I love Feedly and I love it even more now because they have launched features. The first time I tried Feedly was when Google discontinued the Google Reader. I even published a blog post about Feedly to express my gratitude.
I wasn’t a very active Feedly user over the past few months. But recently I noticed that they launched a “Read Later” service of their own. And another feature called “Boards”.
The result? I uninstalled Pocket and moved all my Pocket items to Feedly. So now, I have decided that it’s worth mentioning the 11 Reasons Why I Love Feedly. Just like I did for Dropbox. And Google Photos.
Feedly was NOT for everyone as it was basically an RSS reader. But now it’s for everyone. Meaning, it was useful only for those who understand blogs and RSS feeds (and maybe its purpose as well). But not anymore. Because Feedly is now simple and powerful than ever.
Here are the 11 reasons why I love Feedly. Oh yeah, they didn’t pay me to write this very blog post. 😀
1. User Interface (UI)
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” — Leonardo da Vinci
Google knew simplicity and that’s how Google Reader (once the most popular RSS reader) became everyone’s favorite RSS reader. Feedly is the biggest winner with Google Reader’s demise as almost all its users have joined Feedly ever since Google discontinued Google Reader.
Feedly now offers almost all the features of Google Reader (and so much more). And the best thing about Feedly (for someone who was once a fanboy of Google Reader) is that its user interface is similar to that of Google Reader. There are no ads, no popups, or nothing that can distract your reading experience.
Apart from that, there’s an “Index” view (if it’s not visible then you need to enable it from General Settings) that shows all your categories and feed sources and unread article counts (globally as well as individually) and you can even click on individual sources to read all articles from it.
Then there’s the “Today” view that shows the latest feeds from all your sources (organized by categories). Again, there’s a “Recently Read” view that shows all the feed items that you have read recently.
Finally, you can go to Organize My Feeds to organize all your feed sources (just use drag and drop). You can also use the “Organize My Feeds” view to easily create a new Collection or import your feeds from elsewhere (using an OPML file) or export your feeds (as an OPML file).
2. Cross-platform Support
Feedly works perfectly on all platforms whether it’s a desktop or a mobile device. In fact, I love to use the official Feedly Mobile app (even though I’m a desktop person) due to its swiping feature.
There’s an official app for all major platforms and then there are unofficial apps (by third-party developers) for other platforms. If you are a mobile person then you will love Feedly mobile and if you are a desktop person (like me) then you will love Feedly Web (as it’s more intuitive than you think).
Feedly was not so customizable when I first started using it. But it was still better than Google Reader when it comes to overall usability and features. Perhaps the best thing about Feedly is that it lets you change the reading view in just one-click.
You can click on a feed title (at the top) and it gives you an instant popup menu to customize its view so that you can switch between Title-Only View, or Magazine View, or Cards View. And if you go to General Settings there’s also an option to enable a Slider (to display articles on a sidebar), to show only the Unread articles, and to change the Start page (when you open Feedly).
Again, if you go to Appearance Settings, you can change the Font, Font Size, Display Density, and Theme Color. There are more options to customize, so do explore all the features and options on the Preferences page.
4. One-Click Sharing
Feedly offers one-click sharing and it enables you to share your feed items (or Feedly stories) to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest with just one-click. And if you are a premium user then you will get more sharing/integration options (like Buffer, Hootsuite, Dropbox, WordPress, LinkedIn, IFTTT, Zapier, etc.).
5. 3rd-party App Integration
Feedly is integrated with a ton of third-party apps and that’s why you will see so many apps on their App Center that works with Feedly. Meaning, you can use a supported third-party RSS reader and still access all your Feedly feeds. That’s not all! Feedly also supports IFTTT, Zapier, Sprout Social, etc. though it’s a premium feature.
6. Different Views (Title, Magazine)
I have already mentioned that the best thing about Feedly is its ability to change reading views in just one-click. You can go to General Settings to change the default reading view (choose between Titles-Only, Magazine, and Cards) and default sort order (chronological or reverse chronological).
Here’s how the Titles-Only view (my favorite) looks like:
Here’s how the Magazine view looks like:
Here’s how the Cards view looks like:
7. Most Popular
Feedly showcases 3 most popular stories at the top of each page. It’s not so reliable but still, it’s pretty useful. You can enable/disable the same from General Settings.
Collections are nothing but folders/categories. That is, you can organize your feeds into categories (by creating Collections) so that the reading process becomes more streamlined.
For instance, I can create a Collection called “Technology” to add all the sources related to technology and then click on the collection “Technology” to read all the articles from those sources. And if a source belongs to multiple categories then you can simply assign more Collections to it.
Boards are different from Collections in the sense that a Collection can contain only subscribed items. On the flipside, a Board can have any item. That is, you can save an article from one of your Collections or individual sources or from across the web to a Board but you can’t individually add an article to a Collection.
It basically means that you can add ANY URL from across the web to Boards (but not Collections). However, you can subscribe to almost any website that you want by adding it to a Collection (or by subscribing to it individually).
10. Save A URL
Save A URL/Save To Board is a nifty star button on Feedly that lets you save ANY URL to a Board of your choice.
For instance, when you are scanning the articles on a particular Board, the star button (“Save a URL”) lets you save a new URL to that Board (or multiple Boards if you want).
11. Read Later/Save a URL to Read later
There’s a “Read later” feature on Feedly so that you can save an article to Read later and that makes the reading process simpler and smarter. But don’t get addicted!
If you continuously save the items to Read later then there’s every chance that you won’t read it later and your Read later items will eventually outgrow the number of unread items in your Feedly account. I have experienced that. 😀
You can also add ANY URL to “Read later” by simply clicking on the star button. That way, you can save ANY article from across the web to Feedly (without subscribing to it). In other words, Feedly is a good alternative to the Pocket app.
If you find the “Read later” feature useful then you can simply install the official Save to Feedly Board Chrome extension and it will enable you to add the URL that you are currently browsing to a Feedly board of your choice.
BONUS: Feedly Pro
Feedly Pro costs $65/year and it does offer some powerful features for the pro users. So I would imagine you will need it only if you are a power user or someone who wants to subscribe to hundreds of feeds.
We all have a list of websites or blogs that we want to follow pretty closely, right? Feedly is perhaps the only news reader app you will ever want.
It’s simply the best RSS reader (or simply news aggregator) that lets you read, organize, bookmark, and share content.
What’s more? It’s got an intuitive interface with a lot of customization options. And as I have already mentioned, Feedly is now a Pocket alternative (sort of).
Meaning, it can’t replace Pocket as Pocket is integrated into a wide variety of apps and services. But if you are someone who is using Pocket to save articles manually then Feedly is a good replacement or perhaps a better replacement as you will no longer need two different apps to do the same job.
One thing that I particularly love about Feedly mobile is that it works better than its desktop version.
So what do you think?
Happy Reading! 🙂