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Basic RSS: Using Feedly to Save Time Online

Wouldn’t it be great if you could get all of your favorite sites delivered to you automatically, like a magazine? You wouldn’t have to keep checking them throughout the day for updates, so you could use that time for other purposes. And if you hate internet ads as much as I do (a lot!), what if I told you that you could easily avoid them as well?

Well, luckily for you, I’m about to!

What is RSS?

RSS (Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication) is a very common (though not widely known by many people) technology that collects the content from a web site (blogs, news headlines, YouTube videos, etc.) and delivers them to you using software called a feed reader. Personally, I have been regularly using RSS since 2007 and it has been one of my favorite productivity secrets for using the Internet.

Why use RSS?

By using RSS, you will no longer have to visit every single website that you regularly read every time that you want to check for new content. Instead, new content from all of your sites will be delivered to your feed reader so that you can read all of your sites in one place, like a personalized magazine.

Sounds good! Where do I sign up?

The de facto leader in RSS used to be the excellent Google Reader, but with Google’s decision to kill it last year, a company called Feedly has moved to the forefront. I recommend Feedly for its ease of use and wide compatibility with other RSS services (like smartphone apps).

To start, visit Feedly and sign up using your Google account. If you don’t already have a Google account (unlikely), I suggest that you get one because they are extremely useful around the Internet.

How do I add sites to Feedly?

In Feedly, click the “Add Content” button in the upper-left part of the window.

Then, in the search box, search for the site you are interested in, or type/paste a URL directly if you already know which site you want to read. You can also browse Feedly’s site collection if you are looking for something new.

You mentioned smartphone apps. Tell me more.

You can access your Feedly subscriptions using your smartphone, letting you read all of your sites from anywhere. Feedly has their own official apps for iOS and Android which you can use:

Feedly for Android

Feedly for iOS

Conclusion

Using RSS will save you a lot of time and needless clicking around on the Internet just to read the sites that you love. Instead, you will be able to speed-read your content in minutes, often without ads. You can also have your favorite YouTube channels delivered to you automatically along with all your other content. This way, you will waste less time getting to the content you want and more time enjoying it!