Exposing What Is In My RSS Reader

I keep track of the books I read, and even the short fiction and nonfiction articles that I read. But, considering how much I read via RSS, I don’t really keep track of any of it. I suppose that Google Reader keeps track of it for me, although I never really bother looking at those numbers. In any case, I thought it might be interesting for folks to see just what I read in my RSS feed each day. Keep in mind that I try hard to keep my feed culled to only those things that I will actually read. Sometimes I’ll add a subscription to my list and if it turns out I don’t read it, I dump it.

I use Google Reader to capture all of my subscriptions, although I rarely read them in Google Reader. I read most of my RSS on my iPad using the Reeder App, which is about the best news reader application I’ve come across. There is also a desktop version of the app for Macs, and that is what I use to read my RSS on my iMac.

I keep my news grouped into some major groupings so that I can easily find what I am looking for, or if I only want to read feeds in one particular area. My current areas of organization are as follows:

  • Friends: friends blogs that I read regularly.
  • Arlington Writers Group: blogs from my writers group that I read.
  • Technology: science and technology-related.
  • Writers: blogs and RSS feeds related to writers.
  • Bloggers: feeds related to bloggers.
  • Google: feeds related to Google products.
  • Life Tips: feeds related to life hacks and other tips.
  • Productivity Apps: feeds related to productivity applications I use.
  • Science Fiction: feeds related to science fiction and the science fiction industry.
  • Sports Writers: feeds related to baseball sports writers.

I imagine that just seeing the list of categories isn’t enough, so here is a sampling of some of the blogs that I read regularly and enjoy. I’ll list a few from most of the areas above.

Technology feeds

Life Tips

  • Lifehacker. Great tips, plus their weekly “How I Work” feature, which I love.
  • 27GoodThings. 3 things to read, watch and use, 3 times a week.

Productivity Apps

My science fiction and writers lists are the longest lists of all, too long to reproduce here in their entirety, but I’m happy to provide these lists in another post if people really want to see them.

I usually read my RSS first thing in the morning and again just before I go to bed, except on Wednesday and Thursdays when I peek in during the middle of the day to see if Lifehacker’s latest, “How I Work” feature is up, or if Tor.com’s latest “Great Stephen King Reread” feature is up.

My process is pretty simple:

  1. I skim through the posts picking out the ones I want to read right away and I read them.
  2. Others I might want to save for when I have more time. These, I send to Evernote using the Send To Evernote feature built into Reeder. They end up in my Clippings notebook, tagged as “to-read.”
  3. Others I might skip all together.
  4. When I’m done, I clear the feed.
  5. When I have time, I’ll pull up a saved search in Evernote, “Stuff to read” which looks for notes tagged “to-read” and I read those posts. When I’m done reading, I remove the tag.

If I find a post I want to comment on, I typically do it as soon as I read it so that I don’t lose my thought.

So, what’s in your RSS reader?


  1. I didn’t realize I could create folders in Google RSS… though I rarely use it. Just created folders:

    Listen Subscriptions
    Industry (i.e. Marketing/Design/etc)

  2. I also really like Lifehacker’s “How I Work” column. I have tried to find a separate RSS feed for it a couple of times, but failed. I can only subscribe to the overall Lifehacker feed, which is too active a feed for me, and I only read a small fraction of what it pulls. Any idea how to separate out the “How I Work” column?

    I think Google use to have a feature within Reader which would flag when a webpage you define was updated, but I don’t think it works any longer.

      1. Thank you for the correct feed! It has worked nicely for me in Google Reader.

        You could try this for your Stephen King feed: http://page2rss.com/. It claims to generate an RSS when a webpage updates. I just discovered it today, and was going to use it for “How I Work” until you gave me the correct feed.

        1. Unfortunately, page2rss is too verbose and triggers an update if anything on the page changes, and when tor update the sidebars it triggers a new feed item. I’m thinking of writing a yahoo pipe to filter out the unwanted items – that said, I’ve been enjoying quite a bit of the Tor content so might just leave as is


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