Tag Archive for 'productivity'

Ditching Safari RSS

I have finally stopped using Safari‘s built-in feed aggregator [Wikipedia]. It’s not that it’s a bad feed client – I actually think it’s quite good for providing basic functionality. It’s also not that that I wanted to use a more advanced stand-alone package (I have plenty of other software toys to amuse me). No the main reason was that it was simply affecting my productivity.

Essentially the simple beauty of the way Safari RSS works is also a curse. Feed subscriptions are stored as bookmarks and appear within the normal bookmark interface with the number of new articles shown in parenthesis. So, every time you navigate the bookmark feature your mind is distracted by other people’s latest blog posts.

It’s even worse if you organise your browser bookmarks the way I do – all either on the Bookmarks toolbar or in sub-folders of the toolbar. Consequently I always have an advert in my browser window trying to entice me away from whatever productive I’m work I’m trying to do. For an avid blog reader, it’s just as poisonous as the dreaded email notification icon.

So I had to free myself. Consequently, I’ve turned Safari’s RSS features off and installed a separate standalone feed aggregator, Vienna. I’ve not tried any others but it seems nice enough. It has smart folders as well as conventional ones and I think I’ll be much more effective at organising my feed subscriptions now that they are separate from my browser bookmarks.

Tip for anyone else considering dumping Safari RSS: See Export OPML out of Safari RSS [macosxhints.com] for a quick and easy way to migrate your feed subscriptions into your new feed reader – assuming, it can import OPML files [Wikipedia].

I’ve also found some side benefits of the change:

  1. Safari is now ever-so-slightly less of a randomly crashing memory hog with the RSS feature turned off.
  2. If Safari continues to annoy me with it’s randomness there’s no more RSS shackle stopping me from going back to using Camino.