Top 25 (Non-Obvious) Ways RSS Feeds Can Make Your Life Easier
RSS feeds are a great way to stay on top of news and blogs, but that’s hardly all they’re good for these days. As technology has evolved, it’s slowly worked its way into everyday applications that can help make your daily activities easier and faster. If you’re looking for ways to more fully incorporate RSS into your technology repertoire, here are 25 applications, sites, and ideas that can help you make the most of RSS. There are tons of little ways you can use RSS feeds to help you make your daily tasks, errands, and life, in general, a little easier.
- Track packages. Whether you’re ordering things for work or just love to shop online SimpleTracking can make keeping track of packages easier than ever. Users can copy an RSS feed link for their packages into their reader and receive notifications anytime there is new information about the location of their orders.
- Filter news content. There’s a ton of news out there, and when you sign up for an RSS feed the amount of information you don’t care about can far exceed that which you do. RSS can eliminate all that useless information and let you only see stories on certain topics. Sign up with a filter like FeedRinse to eliminate the information overload.
- Keep track of your flight. Busy travelers can keep up to date on the arrival and departure times of flights simply by adding an RSS feed. Sign up for a feed like FlightStats and you’ll get reports of delayed flights sent right to your desktop or browser.
- Get reminders of important dates. Everyone has suffered through the awkwardness of forgetting an important date like a birthday or an anniversary before. Help reduce your chances of making such a mistake with an RSS reminder program like Beeplet. Simply enter the dates you want to remember and you’ll receive reminders right in your RSS feed to give your memory a little extra nudge.
- Make sure your software is up-to-date. For those who simply can’t be without the latest and greatest updates to their software, keeping up-to-date can be a whole lot easier with a software release tracker like VersionTracker. The latest programs with new features, bug fixes, and upgrades will be sent by RSS to you so you can easily find and download them and keep your computer fast and secure.
- Remember to bring an umbrella. RSS feeds are a great way to keep on top of what’s going on in the world around you, including the weather. You can get up to the minute reports on the conditions letting you know what to wear in the morning or how long your evening commute might take. Severe storm warnings and updates will also appear in your feed, letting you know when and how to prepare.
RSS feeds are great time savers at work, allowing you to collaborate and get things done faster.
- Get your email. For those with several email accounts, or just those who want unobtrusive notices of new mail, RSS has a solution. Pop2RSS is a program that allows users to get their POP-based email converted into an RSS feed so users can read it without ever opening up their email management program. Or, if you’re a Gmail user, you can sign up to get your emails in RSS format as well.
- Send out advertising campaigns. Forget about sending out bulk emails to readers of your site or blog, you can use RSS to send information to subscribers with this service. RSS Autoresponder allows users to set up information to send out, set the intervals for it to go out, and even set up automatic follow-ups.
- Take your feeds on the road. RSS isn’t just a technology that you can use when on your laptop or home computer. You can take your feeds with you anywhere you go on your phone or PDA. Just download a program like Bloglines or Egress and RSS will allow you to access information no matter where you are.
- Find a job. Whether you’re looking for a career change or you’re fresh out of college and looking for a first job, you can get leads on promising jobs through RSS. On this site you can read about how to set up your RSS aggregator to bring jobs from sites like Indeed and Yahoo Hot Jobs right to you and get yourself on the way to a successful and fulfilling new career.
- Work collaboratively. Working in a group on large projects can make it difficult to ensure that everyone is on the same page and to effectively coordinate work. With RSS, sharing documents that need to be edited or approved can be much less stressful. With programs like Approver users can get RSS notifications when new documents are uploaded or when changes have been made, making working together much more productive.
- Manage a schedule. Keeping track of appointments at work or even with your family can be difficult at times, but adding a calendar to your RSS feed can make things a little easier. With RSSCalendar users can create and share their schedules with other users allowing coworkers and families to coordinate meetings, soccer practice or anything else that might come up.
- Take notes. While sticky notes are useful, sometimes a computer-based solution can be more practical and harder to misplace. With Webnote, users can take notes in their browser and recall and share them later via RSS.
Keep yourself entertained with these fun and weekend-friendly RSS uses that will make it easier to find things to do and keep up with the latest releases.
- Track your favorite topics from anywhere. RSS is a highly mobile and customizable technology that can make that boring morning train commute a little more interesting. With programs like ZapTXT you won’t need a newspaper to keep you busy. Users can track select topics on news sites, classifieds, blogs, and even sports scores using their cell phone, instant messenger or email.
- Listen to new music. With hundreds of thousands of music options out there, it can be hard to know where to start expanding your musical horizons. RSS can come to your rescue again and help you get suggestions on music you’d like based on your existing tastes with services like Earfeeder. Or, if you’re just looking for the newest music, you can sign up for RSS updates on the latest additions to iTunes.
- Keep up on your favorite team. You don’t need to check the sports page or even a sports website to keep up with the performance of your favorite teams. Simply have the information come right to your RSS aggregator instead. Whether you love baseball, football, basketball or hockey each has customizable RSS feeds to send the latest scores, trades and play-by-plays right to you without the hassle of finding it.
- Learn something new. Want to build your vocabulary? Learn about the great masters of art? You can do all of this and more, right in your RSS reader. You can sign up to receive a word of the day, quotes and even pages from the notebooks of Da Vinci himself, allowing you to learn more at just the click of a button.
- Find out what’s on TV. Couch potatoes no longer need to be in front of the TV to see what’s on or even take the time to open an online guide when your RSS feed can bring you local listings. Sign up for an online feed like ktyp and get listings by time zone to let you know when your favorite shows will be on and if they’ll be reruns.
- Golf for less. Golf may be your hobby of choice but it isn’t always a cheap interest. Your RSS feed can save you money and time by giving you updates on the tee times and deals all over the nation. Try out the feed on Golf Now to see if it can make your next golfing expedition a little easier and more fun.
It doesn’t have to be a pain to save money or keep track of your debts with these easy-to-implement RSS solutions.
- Avoid library late fees. If you’re one of those people who are constantly paying late fees on books and movies you check out from the library, then Library Elf could be the solution that you’re looking for. The system will send reminders to your email or RSS that your items are going to be due soon and if you manage to ignore those, it will continue to remind you of your overdue status. Users can also consolidate several library cards on one feed and even keep track of books on request and hold.
- Find a bargain. Make shopping easier by avoiding lines and traveling from store to store for the best deal by using RSS to help you. You can complete that holiday shopping in a flash or just pick up a little something for yourself by setting up your RSS feeds to include your favorite shopping sites. Not sure how to do this? Check out this article on Lifehacker to find out.
- Win an eBay item. For many, part of the thrill of buying things on eBay is in the competition. You can use RSS to get a leg up in your bidding and increase your chances of a successful experience. Simply sign up on eBay to receive notifications about your online activity, and you’ll get all of your bargaining information at your fingertips.
- Remember your debts. If you were short on cash at lunch and borrowed from a friend or just need to pay your share of the rent you can use an RSS feed to keep track of your debt and make sure it gets repaid. Enter your information into the iOWEYOU service and the debts will appear in your feed until you pay them.
- Track your blog earnings. Many who have blogs don’t just use them as a means of expression but also a way to make a few extra bucks on the side as well. Those using AdSense can keep track of those earnings in their RSS feed. Enter your information into a script like this and you’ll get daily reports on how much you’re earning.
- Get the best deal on airfare. Flying can be painful enough these days without breaking your wallet, so make sure you’re getting the best deals on your travel arrangements. Services like FareCast allow users to input their desired departure and arrival destinations and keep track of prices so they can buy at the optimal time. Big name sites Travelocity and Expedia offer similar services.