Turn Evernote Into An RSS Reader In A Few Easy Steps

Evernote‘s flexibility allows the service to be used in a wide variety of ways. A while back we took a look at how you can transform Evernote into a blogging platform in a few simple steps, while we also introduced you to ten interesting and unique ways you can use Evernote — from using it to save classified ads to saving photos of your takeout menus. We’re big fans, so we’re always looking for creative and unique ways to get more out of Evernote’s features, as you can see from our Evernote manual.

Today, we’re taking a look at how you can turn Evernote into an RSS reader using nothing more than a few simple IFTTT recipes. (If you’re still familiarizing yourself with IFTTT —  check out our guide on how to use IFTTT and create your own recipes that can automate much of your online experience.)

Why Use Evernote as an RSS Reader

Before going through the steps of how to use Evernote as an RSS reader, it’s worth taking a look at the reasons why this is an option worth considering.

  • If you already use Evernote on a regular basis, transferring your RSS feeds into the online service simply reduces the number of services you have to check or keep up with to one.
  • If you’re using Evernote for research, this is particularly useful because you’re placing all of the content you need to review in one place, and can quickly move articles from your feed reader folders to your research folders.
  • Evernote is as cross-platform as they come so using it as an RSS reader gives you access to your RSS feeds from your computer, web, phone — pretty much anywhere you need to keep up with them.

Create a Notebook

There are three ways you can choose to use Evernote as an RSS reader — and it all depends on how organized you want to be. The first method is to use just one notebook and throw all your RSS feeds into it.

If you feel that might get a little too chaotic or messy, you could opt to create one notebook for each RSS feed and keep each site completely separate. For this purpose, you might consider creating a separate Evernote account to use purely as an RSS reader, while maintaining your original Evernote account as is.

The third and a more organized option is to create a series of notebooks based on site category or topic.

Making the decision all comes down to what kind of RSS experience you’re looking for based on certain features that you have come to expect from any RSS reader.

Create an IFTTT Recipe

Next, you’ll want to create (or use an existing) IFTTT recipe that gets RSS feeds into your Evernote notebooks. You will have to go through the following steps for each RSS feed you want to add to Evernote.

This is how you can create the recipe:

IFTTT1   Turn Evernote Into An RSS Reader In A Few Easy Steps

In list of channels to choose from, select the RSS feed channel:

IFTTT2   Turn Evernote Into An RSS Reader In A Few Easy Steps

 

You’ll find you have two options. Click on the first one — ‘New feed item':

IFTTT3   Turn Evernote Into An RSS Reader In A Few Easy Steps

You’ll then have the chance to enter the RSS feed of the site you want to add to Evernote, after which you can click Create Trigger.

IFTTT4   Turn Evernote Into An RSS Reader In A Few Easy Steps

Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to create the second part of the recipe that brings Evernote into the equation.

IFTTT5   Turn Evernote Into An RSS Reader In A Few Easy Steps

Select Evernote from the list of available channels and choose the Create a new note option:

IFTTT6   Turn Evernote Into An RSS Reader In A Few Easy Steps

The most important step is to organize your feeds. This step is very important as it is here you will enter your Evernote notebook information. You can opt for three ways to organize your notebooks with the right title…

  • If you want to use the same notebook, just repeat the same name every time you create a new recipe for a new feed.
  • If you want to divide RSS feeds by topic, place the topic name in the field for the notebook — just make sure the Evernote notebook already exists.
  • If you want one notebook per feed, select ‘Feed Title’ from the dropdown menu and choose ‘Feed Title.’ You can see an example in this recipe which creates a new notebook based on the site’s title.

IFTTT7   Turn Evernote Into An RSS Reader In A Few Easy Steps

You can then create the recipe:

IFTTT8   Turn Evernote Into An RSS Reader In A Few Easy Steps

Don’t forget — each time you want to add a new feed, you will have to create a new recipe. You should also be aware that these recipes don’t work retroactively so you’ll have to wait until the site is actually updated and then new posts will begin show up in your Evernote notebooks.

There are other IFTTT recipes that you can put to good use to get more out of Evernote. For example, you can save your unread items in Pocket, Feedly, or Instapaper to your Evernote account. Other existing recipes you’ll find on IFTTT can save Readability favourites, YouTube favourites, and Delicious bookmarks to your Evernote notebooks, making it a great way to keep up with RSS feeds and so much more in one place.

Can you think of any other unique uses for Evernote? Let us know about them in the comments.

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8 Comments -

0 votes

Bill Kracke

Just to be clear … I should take my list of 236 RSS feeds and enter them one at a time into Evernote, rather than, say, use a service like Feedly that allows me to save to Evernote with one click?

I am not sure where the time saving would be in this. There are multiple feed readers that allow me to clip to Evernote with a click or two, which gives me the same easy sorting that your system does.

Am I missing something? (And I know this sounds snarky, but I am seriously asking … did I miss something? Or is this a solution best for a small number of feeds?)

0 votes

TechnoAngina

Seems to be best used for people who just want to add functionality to Evernote and already use IFTTT. I don’t think this would create converts to Evernote who were not there already. It’s just extra functionality, maybe someone wants to track specific changes to a website and has an RSS feed that updates whenever the page changes? I think you’re right though, this would really lose usefulness at high feed numbers. I’m personally a fan of the Brief extension for FF for managing my feeds.

1 votes

Nancy

I agree that if you follow a lot of feeds this method definitely isn’t for you. I just find it useful for following a few key sites and having all that content in one place on Evernote for research purposes. It allows me to easily save content (tagged and easy to find) for reference later. But if you’ve got hundreds of feeds – I definitely don’t see anyone sitting there adding each feed one by one.

0 votes

David Whelan

My initial reaction was the the same as Bill’s. One other way to come at this might be to use a “feed of feeds” and set that as as the IFTTT recipe. I sometimes aggregate a bunch of RSS feeds using Yahoo! Pipes, for example, and so feeding that aggregated feed into Evernote would be simple. Adding and dropping feeds would be done through Pipes so I could leave the feeds alone. Doing this would also allow you to do some keyword filtering on the feeds before they hit Evernote, which might reduce the number of Notes that you’d end up deleting.

Thanks for the tip. I’ve been looking for reasons to visit Evernote more often, not just to have it as a place to dump notes.

0 votes

CZ

I do use Evernote extensively (including clipping some of the feed articles, and IFTTT (and Feedly), the utility of this for ME would be:

Can I import the WHOLE article to Evernote (not just the often small RSS “clip” which is sometimes just a sentence)?

If I could somehow get the WHOLE related article into Evernote, I’d use that as my sole “reader” because then I can keep that notebook as an “offline” (I have Evernote Premium), and read my feeds even without an internet connection. Believe it, there are still places where Internet isn’t available!

0 votes

kerstin

Yes , we support exactly this with http://www.feedsapi.org , we can deliver all your feeds with full articles content and not just the titles to your evernote

0 votes

Paaj

Considering the number of feeds many of us get, this article is probably better placed for starred items rather than all feeds. I believe there is an IFTTT recipe for sending starred items to evernote.

0 votes

Matt Maldre

This is cool. I was hoping that I could import all the items in my RSS feed into Evernote. I created a feed on my site that includes all 2000+ blog posts. It would be incredible to have all 2000 published blog posts in Evernote. Instead, IFTTT and Evernote only bring in only the new blog posts.

Is there another way to bring the entire feed into Evernote?