8 reasons Feedly will make you forget all about Google Reader

In case you missed it: Huge news from the Internet last week–Google Reader is shutting down! (insert scream here). As of July 1, 2013, Google Reader will be no more.

This move by Google has angered thousands across the Internet, with the exception of at least one person: Me.

Because I transitioned to Feedly–a much easier and more efficient way to view and consume your feeds, blogs and sites you follow on a daily basis.

I’ve always been more of a visual learner. It’s why I love reading magazines so much vs. the newspaper (which can be more text heavy).

And that’s actually a good metaphor for Google Reader (the Wall St. Journal) and Feedly (ESPN the Magazine).

I know you’ve heard all about the alternatives to Google Reader last week, but I’m here today to encourage you to switch over to Feedly. I’m not getting paid to say that–I just think it’s a superior tool. And here’s eight reasons why:

It’s a simple migration

Feedly says it’s been anticipating this move for some time now, so they’re prepared. They have a seamless transition plan in place. Take advantage before July 1.

It just looks better (a LOT better)

Feedly1

Much like other Google products, Google Reader wasn’t the easiest thing to look at. In fact, it was pretty damn utilitarian. And, some folks liked that about Google Reader. I didn’t. I prefer Feedly’s much more magazine-like layout. It’s easier to scan (key for me). And, because it includes images with many posts, it gives me more visual clues as to what they post is about–and whether I should read it.

Integration with Buffer

One of the newer Feedly features is its new integration with Buffer, the popular social media sharing tool. By clicking on the sharing app within Feedly (usually in the upper right-hand corner), you can share directly to Twitter, Facebook or G+. But, you can also share via Buffer–an option more people are using to spread out shares throughout the day.

Feedly Buffer

More ways to organize than Google Reader

I love that I can organize my Feedly the way I want it. The tool gives you the opportunity to play with the layout in a number of different ways.

By title:

Feedly Titles

 

By date/time of post:

Feedly Timeline

 

In magazine layout:

Feedly Cards

 

In more of a mosaic-type pattern:

Feedly MosaicAnd finally, in full article mode:

Feedly Full articles

 

You can also organize your categories with a few simple clicks. Simply click on “organize” under your name in the upper-left-hand corner and you’ll get this pane:

Feedly OrganizeOnce you’re here, you can mark posts as read by blog/site, delete blogs/sites you no longer read and see how many posts are in your queue. Plus, you can add categories with a simple click. No new functionality here compared with Google Reader, but I just like the way it’s layed out visually.

The mobile app is outstanding

Besides coming in varieties for iOS, Android and Kindle, the Feedly app is just plain better than Google Reader. Check out a screen grab of my iPhone app below:

Feedly iPhone

Look how pretty it is? :) Seriously though, how easy is this to scan and filter through while you’re on the run? And the best part? Posts are so easy to share using the mobile app. Just click on the share box in the lower left-hand corner and the follow scroll bar appears on the right-hand side (see below). You can share via email, Twitter, Facebook, G+–or through Buffer (see again, below).

Feedly iPhone2

The iPad app is just as easy to use–here’s a glimpse:

Feedly Tablet

Same concept as the iPhone app–easy to scan by swiping, and easy to share. Exactly what you need to read and share easily on the go.

Exploring for new blogs takes just a couple clicks

Another way to find new blogs within Feedly: The “explore” function. You can find it on the right-hand-side of the page–it’s the little spyglass icon. Just click on that and you’ll get this pane.

Feedly Explore1

 

This gives you a number of options: Search by the topics Feedly has suggested (middle), use Feedly’s “Starter Kit” (bottom), or the easiest way, just search by keyword/topic at the top. Three easy ways to search and find the blogs that are important to you. The search by keyword at the top isn’t an exact science, but it should complement your existing searches (try Alltop for this–best way to find new blogs by category).

 

Feedly suggests new blogs for you

Feedly2

When you set up new categories in Feedly, it does a nice little Spotify-like thing for you: It recommends blogs it thinks you might like based on the ones you’re following already. In this case, it’s taking the PR blogs I’m currently reading and suggesting a few it believes I might enjoy. I don’t always follow these blogs, but I like that Feedly is suggesting them.

