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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!

             

            More by this author

            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 February 15, 2019

            7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

            7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

            Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

            Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

            Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

            So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

            Joe’s Goals

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              Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

              Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

              Daytum

                Daytum

                is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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                Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

                Excel or Numbers

                  If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

                  What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

                  Evernote

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                    I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

                    Evernote is free with a premium version available.

                    Access or Bento

                      If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                      Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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                      You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                      Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                      All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                      Conclusion

                      I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                      What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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