Welcome to the the second installment of ‘Everyday Necessities’. Okay, I know. You’re probably thinking you missed the first installment. You didn’t. I actually just changed the title of the series. That’s kind of breaking the rules, I suppose, but the other title, “Things you can’t live without, or at least don’t want to,” was just really too long. Anyway, Google Reader is my next necessity. As with all of the items in this series, forgive me if you are already versed in the use of it. And let me give you props for being so resourceful.
If you read blogs, Google Reader is a must. All you have to have is a Google account and you can use Google Reader. I’m not going to insult you by doing a post on having a Google account. I’m sure you already know the absolute necessity of that. I don’t particularly care for the format of Gmail, so I use Yahoo for my personal email, but I do run my business email through it because they make it so easy to use your own domain, and it’s free.
Once you have your Google account, you go to http://www.google.com/reader. Then you just click the Subscribe button and enter the URL of the blog to which you want to subscribe.
Once you have added all of the blogs you want to follow, the fun starts. You can organize all of your blogs into folders! Isn’t that wonderful? I LOVE folders! They make everything so ordered and pretty.
Now – once you have the blogs added and organized, Google will pull in individual posts so you have them all in one place. This saves you time by keeping you from having to visit your favorite blogs over and over to see if there are any new posts. You can read the new posts in reader, or you can click on the links and read the posts on the actual blog. I like to actually visit several of the blogs I read because I like to ‘experience’ them, but that is totally just personal preference, and fairly ridiculous.
There are numerous other features available, as well, but I’m not going to go into all of those. The only one I really use is found under the “Explore” heading. Based on the blogs you read, Google suggests other blogs you might like. I don’t know that I need anymore online things to eat up my time, but if I did, this would be the tool for it.
So, there you have it. Google Reader is a great time saving tool that makes your online reading efficient and easily accessible. Do you already use it? I’d love to know.