Feedly Review: One Way to Cope with Information Overload

rss readingIn my last post, we reviewed how to find blogs that you might want to read. How do you keep up with all these blogs? If the blog has a subscription service, you can subscribe by email. However, don’t you think your email will get quite clogged after the 100th or so blog subscription? I like to put most of my blogs in an RSS reader and only subscribe by email to a few. Let’s learn how an RSS Reader called Feedly can help make reading blogs a smoother and more organized process.

What is RSS?

RSS or Really Simple Syndication is a formatted web page or feed with a list of articles from your blog. If you use WordPress or other content management systems, the feed is created for you. If you want to see your feed, go to your blog url and put “/feed/” at the end. Like this:


Years ago, before WordPress and other content management systems became popular, I actually wrote my own program for an RSS feed. I remember it wasn’t easy. We have it good now! Just comes with the package.

How to Sign Up for Feedly

If you have a Google Account, you use that to sign up for Feedly.
feedly intro
Click the Login button, and it will prompt you to sign into your Google account.

Feedly can help you find blogs – Click the +Add Content link on the left hand column of your screen:
find add content feedly
Or you can subscribe to blogs as you find them. I use this method. When I am on a blog that I like (while using Firefox), I pull down to Bookmarks -> Subscribe to this page -> Subscribe to (name of blog) – RSS. Some blogs have an RSS button, and you can select Feedly as your reader. In Internet Explorer, if you have the Command bar, you will see the orange RSS button. Click that orange button to subscribe. Seems like for Chrome you need to add a special extension for one-click subscriptions. If you get the url for the feed but it’s not clear how to get it into Feedly, you can paste url for the feed into Feedly to subscribe.

Categorize your posts

mark as read categories in Feedly
Each time you add a new blog, it is a good idea to categorize the blog. Categories are useful for when you have quite a few blogs and you only want to read a certain category. Or you are doing research in one area, so you want to read what is new in that area. It also makes it handy for marking categories read in chunks at a time.

If you look at the right image, you can see how I have categorized some of my posts. You can review articles in that category by clicking on the category name.

Let’s say you don’t have a lot of time today so you want to mark everything in the Tech category as read. Run your cursor over the 24 – a line will appear through the 24 (like this: 24). You can then click, and Feedly will mark all 24 of those articles as read. They won’t disappear from Feedly – you can still go back in the category and read them. But they will no longer show up as articles to read.

Mark As Read

One of handiest parts of blog readers is mastering Mark As Read. In some cases, it asked you to confirm that you want the articles marked as read. On the upper right of a category, at the bottom of a category – use the check mark to mark as read. I find it more convenient to use the ones that skip confirmation. Right next to each article, if you hover your mouse cursor over the area, a mark as read link will appear. Click on it, and the article will be marked as read. You can also use the category list on the left that is pictured above to mark whole category sections as read.

Feedly Apps

You can use Feedly on your smart phone or your iPad or your tablet. Download the app appropriate to the platform. Feedly will synchronize what you have read. I do find the desktop version a little easier to use than the phone app – there are more ways to do Mark as Read on the desktop.

What is Your Experience?

Did you find this Feedly review useful? Do you already use Feedly or another RSS reader? Are you now tempted to try? Do you use email subscriptions to keep track of blogs? Why do you choose the methods you do for blog tracking? If you already use Feedly, what features do you find especially useful?

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43 thoughts on “Feedly Review: One Way to Cope with Information Overload

    1. Wow, that was quick – must be morning in your part of the world. Here it is late on Saturday night, and I’m finally finishing a post I started two weeks ago.

      Glad you find Feedly useful as well! I wasn’t happy when Google Reader announced its own death, but now I’ve gotten used to Feedly.

