Google Readers Hidden Features

Last night I decided to clean up my feed reader a little, enough people asked about finding the “inactive feeds” view in Google Reader that I figured I would put it here. First I like Google Reader it has a nice clean interface, is available from any computer, and presents my feeds to me in a way that I can process them quickly easily finding the items I want to read and ignore the rest.  There are also many apps that synchronize with google reader for mobile or offline reading.  For me it is Feedler on iOS, and NewsRob on Android which allow me to keep up when I am not in front of my computer.  I also used the starred items feature to mark stuff to read later, and I also share items in Google Reader and follow other people who share. Now back to the topic at hand, cleaning up feeds that no longer provide content.   In Google Reader on the upper left hand side look for the “Trends Link” 11-5-2010 7-04-28 AM Where you can find out all kinds of interesting things like this 11-5-2010 7-05-49 AM You can also see the statistics for each feed you subscribe to, I look at this sometimes and when I see I am reading 1% of a particular feeds posts I can easily determine it is clutter and unsubscribe.  (As a side note, the only item in my reader which is consistently at 100% of items read is the Daily Dilbert Feed). Finally on the right side you have your Subscription Trends view where the second tab will show you your inactive feeds (I also like the obscure feed view) and allow you to unsubscribe using the trash can 11-5-2010 7-06-33 AM Before anyone asks yes I know about Feedly I have tried it a few times, I find that I can get through my feeds more efficiently in Google Reader, but if you have not looked at Feedly it integrates with Google Reader and is worth a look Google Reader is a lot more then just a feed reader, if you are using it already take a little time to explore some of it’s social features, and other tools that can help you find the information you are looking for.  You can follow my Google Reader Shared items here.

5 Responses to Google Readers Hidden Features
  1. Phil Randolph
    November 5, 2010 | 8:33 am

    Great tip Mitch! I just got rid of 28 feeds.

  2. Chris Miller
    November 5, 2010 | 9:12 am

    Good one. yes I live in Feedly. Once I learned that UI I fly through by category just like Greader. I do like the sharing options and ability to see thumbnails on the fly.

    Good tip though for those not into feeds. POint them to the OPML file I built as well. A great starter.

  3. Mitch Cohen
    November 5, 2010 | 9:20 am

    Thanks Chris – for anyone looking for Chris has created an OPML file for all blogs listed on Planet Lotus { Link } you can download it here { Link }

  4. Antoine Leboyer
    November 5, 2010 | 12:59 pm


    txs, I was not aware of this and I am an avide user of Google Reader. Very useful.

  5. Adam Gartenberg
    November 6, 2010 | 9:23 pm

    Thanks for the tips – I had never delved into the “trends” list before.

    What I really want is some way to put a feed on hold, so I don’t lose it from my reader, but it doesn’t keep pulling in updates and cluttering up my unread count. Or do you know of a way to do this that I’ve just missed? (I know I can export my OPML list and delete the feed, so at least I could find it later should I want it, but that requires a level of organization that I usually can’t live up to.)