Here is the problem... I like to read. Specifically I like to read a lot of different stuff. From Red Sox updates to news to blog posts, it can get overwhelming quickly. Especially if you want to keep up with some specific sites. My email inbox has become cluttered with all the subscription emails notifying me that there is a new post, so much so that it has become counter productive. Instead of reading the email, I normally just delete it sight unseen so I can get to the important stuff. As a result, I have to hunt down specific blogs or sites and check them manually which is tedious and annoying. 1st world problems right?
Enter Feedly. Feedly is an rss reader (I will explain that in a minute) that catches all the content I tell it to from various sites and gathers it in one place. The app is free and it basically consolidates all content I want to regularly check in on into one place and allows me to sort it for easy access. I have had a couple of people ask how to subscribe to my blog. Feedly is the easiest way. If you want, skip down to the instructions at the bottom of the post to get that info. I've also added a video tutorial at the bottom for you visual people.
What The Heck Is RSS?
I'm glad you asked. Rss stands for Really Simple Syndication. An rss feed is basically a page for a website that catches content that is posted in one location and allows readers to grab the content. It's basically strips down the information on the page to code and text that allows for the content to be easily grabbed and quickly loaded without all the bells and whistles of the website. A feed reader like Feedly will grab the information and collect it in one location so you don't have to surf the net to 10 different websites or blogs to get new content. Once you tell Feedly to collect data from a specific rss feed, anything that is posted in that feed will show up in the app. You can even set it up so that it can grab specific tags or key words from sites like YouTube.
How I Use Feedly
I use feedly for news, Christian blogs, sports updates, devotions and other sites that post content that I want to keep up on. I will normally spend some time catching up on news headlines from a few different sources so I have a category called news. I simply click on it and then can swipe left through the different news outlets I have subscribed to and see the latest content (it can get as specific as political news if you want). If I see an article I want to read, I simply click on it and a stripped down version (with all the content and no ads) is right there. I also use it for if I have a few minutes to burn and want to read something. I might click on the devotion category and read the latest Solid Joys devotion (which takes about 5 minutes). I can either listen in my car (audio... like a podcast) or I can read the transcript (the Solid Joys rss feed is here).
It basically allows me to scroll through the sites I regularly visit and like to read and have all the content in a simple, accessible and consolidated location. If I find a site I want to keep up on, I simply add the rss feed to the category I want and am good to go. It has saved a lot of time and annoyance for me and made keeping up on content I want to follow easy.
How To Set It Up
Feedly is free and you can download it from whatever app store you use on your phone or tablet. You can also get it for desktop on your computer (side note, if you are looking for a paid version with a little better layout, Leaf - RSS News Reader for Apple users looks pretty solid. I haven't used it and it's only for the computer). Sign up (I used my google account) and you are ready to start adding feeds that Feedly with start catching. Here is how you do that.
1. Click on the menu -> "add content".
2. You can search the title of the website (example "desiring god" for the blog or "ask pastor john" for the podcast). If what you are looking for doesn't come up, enter the website url (example pastordiscussions.com... shameless plug).
You can also go to a blog page and look for the rss link (normally in the sidebar) and click on it. It will take you to a new page. Copy that url then enter it in the "add content" search bar.
3. Once the feed you want pops up in the search, click on it to make sure it is the one you want. All the content will show up. Then click the + symbol in the upper right hand corner at the top of the screen.
4. Feedly will ask you what category or "feed" you want to add it to. You can click "create new feed" and label it whatever you want to sort content.
5. Whenever you open feedly, you can click the menu, select the category you want, and all the content you have subscribed to will be there. You can swipe left to cycle through feeds you have subscribed to and placed in that category. If you want to read something (or listen to something in the case of podcasts), click on it and it's right there for you. You can then share on social media or save to Evernote or Pocket.
6. Below are my rss feeds (another shameless plug)
The Pastor Discussions Podcast: https://www.spreaker.com/show/2796300/episodes/feed
5 Minute Tutorial Video
Jon is husband to Carlee, Papa to Finleigh and Ainsley, a pastor at Arbor Drive Community Church in York, Ne, and co-host of The Pastor Discussions Podcast