Monday, March 7, 2016

Use Feedly to get your Daily Intake of Google News

One of the best features of the Google ecosystem is how often things are updated. Every week new features get released for Google Docs or Gmail or Hangouts or mobile or more. This is great for users as Google’s product are constantly improving.

However, this can be a challenge for those of us who provide support to schools, organizations, and other users. It seems I no sooner finish creating a new video tutorial or help guide, and Google (on cue) makes a change to the product. (Anyone remember when “Shared with me” became “Incoming” and then switched back again?)

So how can someone stay up to date with all of the updates and changes to Google Apps. Certainly there are many excellent options including Twitter, Google Communities, edtech podcasts, and more (all of which I should cover in a future blog post).

However, one often overlooked option is to use tool like Feedly to pull updates straight from Google’s official blogs. This is a powerful tool that collects all the new posts from all your favorite blogs in one place, rather than you having to take to time to go visit each site each day.

In this blog post we will do a quick overview of what an RSS feed is, see how to use Feedly, and provide a list of all the official Google blog feeds along with some other excellent Google-related blogs for you to use.

What is RSS

Most everyone knows what a blog is. Basically it is a website that offers content in chronological posts. That is, articles are added and organized by date, with the most recent articles typically at the top.

But did you know that you can “subscribe” to the posts of a blog? Most any modern blog (Blogger, Wordpress, etc.) has what’s called an RSS feed for the blog. RSS stands for Real Simple Syndication and is basically a file that gets constantly updated with the most recent posts to the blog.

So how is this helpful? Well, we are very busy and it can be difficult to remember to check on your favorite websites each day (or maybe even each week). And even if you could remember to visit all your favorite sites each day, it would take a long time to do so.

Instead you can copy the RSS feed for each of your favorite sites, and add them to tool such as Feedly. Feedly will then go out and pull in all the latest posts from your subscribed sites and display them for you in one central location. Instead of you trying to go visit all of your favorite sites, Feedly can being all of their content to you!

How to Use Feedly

There are several tools available to collect your RSS feeds, but my current favorite is Feedly. Like many people I used to use Google Reader for many years before it was shut down. Thankfully Feedly came along to fill the need.

You can access Feedly in several ways:

To add a blog’s RSS feed to Feedly, do the following:

Option 1
  1. Go to the blog and look for the RSS feed link. It might be titled “Subscribe to posts” or “RSS feed” or such, and will often be designated with the RSS feed icon
  2. Click on the RSS feed link and then copy the link from your browser’s URL bar.
  3. Go to the Feedly website and click the “Add Content” button in the top left.
  4. Paste in the copied RSS feed link and choose the blog from the drop down list.
  5. Finally click the +feedly button to add it to one of your collections of feeds.

Option 2
  1. Go to the blog you want to add to Feedly.
  2. If you have the Feedly Chrome extension installed, look for a gray Feely icon in the bottom right corner of the page.
  3. Click the Feedly icon and then click the plus sign “+” in the pop up menu to open the feed in Feedly
  4. Finally click the +feedly button to add it to one of your collections of feeds.

To view new posts from your subscribed blogs simply visit the Feedly website or use the mobile Feedly app. Choose a collection you wish to read and all the latest blog posts from that collection will be listed for you to read.

The Big List of Google Feeds

So what are some good blogs to subscribe to if you want to stay up to date on everything new in Google?

Below is my personal list of RSS feeds that I have put in my Google collection in Feedly. Instead of having to visit all the sites to find the RSS feed links, I have provided them below. You can simply copy and paste these into Feedly as described above to add them to your own collection.

Official Google Blogs:

Google-related Blogs (but not from Google):

And of course you can add this blog, Control Alt Achieve, to your Feedly collection to stay up to date on all the resources and news I post here. The RSS fee for my blog is:

So what are some other great blogs to help people stay up to date on Google Apps? Please share in the comments below. I am always looking for new blogs to add to my Feedly collections.


  1. I really like the following (they are not official Google, but they are edtech and kind of cross over)
    Alice Keeler:
    Vicki Davis:
    Free Tech for Teachers:

    You can also follow "collections" and I regularly look for edtech collections.

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  7. I love Feedly. I just wish that there was a more efficient means of organising my 200+ posts within my OPML file. Any thoughts?

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