Wednesday, November 22, 2006
I love Google Reader. The end.
I switched from Bloglines to Google Reader a few weeks ago, and my life has forever changed for the better. Here’s the list of tips and tricks from what I’ve discovered so far.
- Save a bookmark to Google Reader homepage.
- Click the bookmark once to make Firefox load the icon
- You can also change the Name of the bookmarklet to something else to indicate that it is a bookmarklet. For instance, I use the + symbol as the Name so that I can tell the difference between the regular bookmark and the bookmarklet:
- Install the GreaseMonkey Extension for firefox.This is critical… GreaseMonkey is an awesome extension for Firefox, and is required for the next item:
- Install the GreaseMonkey Smart Subscribe scriptThe Smart Google Reader Subscribe script will tell you if the page you are on has already been added to your subscriptions. This is invaluable if you already have 250 subscriptions and can barely remember if you’ve subscribed to the page you are reading.The script will also let you subscribe to any feeds that are listed in the meta tags on the page, which is the mechanism that allows the browser to detect the feeds.When you go to a web page that has an RSS feed, you will see this icon in the upper right hand corner of the Firefox window:
If you hover your mouse over the icon, you’ll see the list of feeds that page offers. My blog only offers the main feed by default, so you’ll see this:
But if you’ve already subscribed to a feed, you will see this icon instead, with a check mark over it:
This is really useful as you start adding more and more feeds to your collection.
- Learn to use the Shortcut Keys.Navigating using the shortcut keys makes things so much simpler. Here’s a list of the easiest keys to remember, and the ones I use most:
- ga – Go to all items view.
- gs – Go to Starred Items.
- gu – Open up Ajax’y dialog to quickly select a particular feed.
- gt – Open up Ajax’y dialog to quickly select a tag
- s – Star an item
- n – Navigate to next item without opening it
- p – Navigate to previous item without opening it
- j – Open next item
- k – Open previous item
- o – Open / Close item
- r – Refresh. (I think I’ve worn out this key)
- t – Pop up dialog box letting you assign a tag to an item. Very cool.
- Shift+A – Mark all as read.
- Start Tagging Items For Later
Let’s say you are reading a post, and realize that it would make a great blog topic, but you don’t have the time right then to mess with it. Hit the t key, and pop in “toblog” into the textbox to save the item for later.Later on that day, it’s time to start blogging. Simply hit the “gt” key combination, and up pops a great little Ajax’y goodness dialog that lets you easily select the tag you are looking for:This is most useful if you want to be able to tag a lot of items that you don’t necessarily need to read for a while. You could also use the Starred Items feature, but I tend to use that for things I actually am planning on reading thoroughly later.
- Share Items With FriendsGoogle reader lets you mark items to share with your friends. You get your own custom URL and your own RSS feed of shared items.To start sharing items, just click the Share link at the bottom of the item, or hit the Shift+s key combination:
If you go to your Shared items folder, Google will give you your own custom web URL and RSS feed for these items. You can then share that with your friends.
- Share Items With Your Blog Readers
There’s a bunch of color schemes you can choose from, so don’t worry about the drab colors…