My RSS Workflow

In my early years as a programmer, I spent more time consuming RSS feeds than actually doing real work and practicing my craft. This lead to a period where I wasn’t growing as much as I wanted to or knew I was capable of. Over time, I realized how much time I was wasting reading - instead of doing - and decided I needed a change.

Since then, I’ve evolved an RSS workflow that helps me consume great content without drowning in the vast ocean of information generated by the world every day.

  1. Browse headlines for all of my RSS feeds through Feedly. Typically, this is done on my iPhone while I wait in line at Chipotle, the grocery store, or the bank.
  2. Long-press feeds that pique my interest to send to Instapaper. I don’t read the article at this time, I just save it for later.
  3. Repeat for a given period of time. Usually one week.
  4. Find a quiet place and consume all of the articles saved over the past several days. I try to do this every Saturday.

I’ve found this to be a much more approachable way to consume RSS. Do I occasionally miss items? Yes. But, not nearly as many as I would by ignoring RSS in the first place.

On any given week, I consume 20-30 great articles in batch mode. I feel like I stay well read in the goings on in my industry and various other areas I’m interested in. Best of all, this technique stays out of my way and allows me to get the work done that matters.

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What do you think?