How To Use Feedly

how to use feedly

As many of you know, Google Reader is finito as of July 1, 2013. Sadness! You all know how much I adored the next button, right?

When presented with a conundrum like this, you can choose two different routes. Remain in complete denial until POOF, your RSS feeder has completely disappeared, taking with it all of those precious saved posts and general bloggy bits of goodness OR you can prepare yourself before you wreck yo self. I’m sure it’s no surprise that I, Sarah, Queen of the List-Making and Type A-ness, chose the latter.

So! I asked around and the two RSS readers I heard about the most were Feedly and Bloglovin. I ultimately chose to use Feedly as my RSS reader because I really love the simple, clean interface, and frankly, the term “bloglovin” bugs me. Priorities, people.

Now that I feel relatively confident with how Feedly works, I’m here to get you all set straight, if need be.

First, let me start off by saying that my first visit to Feedly wasn’t so great. After importing my feeds from Google Reader (to import your google reader feeds over to feedly, simply login to feedly using your google account), I do believe it looked a bit like this.

feedly list view

Yuck. Listen, I very much enjoy looking at images and graphics via my feed reeder, and this text-based list of my unread blog posts was sadder than sad. I suddenly felt like I was doing homework, not reading my favorite blogs.

So I started to play around and realized that I could view the unread blog posts in many different forms. The card view:

feedly card view

The full view:


Or my favorite way, the magazine view:

feedly magazine view

The above image is my Feedly home page. I love it because it isn’t jumbled, the style is very clean and modern, and I enjoy seeing the blog post thumbnails.

Now, if I want to read the full post, I just click on the title, and the post populates on the page.

feedly full post

When I’m finished reading the post, I can share it, save it, and/or delete it from my unread list.

And speaking of saved posts, I love accessing my saved posts in Feedly.

feedly saved posts

Such a pretty format, right?

Also, finding a blog via Feedly is super easy. Just click on “Add content” in the left sidebar, and a search bar will pop up on the right.

add content feedly

From there you can input specific blogs or search subjects like design, photography, DIY, or whatever floats your boat.

You can also change your viewing layout and your filters. Feel the need to ‘mark all as read’ once in while? You can do that too.

feedly layout

There are also some wicked keyboard shortcuts, but I’m not pretending to act like I know about those.

Want to customize? The preferences section is really robust.


Plus, you can organize all your feeds into categories. Type A alert, I repeat, TYPE A ALERT.


Now, Feedly does have one challenge that baffles me, so much so that I’ve searched message boards to make sure I’m not missing something. You can’t view your posts in strict chronological order. It’s the strangest thing! I will have a few posts listed from today, then a couple from a day before, then back to today. Please, Feedly, make that happen, mmmkay? Also, how about a ‘next’ button? That would be the Best Thing Evah.

I’m sure I’m only scratching the surface in regards to Feedly, but hopefully this will get you on the right track should you decided to use it. Let me know if you have any questions or any additional tips that I should know about in the comments. Or just feel free to share your Google Reader eulogy. RIP.

  • Martha

    May 15, 2013 at 6:37 am

    My Google Reader experience is all about the next button. What can I dooooooooo?? It is so first-world-problems, but I am so bummed about Google Reader going away. I am totally the person in denial, still using it every day. I tried feedly and gave up so fast. One of my friends said that every time she opens Google Reader and sees the “Google Reader will be going away July 1st” window (and then you have to click ok), she always looks for the button to click that says “Not ok” That’s pretty much me :)

    • Matt

      June 13, 2013 at 8:34 am

      Newsblur is one service that has a next-button. But I agree, I was a big next-button user. I’ve recommended that to Feedly to add because I’m a lazy mouse-clicker.

  • jennifer

    May 15, 2013 at 6:50 am

    Thanks so much for doing this! I was having trouble with Feedly and felt like I was missing posts. I am going to go back now and organize.

