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5 Mac OS X RSS Readers Worth Giving a Shot

5 Mac OS X RSS Readers Worth Giving a Shot

News

    There was once a time when my favorite RSS reader cost a fair but not insignificant price and the open source alternative wasn’t up-to-snuff. I won’t name any names, though you can probably deduce their identities by ruffling through some articles I wrote before I switched to a decent web-based solution (not all of us are able to resist the tides of trends and time, y’know).

    There are probably a whole lot of RSS readers for the Mac; I haven’t tried them all and I won’t claim too. In fact, I’ve only tried a few of the most popular. I’m not the kind of person to spend countless days and weeks trying out new applications. I like to find something that works well, lets me get my job done the quickest, and get on with life. In my opinion if you want to be a productive person, that’s a habit you should also develop — too many so-called “personal productivity enthusiasts” spend half their time looking for new software. Unless reviewing the stuff is your job, there’s no sense in spending more than a small amount of your time doing this. That is what articles like this are for.

    NewsFire

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    newsfire

      NewsFire has been around for quite some time. It’s a free download from the NewsFire website. NewsFire sports a very simple two-pane view, with feeds on the left and feed items on the right. That said, it’s attractive and easy to read from. It doesn’t make use of tiny fonts by default like one or two readers I’ve used in the past. Search is fast and will run your query through every feed you’re subscribed to pretty much instantly.

      If you’re a chronic sorter, then you might find NewsFire falls a little short. You can create smart folders, but you can’t use labels or tags to organize certain items or feeds. Its organization features are good enough for most users. Where it falls down for me the most is the lack of synchronization.

      Shrook

      shrook

        Shrook is an interesting application. It’s free, but the look and feel of the application is — to my eyes — very dated. I found the website to be much the same. Evidently Shrook’s founders are function over form types (like all programmers, right?). Looks aside, it has some really interesting features. Instead of setting up smart folders based on keywords, Shrook will use Bayesian statistical filtering to pick out items of interest, and you teach it by picking out examples. It’s a learning RSS reader. It also uses a Distributed Checking mechanism to keep you as up-to-date as possible with new feed items; when one copy of Shrook checks a feed and find new items, it broadcasts the presence of a new unread item to other copies of the application around the world.

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        Shrook features synchronization by way of Shrook.com, a web-based version of the reader that will sync with copies of the app on various computers.

        NetNewsWire

        netnewswire

          Maybe you don’t need to go checking my ancient articles after all. Before I moved to Google Reader, I was a NetNewsWire user. I was happy to pay for the software because it’s great. I can still get through all my feeds in NetNewsWire faster than any other reader, including Google Reader. NetNewsWire is now completely free, so there’s no obstacle to trying it out — just go here. NetNewsWire features a variety of views, a bunch of keyboard controls that don’t require contortionist acts and let you fly right through your feeds, detects microformats allowing you to quickly add data to iCal or Address Book, and has a tabbed browser right inside. All very cool.

          Additionally, NetNewsWire’s owners Newsgator own a web-based reader, a Windows reader and there’s a version of NNW for the iPhone. The web-based reader acts as a synchronization server. If you want synchronization between just about every device you’ve got, try this app.

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          Vienna

          vienna

            Vienna is the only open source reader on this list, and as far as I know the only open source RSS reader for the Mac that’s currently worth looking at.

            These days, Vienna looks a fair bit nicer than when I used it for a good six months a few years back. I haven’t been able to stress-test it though, but in times past it really suffered under a heavy load and got quite slow. Vienna’s got a nice quick filtering bar on launch that enables speedy research and trend monitoring, blogging app integration, and a bunch of helpful but pretty standard features. It has certainly come a long way over time.

            Google Reader

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            greader

              Google Reader is a good web-based feed reader, though not without its quirks (sometimes I’ve seen duplicate items I’ve already read in the All items view, and sometimes things just get stuck and items won’t get marked as read). You can separate your feeds into folders, though creating and maintaining them is tedious. When Google Reader isn’t being a pain, it’s great being able to fly through your feeds with just your scroll wheel — items are marked as read as you scroll past them — but more often than not this doesn’t work out. Sounds like an awfully negative review for the reader I’m actively using right now, eh? I suppose it’s all about convenience.

              But it is good. It does work well and the bugs aren’t serious enough to be worried about. It’s the only reader I’ve used that has a social aspect — you can share items, and if you’ve conversed with someone via Gmail you’ll see their shared items too. It features a Trends screen that lets you peruse your readership statistics, but no smart foldering or statistical sorting as yet. The Trends screen lets me know that my most frequently checked feeds are those pertaining to the forums or blog at the sites I manage and edit, which I’m sure will be happy news for my employers if they’re reading this.

              I’ve been a bit unfair by throwing Google Reader into the mix; it’s not fair on the desktop applications to be compared to a web service and it’s not fair on a web service to be compared to desktop apps. I use Google Reader myself these days, so it gets my vote, but it was a long and hard struggle to give up the comfort of a good desktop app. For that reason I’d have to call a tie between Google Reader and NetNewsWire, which is the best of the list in my opinion — especially now that it’s free.

