I’ve been an RSS feed junkie for years. This means I collect them and shoot them over to my Google RSS feed reader (my collection place of choice). For awhile, I added them all to my Google home page, but that turned into a huge mess and actually caused me to start AVOIDING my customized Google page because it was just too depressing to look at all those great stories and all that information that I really NEEDED to read, but didn’t have the time to tackle.
Through the iPad and the Kindle, I ignored this issue. I tried, half-heartedly, to find a solution a couple times, but it was too much trouble. When I bought the Nexus 7 last week, I decided to get my information indigestion problem under control. I actively sought solutions for consuming RSS feeds, for keeping up with the news online and for being able to read various webpages later so I didn’t derail my workday with the thought, “I’d better stop working and read this now, because if I skip on past it I’ll never find it again and it will be lost forever and if I bookmark it I’ll re-clutterfy the pretty, organized bookmarks I now have.” I was tired of this frustration and of missed opportunities.
So, I searched. Finally I found Pulse. Now, I’d used Pulse before and it became overwhelming in the same way that my Flipboard and my SkyGrid had done (among other apps designed to help me read more of the web) because I tried to make it be all things to me. Aside from that, the app wasn’t as slick then as it is now.
I created a system to make it easier.
First, a folder. I called it “Reading” and plopped it on my home page. I’ve always had a “reading” or a “reading/writing” group on my devices, but this time I rethought what I wanted this division of apps to accomplish.
In this “reading” folder, I dropped all the cool apps I’ve found for the stuff I like to read and browse on the web including: Google Play books, Google Play Magazine, Amazon Kindle, Drippler Nexus, SkyGrid, Flipboard, Droid Forums, StumbleUpon, Pintrest, Pulse, Fancy and Pocket (the app formerly known as Read It Later). I also dropped my Nexus 7 Guide in there. This folder is where I go when I want to catch up, want to browse, want to learn, research, be inspired or want to be entertained or informed. It’s also where I go when I’m stuck waiting somewhere for five minutes or 45 minutes.
I set up Pocket so I could drop in those odd, occasional articles that I want to read from sources I don’t really want to follow all the time. I set it up on my Mac, on my Nexus 7, and on my android phone. I took a few minutes and became familiar with how it works and dropped a couple articles in to test it. It’s a great fit for my needs and I’m loving the “Pocket” app.
Next, I looked through SkyGrid, Flipboard and Pulse to determine which one I wanted to use for my news. While playing with each one and learning more about what they could and could not do, I made a determination. I did not want one app to be all things to me. In fact, that just causes overwhelm.
So I decided to have SkyGrid serve as my hard news source. Flip board (with it’s pretty layout and fancy transitions) was better suited to my “fluffier” and more fun news – LifeHacker and Science News for example. This may not be fluff to you, but it’s what I enjoy consuming like cotton candy. I reserved Pulse for my RSS feeds that are divided into the areas I like to keep up on for my blogging and for my client work. So I divided them into Real Estate, Techy Stuff, Living Small and Writing topics. With Pulse, you can specify which specific feeds from your Google RSS reader are included under each topic and it’s all easy to customize.
Now, when I see an RSS feed I want to capture, I add it to my Google and grab the Nexus and tap on “reading” and “Pulse” and add it to the correct topic area. It’s simple, takes seconds and keeps my “consumption” device always up to date.
When I need inspiration for work, I open Pulse and browse. When I want the news, it’s SkyGrid, when I want to read geeky fun stuff, I open Flipboard. If none of those meet my needs, I hit the other apps under my “reading” folder or I go play a game. (Yeah, I have a folder for that too!)
Finally, I’m in control of how I access the information I want and it’s delivered in an easy-to-digest format delineated by information type. Ahhhhh!