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.

  • Happy Friday! - Designing Around

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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.