Make Your Own Email-Driven Google Reader Substitute With Blogtrottr

As the countdown to Google Reader closing ticks over, we’re continuing to see alternative ways to manage your RSS feeds. Lifehacker reader Michael rolled his own solution with Blogtrottr, creating a system that sends notifications direct to your email.

Michael explains the system in his own words:

Using Blogtrottr to receive RSS feeds in Gmail is even better than using Google Reader.

These are the easy steps to set it up on your PC and Android phone:

  1. Export your Google Reader data.
  2. Unzip subscriptions.xml and rename it to subscriptions.opml.
  3. Create a free account at Blogtrottr.
  4. Import the subscriptions.opml file. This means your RSS feeds are now being sent to Gmail.
  5. Set up the share buttons you want (such as Facebook or Google+).
  6. Set up a new filter in Gmail so that all emails from [email protected] bypass the inbox and go to a new label called RSS.
  7. In the Android Gmail app, choose to sync the last 30 days of the RSS label, and choose to move to the newer email when deleting emails (or older item depending on which way you read).
  8. When reading on Android, just delete as you go (or remove the label if you want to keep all your RSS feed items in an archive). Star the ones you want to read later (and don’t delete them).
  9. On the PC, just read the ones you want, star the ones to keep, and then hit ‘select all unstarred’ to delete (or remove the label from) the rest.

This approach has a lot of benefits. Offline reading is now much better than with Google Reader, and if offers easier reading on Android with instant loading and text resizing. It’s easy to forward or share items, and you can mix email newsletters/subscriptions into the same label if you wish. I’ve been trying this for a week and I’ve already ditched Google Reader because this is much better.

It’s an interesting strategy, especially if you’re happy working in Gmail. Thanks Michael!


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