  • MommyTime

    May 15, 2013 at 7:18 am

    This is so helpful. I CAN’T STAND having to change something that already works, so I’ve been procrastinating and dreading the changeover. However, my Google Reader still has a lot of feeds in it of blogs whose writers have stopped writing, so I am looking forward to cleaning up the array. Still, it’s so nice to have some tips on how to do this, as that makes it feel less overwhelming. Thanks!

  • Carrisa

    May 15, 2013 at 7:39 am

    My life changed when you showed me the next button and it’s been the best thing ever. I’m staying in denial. Sure Feedly looks great, but where is the next button? Nothing will ever be better than the next button.

  • Jenny

    May 15, 2013 at 7:44 am

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one who has an objection to the term “bloglovin.” Every time I read a blog that tells me to “follow along with Bloglovin,” I feel like I’m being asked to do something I’m just not comfortable with.

    Feedly, I’m down with. I think we’re going to get along just fine, especially now that I have a better idea how to organize.

  • Hillary

    May 15, 2013 at 8:02 am

    I’ve also made the switch over to Feedly and I like it for the most part. One thing that drives me absolutely bonkers though is that you can’t search within your saved posts! In Google Reader I would star items and then go back to search for a particular recipe or item, and I haven’t figured out a way to do that in Feedly. So frustrating!

  • Sarah

    May 15, 2013 at 8:46 am

    If you choose the left menu button, and choose “latest” that will show all posts in chronological order. Then use the gear button to choose oldest first (or uncheck for newest first).

    The next button is the “j” key on the keyboard.

    You can search through your saved posts by clicking the compass button on the right and then typing in the search box, then choose “search in my feedly”.

    • whoorl

      May 15, 2013 at 1:08 pm

      Sarah, where is the left menu button? Thanks!

      • Sarah

        May 15, 2013 at 1:18 pm

        I’m on Safari, so I’m not sure about other browsers– but on Safari, on the left side of the page, there are 3 little lines. If you hold your mouse over those lines, a menu pops up that lets you choose various options as well as preferences.

        I’m realizing now as I look at your pictures, that your window looks different from mine, and I don’t see the “latest” option! So maybe that doesn’t exist elsewhere? Which browser are you using?

        • Erin

          June 7, 2013 at 8:33 pm

          Can I ask where this is as well? I see the left menu button (3 bars), and I’m using Safari, but I don’t see the option to sort by latest anywhere.

  • Rachel

    May 15, 2013 at 9:10 am

    OK–don’t freak out, BUT:

    Since Feedly is operating via your Google Reader (mine is too–I had pretty much the exact same process as you) then when Google Reader disappears–then what happens?!

    • Abbie

      May 15, 2013 at 1:08 pm

      This is my question, too.
      I’m enjoying Feedly but I’m not clear on what will happen when google reader is gone. Seems like Feedly is simply slurping over all of my blog subscriptions from google reader at the moment.

      • Jonathan

        May 22, 2013 at 9:47 am

        You are correct that Feedly is using the Google Reader subscriptions, but they have made a copy in the background. Once GR turns off, Feedly will switch to their own servers and continue to work as before. If all goes according to plan, you will not notice any difference.

        • Naomi

          June 13, 2013 at 2:17 pm

          Oy … “if all goes according to plan” – that’s scary ….

  • Amy

    May 15, 2013 at 10:53 am

    I have been using Feedly and I love it so far. My only question is what happens once google reader goes away. Every time I log in, Feedly imports from google reader. Will I ever be able to just log in to Feedly?

  • Tina P.

    May 15, 2013 at 10:56 am

    I’m reading you on Feedly right now!

  • whoorl

    May 15, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    Ladies, you won’t have to do anything when Google Reader shuts down – you’re already taken care of, according to Feedly. Hooray!


  • Lindsay

    May 15, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    I switched to Feedly a couple weeks ago. As a weird bonus, not only are they sucking in info from your google reader, but google reader is apparently sucking info from them too. So when I forget and go to google reader instead, all my blogs are filed in the categories I made up in Feedly. And reading something in one program marks it as read in the other. Win! :)

  • Melissa

    May 15, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    You got me motivated to make the change. Otherwise I would be one of those frantically figuring out what to do in July. Thanks for the tutorial!

