Friday, March 15, 2013

Feedly Tutorial - A Google Reader Alternative

Yesterday I mentioned that I have started using Feedly as an alternative to Google Reader.  I have been using the app on my iPod for a while and found that it will work with my Chrome browser as well. I am in no way affiliated with the site but I really like it and wanted to share more about how it works and show you the features and layout since many of you are not users of Facebook, Pinterest and other social media outlets.

I use feedly for Chrome. But it is available for most browsers that allow for add -ons.
Once the add on was added to the browser I was ready to log in to my account. I could do that by simply using my Google reader account. That imported all of my followed blogs.

After that I customized the look of everything and began organizing.
You can click on any of the images to view them larger if needed.

Here is what my customized home screen looks like:


At the top left you'll see options for today's new posts, saved posts and Add Website. The screen shot above is with "Today" Selected.
Below that is a list of categories I have created for the blogs I follow.


The section below that shows tags I have created that I can use while reading through blogs. It also shows the links to my blog index, history and personalized settings.




The sidebar on the right shows a list of blogs that I have new posts as well as updates from Twitter and Facebook if I have them turned on.

First let's look at the themes and preferences shown in the last photo.

When clicking on "Themes" this is the screen that appears. It will allow you to choose your background color. Thus the reason my screen is green :)


When clicking on preferences you are able to customize the look and actions of the reader. This allows you to choose what posts you want on your start page-today, all or index. You can also choose the text font, background color and layout in this section. I have the mosaic section chosen for my default view.  This gives me a peek at 6 blog posts at a time. You can adjust this so that you see a different number of previews or if you prefer the full post to show you can do that as well.


There are several other settings below these. Here are some of the ones I prefer to use:

Tags-this allows me to tag posts as I read them. It works just like the tagging in a gallery. I add tags I want to use separated by a comma. This then puts them in my sidebar as shown in the third photo down.

The mini toolbar section give me tow more options. Enabling mini gives me a icon at the bottom right of my borwser that I can use to add blogs to my reader when I am surfing the web. Favorite sharing tools lets me ad the ways I would like to share interesting posts with others. I use gmail, twitter, facebook and pinterest for my options.

The side area section activates the right sidebar that I mentioned early. It allows me to turn on/off my facebook or twitter feed. If on I will see updates from the sites right in my reader.
Now that you've seen how to customize the reader I'll show you a bit more about my set up.

At the top of my feed is a section marked featured. This usually shows 3 blogs from my feed that are popular by likes on Facebook and Google+ 


The sections below that show each of the categories I have assigned. Each category section shows 6 blog post previews. This is where the "default" section under general settings comes in to play. I have mine set to show 6. You can show a variety of numbers up to 6, including seeing the full blog post. My first category (shown on the right) is Companies so this section shows posts from that category.  

Below the section in green I can click on "mark above articles as read" for that whole folder.

When I want to read a post I simply click on the post title and it will expand. Here is what it looks like when I click on the center title from the Jillibean Soup blog:



Here is what I see at the top of the blog post. This gives me options to keep unread, mark as read, add tags and share the post with others. This is where the tags and sharing setting are used. I can also click on the name of the blog and it will take me to the page for that blog.

In addition to the page that includes all of the blogs on the reading list I can go to the page for each individual blog. Here is an example of what I see when I go to the page for my own blog It is the same set up as the main page except instead of showing different blogs is shows posts from that one blog.



While I am reading if I see a project of idea I want to save for later I can simply tag it. For example, if I wanted to easily find this layout from My Mind's Eye I simple click the "tag" button and choose the category I want to put it in.

Once I have projects tagged I can return to them for future ideas. when I click on the "Scrapbooking" tag in the sidebar the page will show posts I have tagged with that label as well as the month they were added.


That should give the overall picture of how Feedly works. Before I go I'll point out just a couple more things.

At the top right you will see these icons. The check mark allows you to mark the article as read. The gear is the settings (shown in the drop down box in the photo below), then you have the refresh and show next  arrow.


At the top left you will also see the saved button and add website. The Saved tab is where you willfind your starred items imported form Google Reader.

When you click "add a website" you will get a pop up on the right allowing you to search for blogs or browse for more. You can search by URL, title or topic (using a hashtag). I fI want to find a certain person I just type their name. If I want to find more blogs about stamping I type #stamping.



I'll stop there for today. 
Be sure and leave me a comment and let me know what you think or if there is something you'd like to know!

Thanks for stopping by!



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5 comments:

Penny Wessenauer (d0npen) said...

Thank you Tami...I was trying to figure out what I would do with Reader going a way.. you've solved my problem nicely. Thank you for your great tutorial on how this app works!

Joan V said...

Tami, thanks for your help. This looks interesting and easy to use. thanks for sharing.

Leslie Hanna said...

This was amazing, thank you! I'm using the Chrome plug-in of Feedly now, and the Customize steps helped me add my tags from Google Reader.

Denise ~ Paper Ponderings said...

Thank you! This is so helpful!

Marisa said...

This is fabulous - thank you :)