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How To use Feedly Effectively

by Mrinal Saha
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Ever since Google reader shutdown in 2013, many people (including me) moved to Feedly –a promising candidate for that time. And since then, there has been no looking back. 

Feedly is the most popular RSS reader right now, And I like it mostly because of two reasons. One, it’s available for all platform i.e. Web, iOS, Android, Kindle etc and it sync between them very well. And two, the reading interface is clean, which is really important for focus reading.

Now, if you are new to Feedly, then watch this intro video. Here, I have explained what exactly is Feedly and how to use it on web and mobile.

But, if you are using Feedly for a while, then here are some tips to use it effectively.

Feedly Tips & Tricks

#1 Look and Feel

If you don’t like the Feedly interface, you can easily change it. Click on the gear icon on the top right of the screen and choose — title, magazines, cards etc. If you have a 100s of feeds to go through, then use the ‘title only’ mode. It’s much easier to scan.

title, magazines, cards view on feedly

The interesting here is, you can set a different layout for each category and Feedly will remember your preference. For instance, set title only for tech categories and magazine for productivity blogs. It works for both mobile and web platform.

#2 Subscribe to YouTube channels or Podcasts

You can also subscribe to your favorite YouTube channels and podcast on Feedly. And guess what, you can watch your videos or listen to podcasts right inside the app. You don’t have to go to external websites.  There are two ways to do it.

There are two ways to do it.

2.1 To add channels one by one, go to add content > and type in the URL of the YouTube channel or the podcast. 

2.2 To import your entire YouTube subscription to Feedly, go to YouTube subscription manager page > scroll down to the page > export subscription. Download that small XML file and import it to Feedly from this link (read more in #6).

Courtesy:  Yogesh Chayal

Import your YouTube susbscription

#3 Read full Article

Now, it’s up to the webmaster, if they want to show full content in their RSS feeds or just a teaser. However, as a reader, I find it really annoying, when I have to visit the website in a new tab, just to read the full article.

But, you can fix that by clicking on the preview option at the top (or press shift + v). This will load the full article inside Feedly.

preview in feedly

If you have a WordPress blog and want to show full content to your subscribers, go to settings > reading > and enable full text for RSS feed. I wasn’t aware of this before.

add full size content in RSS in wordpress

#4 Save an article on Feedly

There are a couple of ways to save the article for later reading. You can add it to your Feedly reading list (free), or you can subscribe to their pro plan if you want to save articles in your Pocket, Evernote, Instapaper etc. 

Even if you use IFTTT, to connect these two services, you still need a pro account. 

However, for some weird reason, I am able to save my feeds to my pocket account, even on a free plan. There can be two reasons for that. It can be a bug, or they have made this pocket integration free. Let’s hope it’s the second one. 

#5 Save from Anywhere

If you have just joined Feedly, then it makes sense to install this chrome extension. It adds a Feedly icon in the address bar, and when you click on that, it will take you to your Feedly account, where you can quickly subscribe to that new website. 

#6 Import/Export feeds into Feedly

Say you want to import all your feeds from other RSS reader to Feedly or vice versa, then you easily do that by OPML file. Basically, it’s standard XML file which is used to exchange feeds between different RSS reader.

 Import/Export feeds into Feedly

However, these import/export options are kind of hidden. So to import from the other RSS reader and go to this link. Or if you would like to move out of Feedly, you can get the OPML file from here.

#7 Keyboard shortcuts

The web version of Feedly supports a handful of keyboard shortcutsAnd you can find the complete list of it by pressing Shift + ? keyboard shortcut.

The ones I used the most are —

  • Left/Right arrow key: to switch between the open post.
  • v:  view original article in new tab
  • s: save for later reading
  • Shift + a: mark all as read

#8 Quickly Mark as read

By default, you have to click on the mark as a read option, once you are done reading. This is good and works for most people. However, if you want to do it differently, there are a couple of other ways to do it.

To mark the articles read, as you go through them, enable the Auto-Mark As Read from the preference. 

To mark everything as read, use the shortcut shift +a. But if you want to apply this to the category you are in, use the shortcut shift + m.

mark as read

Or you can even narrow it down to the articles from a specific website. To do this go to Feedly preference  > Confirm Mark as Read > Yes. Now, you can click on the numbers next to the website title and it will turn zero. Works only on the web.

#9 Add twitter feed to Feedly

Twitter is a great place to monitor new trends. However, being on twitter 24/7 kill productivity. So is there a way to integrate Twitter with Feedly?

Well, since Twitter do not offer RSS feed, it won’t work right out of the box with Feedly. But, you easily generate this feed for your any Twitter streams with this help of this Google sheet, created by Amit Agarwal.

Add twitter feeds to feedly

Once you get the RSS feed, go to add content and paste it there. And Feedly will start monitoring that. Overall, it works like a charm and took me only a minute to set it up.

#10 Subscribe to a Part of Blog

Let say, you are interested only in a specific part of the website. Like – you want to subscribe articles only from a specific author, subdomain, or tags etc, then simply add that URL to Feedly.

For instance — I only want to read tech related articles from HowStuffWorks, so I’ll Google ‘tech how stuff work’ and click on the first link. This will take me to the tech subdomain of HowStuffWork. Now, all I have to do is copy paste that URL in Feedly.

Subscribe to a Part of Blog

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