Jan 14 2007
I may be stange but I scan all of my feeds online and then read a small subset – generall about 20-30 a day offline. I do the scanning while watching TV on my laptop and the reading on my Tablet. I scan the feeds in FeedDemon and then read the associated web pages in Maxthon as a series of 20-30 tabs.
I noticed recently that there was a real buzz about Google Reader, so I gave it a go. Since I scan online it worked pretty well, I really liked the single keys shortcuts for navigating between posts, however for me it was too slow, when scanning it just could’nt keep up with me . So I went back to FeedDemon, the speed was good but I missed the shortcut keys. FeedDemon does have keyboard shortcuts but they are all multi-key combinations, which I find a real pain.
I started to get annoyed, in fact I was going to write a post asking for people to describe how they managed to efficiently scan thousands of posts a day in FeedDemon because it seemed to me that no end-to-end working practice had been developed that worked for people who scanned on one PC and read on another.
Then I discovered Control-K which opens a dialog that leys you define single keys for anything you want to do in FeedDemon,so here is what I did:
N – takes me to next unread post, I just press NNNNN until I see a post I want to read and then I press
L – which opens up the link in Maxthon. If Maxthon is minimized and set to “not activate” when a newpage is opened it just sits on the task bar opening up tabs in the background
so here I am NNNNN and then my brain catches up and says you missed one so I press
P – which opens up the previous unread post, this works because I don’t mark posts read as I read them, I wait until the end and then I press
R – which marks all posts Read.
So this is great however there are two minor issues – which hopefully Nick can fix:
- I could not see a way to define a key to download a PODCAST
- When I press L to open a link in an external browser I need to click back on the FeedDemon page to return focus to it before I can start to press NNNNN again. The same thing happens if I click a link in a page or download a podcast. This takes my hands off the keyboard – not desirable
So now I have loads of tabs open in Maxthon, all I do is click Groups > Save Windows as Group > I have a group for my Laptop so I pick that (3 clicks). Then back on my Tablet (via remote desktop, 1 click) I open that group (2 clicks) and I am done. I can now read away on my Tablet closing tabs as I go. If I don’t read them all I just save the few I have left back as a group and open that group up on my laptop before I start my next scanning session.
Actually my workflow is slightly more complex
- I open up tabs in Maxthon because many feeds don’t contain the full text
- After I have finished scanning I scan the tabs, because quite a few web pages have articles spread over multiple pages so I need to open up the other pages as well or show in print view
- Quite a few web pages turn out to be a few lines of comment and then some links, its often the article or articles then link to I want to read so I click to open up those
- Sometimes I come across new sites I want to subscribe to, so I generally subscribe to them while online.
- Sometimes I have opened links to files I want to download, so I sometimes initiate the downloads there and then, or if I am offline when I come across the download then I add the site to a Maxthon group called Action and come back to it later.