Feedly tracks what you’ve been reading

Another neat little feature in Feedly: You can track what you’ve been reading. Just click on the “history” link in the bottom left-hand corner and you can see all the posts you’ve clicked on and read in the past day/week/month/year. It’s like your own little Feedly bookmarking system!

Feedly History

My lone drawback to Feedly (which is also a drawback for most other reader tools) is the lack of integration with an effective social bookmarking tool (namely Diigo, which I use or Delicious). Guessing that may come soon.

So, those are my reasons for using Feedly. Convinced?

27 comments
ojezap
ojezap

I don't disagree that Feedly looks very, very, VERY promising as a Google Reader replacement.

 

Your post has two problems, though.

 

1) You're taking that whole 'seamless migration' thing on faith. Unwise. Given the myriad glitches and shortcomings I have encountered while using Feedly, I'll believe that grandiose claim when I see it.

 

2) Buffer integrates with Google Reader (default Google interface) just fine, so to say this makes Feedly the superior option is incorrect. What's more, Feedly has a LOT of work to do in properly integrating third-party services. Saving to Delicious, Evernote, Instapaper, LinkedIn and Pocket on the desktop is much of a hassle than it should be. The e-mailing function on the desktop is a disaster right now, and you can't post immediately via Buffer in the mobile app.

 

I could go on (I gave the Feedly people a laundry list of improvements they should make when they saw me griping and followed up), but you get the idea.

 

Google Reader? It isn't as pretty, but It Just Works.

KaryD
KaryD

@DaveSandell @slgutierrez I set up my account a while ago, but stayed with what I knew, which was reader. Time to make the switch though!

slgutierrez
slgutierrez

@DaveSandell Good to know! I'm going to look into switching over right now. Thanks, Dave! On a side note, will you be at STORY this year?

MissMarthaMae
MissMarthaMae

@arikhanson things are great! We're busy developing the curriculum & fun challenges for our new community manager training program.

arikhanson
arikhanson moderator

 @ojezap You're right about the glitches. I've had similar issues. But, of the options available to me as an alternative to G-Reader now, Feedly is still the best. Plus, they've demonstrated an ability to invest and upgrade the platform--something we didn't really see from G-Reader. And, I think you need to come to grips with the fact that G-Reader is going away. Yeah, it works. But only until July 1 ;)

ojezap
ojezap

 @arikhanson  @ojezap I'm well aware that Google Reader is going away, which is why I am investing an enormous amount of time to evaluate replacements (as an RSS user as well as a tech journalist). I've actually been doing this off and on for years, and found all GR alternatives to be wanting in some way.

 

That's why I have a bit of trouble swallowing all the claims that worthy GR replacements have magically arrived (nope) or soon will miraculously arrive (we'll see). Yes, Feedly looks promising, and is super-pretty, but it doesn't yet fit into the It Just Works category the way Google Reader has for a very long time.

 

Arik, I'm not pissed off or anything, but please don't dismiss what I am saying based on what you perceive to be my emotional or sentimental state, much as Cruz belittled Feinstein as an overly emotional woman. You're better than that.

arikhanson
arikhanson moderator

 @mdbarber  @ojezap And Mary, this coming from our resident tech reporter in town and a very, very thorough researcher.

mdbarber
mdbarber

 @ojezap Okay that's what I thought but wanted to make sure. I'm hoping it all works smoothly. 

ojezap
ojezap

 @mdbarber To be clear, Feedly is the best I've seen. It needs work ... but has promise. If I were a betting man, I'd say Feedly will be my replacement ... but I'm still doing most of my feed processing in Google Reader as I evaluate alternatives.

mdbarber
mdbarber

 @ojezap  Interesting discussion. I have the same sorts of apprehensions about Feedly's seamless transition but think it's the best I've seen and wonder what your preferred alternative is? 

arikhanson
arikhanson moderator

 @ojezap I didn't think you were angry, but like I said, my post 1) is based on 2 years of personal experience with Feedly--unlike other people who have posted about this, and 2) is merely my opinion. I wasn't really trying to say that Feedly was BETTER than G-Reader, but I think it is the best alternative at this point (and, it has made ME forget all about G-Reader).