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When it comes to web based RSS readers, Google Reader is certainly the most popular – and the most efficient too.

It offers a lot of features and has an amazing set of keyboard shortcuts The Most Essential Keyboard Shortcuts for Google Reader The Most Essential Keyboard Shortcuts for Google Reader Read More which lets you browse through a long list of feeds quite seamlessly.

Having said that, I continue to explore its features everyday and I decided to list out some features here, which I think may not be too obvious for a new user of Google Reader.

While reading this, you may also want to check out using Google Gears and AideRSS with Google Reader.

1: Drag and drop

Although Google Reader arranges tags and feeds alphabetically by default, you can actually drag and drop them and arrange them according to your priority.

2: Received and published date

If you hover your mouse over the time and date in a particular feed, then it shows the received and published date of that feed. You can check this and find out the time which Google Reader takes to pull feeds from a particular blog after the post is published.

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date-in-google-reader

3: Show Feed details

If you go to a particular blog feed then there is a small show details link under the list view tab, which when clicked, immediately shows the number of posts published per week and the number of Google Reader / iGoogle subscribers for that blog.

show-details

4: Keep as unread

This is pretty simple but still I thought I’d mention it. When you click on a post in a feed, at the bottom it has a ” keep as unread ” button which is not checked by default. So if you are in a hurry and would love to read the post later, then you can just check that small box.

5: Feed Recommendations

If you have been a frequent Google Reader user, then it tracks your reading habits and based on that, it recommends feeds to you. You can find them on the right side of your reader home page . It’s a nice way to discover new blogs of your type.

feed-recommendations

6: Scroll tracking

I think the screenshot below tells it all. You can find it in Settings and then under Preferences.

scroll-tracking

7: Easy Filter

If you go to Settings -> Subscriptions, there at the extreme right , you’ll find a small box which helps you filter subscriptions through tags, name or URL. Its pretty handy if you want to make changes to subscriptions within a particular tag.

8: Share with a note

We know that Google Reader offers a feed sharing feature, but recently it also introduced sharing with notes, which helps you to add your point of view to the feed which you are sharing. You will find the Share with note button at the bottom of each post in your reader.

shared-with-notes

I hope these features will further help you to use Google Reader more productively. What Reader features do you find the best?

Abhijeet Mukherjee is addicted to the internet and loves blogging and freelance writing. He blogs about tech tweaks, blogging tips, productivity hacks at [NO LONGER WORKS] Jeet Blog

  1. igralychami
    April 3, 2009 at 5:27 am

    Keep up this great resource.

  2. Time Tracker
    September 25, 2008 at 4:20 am

    Knew of a few of these already, but didn't know about the scroll tracking. That's going to save a bunch of time. oh and

    @ninja - Don't you also need ... B A select/select start to activate the super ninja mode? ;)

  3. russ
    June 17, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    is there anyway to have google reader display post text the entire way across the page? I love the thing but it leaves a thrid of the page blank in firefox. I'd like to do it without having to install any 3rd party stuff since i'm on a secure network.

  4. homaid
    June 16, 2008 at 8:21 am

    keep feeds unread is a very useful feature

  5. John Joubert
    June 16, 2008 at 8:01 am

    Thanks for the great post! I didn't know Google Feed reader was so powerfull, will definitely put it to better use!

  6. Syahid A.
    June 16, 2008 at 6:45 am

    Pillar post Jeet. I don't know many of these tips!

  7. Melanie Baker
    June 16, 2008 at 9:37 am

    Thanks for the mention!

    We actually have two extensions for Google Reader, the main one, which works best with Firefox 2 and the beta one, which plays better with Firefox 3 and Greasemonkey. (As beta, of course, we're still tweaking it to get it working its best, and welcome testers and feedback.)

    Melanie

  8. Sherri
    June 15, 2008 at 11:21 pm

    Thanks, I had no idea about dragging/dropping. Now my feeds are grouped better, yay!

  9. Raghunath
    June 15, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    Nice post dude. Keep up the good work... hope this helps me

  10. ninja
    June 15, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A

    to activate/ deactivate the ninja

  11. John thomas
    June 15, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    Is anyone else ready for "Google takes over the World?"

    JT
    Ultimate Anonymity

  12. dana
    June 15, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    I also like the sharing ability, but the Note in Reader (pops) is one step higher although I would expect the extra mile of adding a tag ability.

  13. Ramesh | The Geek Stuff
    June 15, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    Abhijeet,

    Excellent tips. "Drag and Drop" to re-arrange my feed-list should be very helpful to keep all my favorite feeds on the top.

    Ramesh

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