How I Use FeedDemon

In his post about switching to Windows, Jeremy Zawodny mentions that he’s trying out FeedDemon but he’s not sure whether it suits him. By default, FeedDemon acts much like an email client simply because that’s how most people are used to receiving information, and that’s probably not Jeremy’s style – but I’m willing to bet that FeedDemon can be customized to meet his needs.

Chances are, there are a number of power users like Jeremy who don’t like the email metaphor, and quite honestly I’m one of them – I don’t use FeedDemon like an email client at all. Instead, I’ve configured it in a way that lets me scan the headlines from a couple hundred feeds with very little time or effort:

  • On the “Reading” page in options, I’ve enabled the “Mark all news items as read when exiting a channel” and “Mark all news items as read when exiting a channel group” settings so that I never have to manually mark anything as read
  • I’ve maxmized the browser (F11) so that the news item list is hidden
  • I changed the newspaper style to “Expando,” which is great for scanning headlines
  • Rather than clicking each channel (feed) one-by-one, I use the “Group Newspaper” to view everything that’s new in every channel in the active group
  • When I find a link that I want to remember, I drag-and-drop it from the browser to a news bin (did you know you could do that?)

If you’re trying out FeedDemon and aren’t sure whether you like how it works, try using it like I do and see if it makes a difference.

23 thoughts on “How I Use FeedDemon

  1. Very helpful tips, I’ve used it off and on simply for the reason that I have so many feeds that there is no way to sort through them all.
    Instead of losing information by reducing feeds I shall try your tips.

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  2. Great tips, Nick…thank you – I already do some of these things, but didn’t know about others.
    One suggestion: I’m still using v. 1.11.03 (not allowed to use betas at work) and I tried to get the Expando style directly through FD, but found it’s not on your FD Styles page. Maybe you could add it, for others who might have an interest? As it was, I searched and found your earlier post referencing Arvind Satyanarayan’s blog at http://blog.arvind-satya.com/archives/2004/10/expando_snipey.php .
    Great style – again, thanks!

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  3. Expando is a nice style however I would like to see an Expando (Large) also with slightly bigger text and a bigger + image as I have a HiDef TFT and it cant be annoying/difficult to use Expando at such a high resolution.
    Would you be able to make an Expando (Large) Nick?

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  4. Thanks for the tips! I’ve been using FeedDemon for maybe six months, but hadn’t gone back to review the options, and hadn’t noticed the automatically mark as read when exiting (already using some of your other tips)!

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  5. Great Tips.
    I second David’s suggestion for Expando Large. By the way: is there any possibility to create styles ourselves? Are they based on CSS by any chance?

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  6. David, Morgan: I’ve just added “Expando” and “Expando (Large Font)” to FeedDemon’s style download page, and they’re also available through the FeedDemon Styles RSS feed.

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  7. Expando seems a nice alternative, however I like being ble to drag the items out of the channel summary, so they they get body comments, not just the link from the browser. Is there any way the broswer link could also pickup the next paragraph of text, or something like that, ormaybe pull it out of the rss feed based on the title?

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  8. Great tips Nick. I tried it out and it is a nice workflow. The only other thing I would mention is you’ll want to change the dropdown box on the newspaper to “Unread News” otherwise you see all the items and without the item list you can’t tell which ones are new.

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  9. Hmm. How ’bout a collection of screenshots. It’d be cool if folks had a way to shar their FeedDemon configurations.
    Anyway, thanks for the ideas. I have some playing around to do.

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  10. Jeremy,
    take a look at “Freshpage” style or “Glass Notes” style or “Timeline” style on:
    republika DOT pl SLASH fdstyles
    to see the *potential* of FeedDemon.
    ps: unfortunatelly I can not post direct links due to anti-spam restrictions.

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  11. Jeremy, I’ve added a screenshot to my post – and I like the idea of FeedDemon users sharing their layouts. This won’t make it into v1.5, but I am planning to add a layout feature to FeedDemon which is similar to the one in TopStyle, where you can save/restore various UI arrangements.

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  12. Pity about that Nick, however a copy of ideas… From the link text you could check for items of that name and location in the current feed / all feeds and get the text that way, or possibly allow a selection to be added to a news bin by drag and drop?

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  13. Nick,
    In your screenshot you have large + icons whereas on my system the icons are tiny. How did you make them bigger? Expando (Large Font) has the standard size + images.

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  14. When I find a link that I want to remember, I drag-and-drop it from the browser to a news bin (did you know you could do that?)
    The only thing that would add to this is the ability to drag the favicon in the address bar to a bin as well (like you can do in IE).
    Sometimes I open several links in new windows, and if I want to save one I have to open it in an external browser, move the wondows around, drag the address bar icon into a News Bin in FD’s window. It’s kind of a pain this way.
    The was FD works now is that if you try to click the icon in the address bar (or anywhere in the address bar) the icon disappears – which makes the whole open in external browser and drag and drop accross application windows the only way to get the link stored in a News Bin (unless you can remember where the heck that link came from originally)
    Yeah, this should probably be n the forums, but I’m here now and I’ll forget therwise :-p

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  15. Nick Bradbury: How to use FeedDemon like RSS and not email

    Excellent! I agree RSS is not email! From Nick Bradbury: How I Use FeedDemon.: QUOTEChances are, there are a number of power users like Jeremy who don’t like the email metaphor, and quite honestly I’m one of them – I…

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