If you’re not using an RSS feed reader in your day to day, then you’re missing out on an excellent tool that makes life infinitely better.
Yes, developers have gone wild with newfangled productivity tools that promise a revolution, but I personally have found RSS readers more than adequate. They’ve been around for decades at this point and have withstood the test of the time, even if they’re not in the public consciousness.
I’m firmly behind the push to resurrect RSS readers and you should be, too.
Brief introduction to RSS feeds
RSS feeds once ruled the Internet before social media took over. The wide distribution of Internet service around the world gave users the tools and freedom to generate content. Thus the blogging revolution happened. Avid readers kept up using RSS feeds. These feeds are updated automatically when new posts are published on a blog and present those posts in their most basic elements.
An RSS feed reader would then subscribe to these feeds without restrictions to the number of feeds and direct their posts and articles to its dashboard. Are you following 50 blogs? You’d get every new post published in chronological order, so you’d catch up on all your favorite writers at a sheer fraction of the time and effort you’d otherwise put in.
Feed readers have come a long way since their rise to prominence and fit very well with the current landscape of social media platforms and emphasis on media files.
Why use an RSS feed reader?
It’s easier compared to the status quo. Even if you don’t get into all the features at your disposal and stick to basics, you’re going to experience relief.
When we talk about clutter and its detrimental effects on the psyche, we tend to think of physical clutter. A messy room. A disorganized desk. However, we’ve migrated to new digital frontiers so digital hygiene is just as important for our focus, wellbeing and performance at work (or any other arena – school, university, volunteer work, personal projects).
RSS readers contribute to your overall comfort when you’re online. Plus, the amount of extra tools in advanced readers make it fun to play around.
What are some of the main benefits?
I’ve come to appreciate RSS for quite a few reasons. It’s made my work-from-home experience during the pandemic bearable. Although some of us are spared from daily commutes and shielded from potentially risky social situations, COVID-19 challenges emotionally and psychologically even the best of us to this day.
RSS readers can help with just about everything in my day.
Always be up to date with the latest news and events
Quite honestly, RSS is the best way to keep a close eye on developing stories whether it’s the news or what’s happening in your industry. Fact of the matter is that RSS readers make it so much easier to stay informed:
- Headlines pop up into your dashboard as soon as they’re published, which means you’re the first to see breaking news and updates;
- The order is chronological, which makes following a developing story effortless. You’re not obliged to piece together a narrative whatsoever.
- RSS readers have a variety of features to help you organize your reading. Create specific folders on a given subject, filter out RSS feeds to show only what interests you based on specific keywords and add different tags where convenient. Of course, these vary from reader to reader and warrants a bit more research.
Manage your newsletters and email much easier
I’m one of those people who recoil at the sight of an inbox with 20+ unread emails. Any number above that seems unfathomable. Your inbox deserves better and so do you. A contributing factor to an overrun inbox happens to be newsletters. I’ve come to develop an aversion to newsletters even from websites that I find interesting. They’re just not practical and deters the user from getting to the emails that matter.
RSS feed readers make for the best alternative to both keep your subscription going and have a cleaner, more organized inbox. Kill the Newsletter is a free tool that turns newsletters into RSS feeds, or you can opt for a reader, which can directly subscribe you to newsletters, like Inoreader.
Saves you time
I’ve come to cherish my RSS reader for the simple reason that it saves me time by the simple virtue of consolidating all my reading. It’s automation at its most effortless. I survey newsletters, podcasts, news sites, blogs, twitter feeds of import, hashtags and even YouTube videos through Inoreader. I don’t have to open multiple tabs and there’s no chance my attention would drift away as it usually happened before.
Inoreader has further perks worth mentioning. In addition to the app, I’ve also installed the browser extension for Chrome, which boasts immediate access to my feeds (perfect to check on updates in a second) and RSS feed detection (you can subscribe to any available feed right on the spot).
Helps you discover interesting topics
Any profession that relies on office work also requires self-education – we have to keep that oh-so-important competitive edge. Content discovery plays a considerable role in this task. RSS feed readers have geared towards discovering content and make for an excellent tool to achieve this goal.
Inoreader has one of the most impressive discovery features. You’re able to explore new topics and lists with the most popular feeds in its database. You basically clue yourself into what everyone else is reading.
Increases your overall productivity
In the months since I’ve switched to RSS, I’ve discovered an ease in accomplishing tasks. With so much time freed up in my mornings and an organized inbox, I sail through my day in ways that I didn’t expect possible. Also, advanced RSS readers have additional features around integration with other platforms and services. Zapier and IFTTT have plenty of command chains to perform a variety of actions based on any trigger you like.