HOW TO: Get the Most Out of Google Reader

HOW TO: Get the Most Out of Google Reader

One of the best news readers out there is the web-based Google Reader. If that's the case, make sure you don't overlook feed bundles, which you can add by clicking on "Browse for stuff" in the upper left-hand menu. Click on the gear icon in the upper right-hand corner and choose Settings — Folders and Tags. To move a feed from folder to folder, select it and click on the Feed settings drop-down menu, then click on the name of an individual folder to move the feed there. Trends A lot of users just fire up Google Reader, add some feeds and then stop tweaking and optimizing. However, if you subscribe to a lot of feeds, Google Reader can actually help you get rid of the ones you're not interested in and focus on those which are important to you. If you frequently add new feeds to your Google Reader, you can repeat this process every few months. j/k – selects the next/previous item in the list space/shift-space – moves the page down/up n/p – in list view, selects the next item without opening it o – in list view, expands or collapses the selected item enter – in list view, expands or collapses the selected item s – stars the selected item shift-s – shares the selected item m – switches the read state of the selected item t – opens the tagging field for the selected item v – opens the original source for this article in a new window shift-a – marks all items in the current view as read 1 – displays the subscription as expanded items 2 – displays the subscription as a list of headlines r – refreshes the unread counts in the navigation shift-n/p – selects the next/previous subscription or folder in the navigation shift-x – expand or collapse a folder selected in the navigation shift-o – opens the item currently selected in the navigation gh – goes to the Google Reader homepage ga – goes to the “All items” view gs – goes to the “Starred items” view gt – allows you to navigate to a tag by entering the tag name gu – allows you to navigate to a subscription by entering the subscription name u – hides and shows the list of subscriptions ? – displays a quick guide to all of Reader’s shortcuts Other Tweaks Over the years, Google has been adding little tweaks and improvements to Google Reader, and it's hard even for power users to remember all the options it offers. Just drag it to your bookmarks bar, and each time you click on it, it will take you to the next unread item, marking it as read in the process.

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The real-time web is becoming an increasingly important source of news, but many users still prefer to receive their content the old-fashioned way: Through a steady diet of RSS feeds. One of the best news readers out there is the web-based Google Reader. Although simple in appearance, it has some features under the hood that can help you greatly improve your news reading experience.

If you’re a new user, you might want to fill up your Reader with interesting feeds. If that’s the case, make sure you don’t overlook feed bundles, which you can add by clicking on “Browse for stuff” in the upper left-hand menu. Here you can browse through featured feed bundles, bundles from your friends or recommended feeds from users with similar interests as you.

Once you’ve populated the Reader with enough feeds that interest you, it’s time to start organizing them.

Folders

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The simplest ways to organize feeds is by creating folders. Click on the gear icon in the upper right-hand corner and choose Settings — Folders and Tags. Create as many folders as you’d like; for example, you might want to create a special folder for very important feeds, or create a folder for each subcategory of news you’re following, such as “tech,” “business,” and so forth.

Now, instead of always clicking on “All items,” you can read the feeds from each individual subcategory separately.

To move a feed from folder to folder, select it and click on the Feed settings drop-down menu, then click on the name of an individual folder to move the feed there.

Trends

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A lot of users just fire up Google Reader, add some feeds and then stop tweaking and optimizing. However, if you subscribe to a lot of feeds, Google Reader can actually help you get rid of the ones you’re not interested in and focus on those which are important to you.

The best way to do this is to use Trends, located in the upper-left corner of the Google Reader screen. Click on it and you’ll see a lot of statistics on how you use your feeds. For example, you can see which feeds you click on…

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