  • Kate @ Savour Fare

    May 16, 2013 at 10:46 am

    I love love love the category filter. It makes me want to add more to my RSS reader because it’s not just one big mess.

  • Lisa @ Lisa the Vegetarian

    May 16, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    I’ve actually already switched over to Feedly too after a very long and painful search for a new reader. Bloglovin wouldn’t work for me at all because they don’t allow you to see full posts. Feedly is decent, but it still has some quirks that I don’t love. I’m still not happy at all that Google Reader is going away!

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  • Cass

    May 17, 2013 at 11:20 am

    Thank you so much for this post. I signed up with theoldreader.com a while back and couldn’t get into it, and thought it was just my Google Reader love being stubborn. But your screenshots and explanations prompted me to change, and my little OCD heart is loving the way it works.

  • Cathy

    May 18, 2013 at 9:55 am

    Thanks for these tips!
    I created an account a couple months ago when i read that google reader was going to close, but haven’t been back.
    I think i’ll give it another shot.


  • Emma rachidi

    May 20, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    Thanks for these tips! I tried it before but then give up for http://eldonreader.com because things were all over the place. I think they changed their interface. I’ll give it a shot again!

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  • Darci

    May 25, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    Thanks for the push…actually really liking Feedly. I was not going the bloglovin’ route-horrible name!

    Off topic: what font did you use to write in the pictures? Love the flow of it,

  • Sara

    May 27, 2013 at 8:54 am

    I too have been lamenting the great google reader disappearing act. Denial and worry all the way around. I’ve been saving this post to read at a later date to finally deal with this tragic loss in my life (#firstworldproblems) …. No better time then a lazy holiday to deal with this. Just integrated Feedly on Safari and my iPhone with your help. Thanks a bunch for this tutorial. Now I’m headed poolside to relish in this fun new app.

    Thanks Sarah!

  • Pierre

    June 13, 2013 at 7:48 am

    Very nice article.

    I use feedly since few years but I really start to use it more recently when they matched the shortcuts that we used to have in google reader to go from an article to another one quickly.

    I don’t know if it is available everywhere, but with google chrome I can use the “J” and “K” to move to next/previous article quickly.

  • matthew d lyons

    June 13, 2013 at 8:15 am

    Nice. Thanks for putting this together. You touch on a number of things that I frequently answer when friends inquire about Feedly. I am sharing widely.

  • Madame Beatrice

    June 14, 2013 at 12:04 am

    I have started using Flipboard when I got an iPad last year because trying to do anything at all in a browser on this thing is torture. I tried feedly recently because Flipboard doesn’t have the categories and I soooo love that idea.
    Unfortunately, Feedly we a bust in every other area. The weird sorting was one frustration, then the lack of hover text (à la xkxd and cute overload) was another, but the real kicker is that Flipboard isn’t just for RSS. I am able to log in to tumblr, Flickr—pretty much everywhere I’m following other people’s posts—and have them all right there in my boards. So I’m sticking with Flipboard, although I don’t know what I’ll do if I ever use a real computer aain!

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  • Father Muskrat

    July 1, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    Thanks for this! I did it just in time.

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  • Marlene @ Jade and Fern

    July 9, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    This is such a helpful tutorial! I just started using a reader a few months ago and chose Bloglovin.’ But since every blogger and their grandmothers have been reminding us about the end of Google Reader, I heard the name “Feedly” enough that I wanted to give it a try. I LOVE the way you can categorize (absolutely a Type A personality over here).

    However, I’m having trouble with something really silly and fundamental. When reading an article on Feedly, how do I get to the ORIGINAL article on the blog? I don’t want to see all the blog reader crap when I’m looking at a post, I want to go to the blog itself. Is this possible? Am I missing something really obvious?

  • Mama Spark

    July 10, 2013 at 6:18 am

    This was so helpful! Just wondering if you know how to find your URL in Feedly? It says I can “search for my blog” but I can’t figure out how to do that and get my URL from there. I want to add a follow me on Feedly button but using my blog address results in an error. Any help is greatly appreciated!

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