As I mentioned earlier, I’m on a hunt to find the “one tool” or tools to help my “lifestyle management” of being able to check e-mail, facebook, twitter, and more without having tons of applications or browser windows open. The next stop is another long term player, Feedly.
Feedly has been around for quite a while now, and I even considered it during my original lifestyle management hunt. Feedly describes themselves as “…a news reader for creative minds, a simple and elegant way to read and share the content of your favorite sites”. If you’re already a Google Reader user (as I believe most folks are based on some recent articles I read), Feedly will take your existing subscriptions and organize them into a nice magazine style format:
Compared to the initial layout of Netvibes and most readers, Feedly may seem a little out of place. However, once you take a few moments to inspect it’s layout, it is very intuitive and friendly. Feedly creates a “My Feedly” section which serves as front page, hilighting a few articles from your featured blogs and then giving you the latest news from all of your categories. At first it is confusing what is considered a “featured” blog. The solution is to go to your “organize contents” section and then mark which blogs you want as your favorites within each category (click the pencil). From there Feedly reorganizes things for you. This provides a great way to always see what is happening in your favorite blogs, even if they aren’t updating posts daily.
If you’re not into the magazine style view, Feedly also provides several different layouts, including a timeline view to organize feeds by time, and a minimalist view that gives you simply the titles of the articles to allow for quick browsing and reading. What is really nice is that Feedly will allow you to organize each category uniquely, so my “aggregators” category, which pulls tons of articles hourly from Hacker News and DZone can remain in minimalist mode, while I can continue to read my friend’s blogs in the magazine style mode.
While it took me a little bit to find, there are some hotkeys embedded into Feedly to help with navigation and do a few tricks. The j and k keys allows you to move to the next and previous article, while the v key will open the article on the original website in a new tab. There’s lots more and as I work with them more, the more I like it.
Quick Tip: Use the ? key after loading Feedly to show all the hotkey options available.
Feedly is also available on nearly every platform. There are plugins for Chrome, Safarik, and Firefox. They also have an iOS and Android version. I really like the fact I can read some articles during the day at work, and then browse a few more at night on Fiver or Whistler and not have to sift through the articles I already read. Oh, I should mention they make it easy to share articles on Twitter/Facebook/Google+ as well.
While most folks say that RSS feeds are a thing of the past, I think they are still very useful today and Feedly makes for a wonderful resource to read them. They’ve really fine tuned the reading process and I highly recommend it to anybody reading news.