Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Organise RSS Feeds in Google Reader

My list of RSS feeds is constantly growing. Everyday, I discover new and interesting sites and blogs which I subscribe to. They vary in content and I read them based on how important they are, their content and what mood I am in. At the time of writing this post, I have nearly 70 feeds in Google Reader, distributed haphazardly across three default folders: Fun, Geeky and News. There is also a bunch lying in the root folder.

It's time to clean up and get organised as I am spending too much time sifting through junk which I don't want to read right now. I need to get rid of obsolete feeds and create a better folder structure for those I want to keep. Using Google Reader to create folders and drag my feeds in is going to take forever and probably a thousand mouse clicks.

I am going to try an easier way. I will export my feeds from Google Reader into an OPML file and then edit that using my favourite text editor (TextPad) in order to create the structure I want.

This is how:

  1. Go to your Google Reader Settings page and click on the Import/Export tab
  2. Click on the Export your subscriptions as an OPML file link and save the google-reader-subscriptions.xml file to your computer
  3. Open the xml file in TextPad (or any another text editor) and the format will look pretty obvious.
  4. After reorganising your feeds within the OPML file, go back to your Google Reader Import page and Upload the modified OPML file
The OPML file contains nested outline elements which represent folders containing RSS feeds.

Here is an excerpt from my newly formatted OPML file, which shows different folders (Fun, Programming, Low Priority) and the feeds within:
Do you have a better way to organise your RSS? Share it in the comments!

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