Keeping track of all of your favorite blogs is tricky in itself. Feed readers like Google Reader are good at organizing all of your blogs into distinguishable folders and whatnot, but because blogs don’t all update at the same time you are forced to keep checking Google Reader if you want to find the latest articles.
There are solutions for this, such as Desktop Google Reader and GoogSysTray, but isn’t there just a small, simple application out there that has all the notification settings we’re all looking for? Well, I believe I have found such an app called GRaiN.
What Features Does GRaiN Have?
If you missed the link above, you can download GRaiN here.
GRaiN isn’t an application so much as it’s really just a tray icon, which is nice because you can install it, set it up once and you are ready to go. You can always tweak the settings of course, which is what I will go over now.
GRaiN only has one main window from which all of the settings can be accessed. If a new update is available, it will be displayed at the top of the screen. Right next to the update notification is the first setting, which allows you to select how often GRaiN checks for updates. You can set this to 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, 60, or 120 minutes.
Select Individual Items
Below the frequency option is probably my favorite feature of this app – the ability to individually select which items you would like to receive notifications for. If you follow a lot of blogs like I do, this will be especially useful if you have certain blogs that you like to check more than others. For instance, I have my feeds organized into folders, and out of the roughly 10 that I have, I only have notifications enabled for 2 of them, so I don’t miss any of the best/most important content.
Sound & Pop-Up Notifications
The other great feature from this app is the ability to easily select which sound file you would like to play upon receiving new unread item notifications.
The animated pop-up accompanied with this program offers a nice, quick indicator to alert you of new items and it serves its purpose very well.
When you receive a pop-up notification, you can click on it to open up a new tab in your browser for Google Reader. You can also achieve this by right-clicking the tray icon and hitting Go to Reader… or by double-clicking the icon itself.
Other options include selecting which browser to associate the app with, what color you would like the icon to turn when you have unread items, and start on Windows startup.
In conclusion, if you are utilizing Google Reader, you should have this desktop application. It helps keep you up-to-date on all of your favorite blog feeds and it won’t give you any headaches. It really is a very simple way to access and keep track of your feeds.
How do you keep track of the latest blog posts? Will you be giving GRaiN a try?
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