
Get Ready for Feedly Pro!
On August 5, Feedly launched a subscription-based version called Feedly Pro. For five dollars a month, you can enhance your Feedly with the following features using Feedly Pro:
- Article Search, which makes it possible to search by keywords within your feeds.
- Https, which makes your feeds more secure.
- Evernote integration, which will add an easy one-click feature that saves to any of your notebooks (I can’t wait for this feature!)
- Premium Support, which will move you to the front of the line should a question or tech issue arise.
If you’re just starting to use Feedly you may want to wait before purchasing the pro edition to see if you actually need it because the free version has all the features you’ll need. I will most likely subscribe to the pro edition when it becomes available to the masses because it has a simplified Evernote integration that sounds amazing …
Do you use Feedly? What’s your favorite feature? Share any tips you have in the comments below or if you have a suggestion for our next Toolkit Tuesday feature, let us know.