  1. This is helpful. I switched my Google Reader subscriptions to Feedly when Google decided to pull the plug on Google Reader. What’s strange to me is that in the upper right hand corner of my Chrome tool bar, there is an icon for an RSS reader, but I don’t know which one. It has a few blogs I somehow subscribed to differently back in the day. Do you know I can get an RSS icon on my Chrome tool bar for my Feedly blogs. It is definitely time for me to organize mine. When Google Reader existed, new posts in Reader would display on my I-Google page which loads when I log in to my computer. Of course, I-Google is scheduled for “lights out” on November 1st. I’ve realized that in my blogger life, I’m just going to have to go with the flow — not one of my fortes. πŸ˜‰

  2. I have heard of Feedly but have not used it. When Google Reader was retired, I set out to do a post on what alternatives were available. I found Bloglovin and it seems to be great for me. πŸ™‚

  3. I could not function without feedly. I made the switch from Google Reader soon after they announced its demise. What I don’t like about feedly is how the blogs can’t be organized. That can make it a bit tricky to stay on top of large categories. I do like using it on a desktop moreso than my phone for the same reason as you do, but since I try to clear my feed when I first wake up, I’ve had to adjust to the phone app.
    Jeri recently posted…How to Pitch a Book: Lost Girl Road PNWA 2013My Profile

  4. I too use an RSS reader for reading through blogs. I used to subscribe but then my inbox got too full. I used Google Reader until it went away and then switched to RSS Owl. It was an easy switch over, but now I see that I can’t get RSS Owl on my phone or tablet, so it isn’t as convenient as I’d like. I will try Feedly (but first I will see if it has a mobile app)

    1. Cheryl, late? Not at all. Late would be if you were reading my post about the wonders of Google Reader. That one is now extinct as a dinosaur.

      Good luck with trying out Feedly – I think it’s worthwhile.

  5. I’ve heard about Feedly and have been meaning to check it out, since I wasn’t sure how it worked and what it could do for me. Thanks for explaining! Also agree with you about categories, my web designer encouraged me to break my posts down and it makes it easier for everyone. Also helps understand what’s more popular.

    1. Krystyna, you have to play with Feedly a bit to get to work for you, but then on a busy day your posts are readily available in a format you like. Take the time to set up the categories.

  6. Thanks for this detailed description of Feedly. I had a Google Reader account but admit I rarely used it.I know it’s advantageous to have all your blogs in one place to read but I know if I subscribe with an RSS reader I’m unlikely to keep up so I subscribe by email. If I feel I don’t have time to read a publisher’s post — that I can’t live without the information — then I don’t subscribe. In fact, I’m cutting down on my subscriptions for that reason.
    I can view my emails alphabetically, so if I get behind on a publisher’s posts I still can see them all in one place. Sort of a lazy man’s reader.
    Jeannette Paladino recently posted…6 Ways to “Brand” Yourself to Success Even if You’re Just Starting OutMy Profile

  7. I use feedly on my Ipad. Once I figured out how to recategorize everything it has gotten even smoother. Funny thing, I just now remembered to add your blog to my feedly list. So now I won’t miss any.

    It wasn’t too long ago that I stopped blog mail. I don’t see the point of getting an email when I have feedly set up with all the blogs I subscribe to.
    Jon Jefferson recently posted…Bird in the WaterMy Profile

    1. Sylviane, thanks for commenting, yes, CommentLuv works well, and I will be interested to learn how using a reader for feeds helps you out. When I originally posted about Google Reader, I was surprised to learn how many bloggers don’t know about the power of an RSS reader.

  8. Feedly is my reader of choice as well Leora as Google Reader was slowly dying. I think it’s the most similar but I’m actually liking it a little better myself.

    Thank you for sharing this review and I would hope that those who aren’t using a reader will really enjoy this one.

    Adrienne recently posted…How To Find Those Magic KeywordsMy Profile

    1. Adrienne, I think they have made improvements to it. Feedly seems faster than when I first started using it, plus there are more ways to do Mark as Read, one of the most important features of a reader.

  9. I used to switch between Google reader and Feedly (A great change in the “reading” atmosphere. I no longer can do that).

    Feedly is great. It replaces Google reader in all aspects. I don’t use my categories really well (All I have is new and friends; I certainly need to do something about that).

    Anyways, thank you for sharing your insights, Leora!

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