I may be part of a dying breed, but I’m proud to say that I still use RSS feeds. Social Media is becoming a more prevalent means for sharing blog content, however I still don’t think you can beat aggregating articles from key sites into one platform. For this, I think it’s hard to beat Reeder.
As per my usual style, this isn’t a review of the application - there are other sites that have the time and resources to do a far better job than I ever could. This is more of a summary of the key reasons why it forms an important part of my daily workflow.
Reeder has the ability to aggregate individual RSS feeds as needed, however the setup is far easier if you use a third-party RSS service and integrate with that. For this reason, I use Feedly. There are other options available, such as Feedwrangler and Feedbin, however I find that Feedly has all the functionality I need at a price I can afford (free!).
In Feedly, I have three categories for my feeds - Productivity, Software and Sport. Productivity contains feeds for approximately 12 of my go-to self-improvement sites. Software is centred around developer sites and news sites that publish content centred around applications (such as MacStories). Sport only has a couple of feeds as this can get overwhelming, so I have two trusted sites here.
So, given the fact I can view all of these articles from within the Feedly web interface, I’m sure some of you are asking why I use an application such as Reeder? It’s quite simple. Reeder has great support for keyboard shortcuts as well as linking to a whole host of Read It Later services, such as Pocket, Instapaper and the built in Reading List within Safari. This was the primary reason for me taking it on. However, on closer examination, I saw that it was able to do so much more.
Read It Later services are not the only sharing options you can configure for Reeder. You can send the article as a link to Messages, Reminders, Facebook, Twitter or my own standard port of call, Buffer. Naturally, you need to authenticate Reeder to access your timelines for any social media service that you use, however this is such a standard practice nowadays I’m becoming immune to the risk. Is that a concern? Maybe one day it will come back to both me however for now I’m more than comfortable with this approach.
There are times when I don’t send articles directly to the Reading List within Safari. Instead, I’ll settle down and read through them directly from within Reeder itself. It’s a great experience and the options for customising the interface are wide ranging. There is an incredible amount of attention to detail when it comes to the user experience in Reeder and that’s an outlook that always endears me to applications. One of the reasons I don’t use the stock Mail app in macOS is the appearance. It’s very bleak and monochrome and as soon as I open the app, I can’t wait to close it again (although some may say that with an email application, that’s a plus point!). Instead here, the developers really want you to enjoy the reading experience, which is why there is such a slew of configurable options, such as changing the fonts, background colours, line heights - it’s an important touch, often missed.
Shortcuts and Gestures
I mentioned earlier that I the use of Keyboard Shortcuts is an important reason for my continued use of Reeder and that is certainly true. Pressing ⌘B to send an article to Buffer, ⌘R to offload to my Reading List, A to Mark All Articles As Read are great - however you have the ability to configure gestures for swiping between articles and subscriptions too. It is incredibly easy to navigate your way through hundreds of articles like a boss and still have time to work on your major tasks for the day - something that is, of course, very important to me.
I love applications that are designed to make it quicker and easier to achieve my goals. Keeping abreast of the latest news, as well as picking up productivity tips for my self-improvement are a key part of that and Reeder fulfils this function, which is why it is a crucial part of my workflow and will be with me as long as RSS reading remains a ‘thing’.