Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Moving to Outlook from Google Reader

I am sure everyone by now knows that Google Reader is being shutdown. I am a heavy user of Google Reader or Greeder as I call it and I immediately started looking for an alternative, when this suddenly occurred to me, that all PC’s I use have Outlook installed on them. So if you work for an organization that runs on Exchange server, this could really work out well. You can use Office Outlook and Exchange as a great RSS feed reader. Consider this

  1. It will provide full sync across multiple Outlook clients running on different PCs
  2. It will provide on the go access via Outlook Web-access
  3. Your phone’s outlook client should also work with it
  4. You can pretend to work while wasting time on boingboing

First things first: Export the opml file from Google Reader

Login to and then go to


This will take some time and create an archive.


Click on the download button and save the zip. Then extract the zip as follows


Inside the extracted folder you will have the opml file. For me it’s in C:\Users\admin\Desktop\\\Reader\subscriptions.xml

Import to Outlook

This opml file needs to be imported into outlook. Use the File tab and bring up the following UI in Outlook.


Then use Import. To bring up the following


Choose OPML file and tap on Next. Now point it to the file you extracted. For me it was C:\Users\admin\Desktop\\\Reader\subscriptions.xml

Hit next and finally choose the feeds you want to import (Select All).


The tap on Next and here you have Outlook as an Rss feed reader…


Read Everywhere

It totally sync’s on the cloud. Here I have it open on the browser. As you read a post it tracks what you are reading and across the browsers and all your outlook clients at work and home it will update and keep everything in sync.


Works great on the Windows Phone as well. I assume any Exchange client should work.


Pain Points

While reading on Outlook was seamless, there are some usability issues in both the browser and the phone. Surface RT is broken. Someone should really fix the mail client on Surface Sad smile

The major paint point I see is that in the Outlook Web Access the pictures are not shown. Tapping on the picture placeholders work. I think some security feature is blocking the embedded images.

Also on the Windows Phone you have to go to each feed and set it up so that it syncs that folder. This is a pain but I guess this is to protect against download over the carrier networks.

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