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Goodbye Google Reader! (Or the Best RSS Reader Alternatives)

Goodbye Google Reader! (Or the Best RSS Reader Alternatives)

With the recent redesign of the infamous and geek-loved Google Reader comes a bunch of geek-hate. The internet is steaming right now with the change to Google Reader where Google has made the obvious next step in their social movement to say, “do everything now with Google Plus”. Google has changed the way that Google Reader allows you to share articles and in the process has ruffled some nerd feathers.

It’s not necessarily the way that Google Reader handles RSS feeds that is the problem, it’s the new UI that has people up-in-arms. So, rather than stay salty and use something that you don’t like to look at to read your content during the day, try these Google Reader alternatives instead.

    NetNewsWire (Mac, iOS)

    NetNewsWire, recently acquired by Black Pixel, has been a long standing OS X RSS reader and now can use your feed from Google Reader to sync with the iOS (Universal App). The newest iteration of NetNewsWire for Mac has full Lion support which includes full screen mode.

    The interface is clean and if you don’t want to sync with Google Reader you don’t have to; NetNewWire can be a standalone app.

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      Reeder (Mac, iOS)

      This is my staple RSS reader for my iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Made by Silvio Rizzi, Reeder links to your Google Reader account and provides one of the simplest and approachable interfaces for an RSS reader (or any app for that matter) I’ve ever encountered.

      Reeder also allows you to quickly send stories to Instapaper, Twitter, Facebook, Evernote, Email, etc. It’s really great.

      FeedDemon (Windows)

      FeedDemon is a free Windows based RSS reader that syncs with your Google Reader account. Not only does FeedDemon read RSS feeds, but you can subscribe to podcasts, tag items for later reference, and setup “watches” to find news related to a set of keywords.

      The UI is simple, effective, and fast.

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      BlogLines (Web)

      BlogLines has been around for a while now and even though it is more of a dashboard type of site, you can definitely follow popular feeds. I like how BlogLines recommends some feeds off the top but also allows you to add a custom RSS feed if you want.

      There are also Twitter and Facebook widgets so you can have your social network fix mixed in with your news. The site is mature and is free.

        Snarfer (Windows)

        Snarfer is a simple, lightweight Windows reader that’s also free. Snarfer allows users to search their RSS feeds, subscribe easily, and organize their content effectively.

        If you want a dead-simple RSS reader for Windows that doesn’t need to be synced with Google Reader, Snarfer is your best bet.

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          Feedly (Web, iOS, Android)

          Feedly is one of my favorite web-based readers because it is so visually stunning. I really love good UI design and if you do too, you should definitely take a look at Feedly. Feedly is a free web app that also has Android and iOS apps that sync up with your Feedly account.

          Feedly offers a nice way to search different websites and topics and has some great recommendations for starting off with content. This isn’t the most stripped down reader, or one that will give you the most control, but it is beautiful and well-implemented.

          Pulse (Web, iOS, Android)

          Pulse is a little different from the rest of the readers that we looked at so far. It is definitely more of a mobile based application, encouraging you to “start” stories on your devices or using their bookmarklet on the web. After you have selected some content you can view it at your Pulse.me profile on the web.

          There is no “RSS reader” function on the web site, more of just an “Instapaper-ish” type of setup. However, on the mobile apps you can subscribe to different and feeds.

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            Flipboard (iPad)

            If you haven’t heard of Flipboard yet, then you must not listen to Scoble. Which is surprising because it’s hard to get away from that guy. Anyways, Flipboard has been dubbed by many a geek as the best way to look at content from the web. Flipboard allows the user to subscribe to content as well as their social networks and presents it in a “magazine” type of style. Users can flip through pages and tap stories to read through to them.

            It’s a great experience using Flipboard and if you have an iPad without this app I highly suggest you give it a try. It totally changes the way that you think about web content presentation.

            So, if you are fed-up with Google changing everything that you have gotten use to and the recent change to Google Reader has just put you over the edge, definitely check out these Google Reader alternatives. Is there any other RSS readers you use? If so, you know where to recommend them!

             

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            CM Smith

            A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

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            Last Updated on May 14, 2019

            8 Replacements for Google Notebook

            8 Replacements for Google Notebook

            Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

            1. Zoho Notebook
              If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
            2. Evernote
              The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
            3. Net Notes
              If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
            4. i-Lighter
              You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
            5. Clipmarks
              For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
            6. UberNote
              If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
            7. iLeonardo
              iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
            8. Zotero
              Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

            I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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            In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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