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              Last Updated on October 30, 2018

              How to Motivate Yourself: 13 Simple Ways You Can Try Right Now

              How to Motivate Yourself: 13 Simple Ways You Can Try Right Now

              Who needs Tony Robbins when you can motivate yourself? Overcoming the emotional hurdle to get stuff done when you’d rather sit on the couch isn’t always easy. But unless calling in sick and waking up at noon have no consequences for you, it’s often a must.

              For those of you who never procrastinate, distract yourself or drag your feet when you should be doing something important, well done so far! But for the rest of you, it’s good to have a library of motivational boosters to move along.

              Whether you’re starting a buisiness, trying to los weight or breaking a bad habit, you’ll learn how to motivate yourself with different techniques in this article.

              13 Simple Ways to Motivate Yourself Right Now

              Despite your best efforts, passion, habits and a flow-producing environment can fail. In that case, it’s time to find whatever emotional pump-up you can use to get started:

              1. Go back to “why”

              Focusing on a dull task doesn’t make it any more attractive. Zooming out and asking yourself why you are bothering in the first place will make it more appealing.

              If you can’t figure out why, then there’s a good chance you shouldn’t bother with it in the first place.

              2. Go for five

              Start working for five minutes. Often that little push will be enough to get you going.

              3. Move around

              Get your body moving as you would if you were extremely motivated to do something. This ‘faking it’ approach to motivation may seem silly or crude but it works.

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              4. Find the next step

              If it seems impossible to work on a project for you, you can try to focus on the next immediate step.

              Fighting an amorphous blob of work will only cause procrastination. Chunk it up so that it becomes manageable. Learn how to stop procrastinating in this guide.

              5. Find your itch

              What is keeping you from working? Don’t let the itch continue without isolating it and removing the problem.

              Are you unmotivated because you feel overwhelmed, tired, afraid, bored, restless or angry? Maybe it is because you aren’t sure you have time or delegated tasks haven’t been finished yet?

              6. Deconstruct your fears

              I’m sure you don’t have a phobia about getting stuff done. But at the same time, hidden fears or anxieties can keep you from getting real work completed.

              Isolate the unknowns and make yourself confident, you can handle the worst case scenario.

              7. Get a partner

              Find someone who will motivate you when you’re feeling lazy. I have a friend I go to the gym with. Besides spotting weight, having a friend can help motivate you to work hard when you’d normally quit.

              8. Kickstart your day

              Plan out tomorrow. Get up early and place all the important things early in the morning. Building momentum early in the day can usually carry you forward far later.

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              Having a morning routine is a good idea for you to stay motivated!

              9. Read books

              Read not just self-help or motivational books but any book that has new ideas. New ideas get your mental gears turning and can build motivation. Here’re more reasons to read every day.

              Learning new ideas puts your brain in motion so it requires less time to speed up to your tasks.

              10. Get the right tools

              Your environment can have a profound effect on your enthusiasm. Computers that are too slow, inefficient applications or a vehicle that breaks down constantly can kill your motivation.

              Building motivation is almost as important as avoiding the traps that can stop it.

              11. Be careful with the small problems

              The worst killer of motivation is facing a seemingly small problem that creates endless frustration.

              Reframe little problems that must be fixed as bigger ones or they will kill any drive you have.

              12. Develop a mantra

              Find a few statements that focus your mind and motivate you. It doesn’t matter whether they are pulled from a tacky motivational poster or just a few words to tell you what to do.

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              If you aren’t sure where to start, a good personal mantra is “Do it now!” You can find more here too: 7 Empowering Affirmations That Will Help You Be Mentally Strong

              13. Build on success

              Success creates success. When you’ve just won, it is easy to feel motivated about almost anything. Emotions tend not to be situation specific, so a small win, whether it is a compliment from a colleague or finishing two thirds of your tasks before noon can turn you into a juggernaut.

              There are many ways you can place small successes earlier on to spur motivation later. Structuring your to-do lists, placing straightforward tasks such as exercising early in the day or giving yourself an affirmation can do the trick.

              How to Stay Motivated Forever (Without Motivation Tricks)

              The best way to motivate yourself is to organize your life so you don’t have to. If work is a constant battle for you, perhaps it is time to start thinking about a new job. The idea is that explicit motivational techniques should be a backup, not your regular routine.

              Here are some other things to consider making work flow more naturally:

              Passion

              Do things you have a passion for. We all have to do things we don’t want to. But if life has become a chronic source of dull chores, you’ve got a big problem that needs fixing.

              Not sure what your passion is to get you motivated? This will help you:

              How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

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              Habits

              You can’t put everything on autopilot. I’ve found putting a few core habits in place creates a structure for the day.

              Waking up at the same time, working at the same times and having a similar productive routine makes it easier to do the next day.

              This guide will be useful for you if you’re looking to build good habits:

              Understand Your Habits to Control Them 100%

              Flow

              Flow is the state where your mind is completely focused on the task at hand. While there are many factors that go into producing this state, having the right challenge level is a big part.

              Find ways to tweak your tasks so they hover in that sweet spot between boredom and maddening frustration.

              Easily distracted and hard to focus? Here’s your solution.

              Final Thoughts

              With all these tips I’ve shared with you, now you know what to do when you’re feeling unmotivated.

              Find your passion and develop a positive mantra so when the next time negativity hits you again, you know how to stay positive and motivated!

              Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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