Switch from Google Reader to DEVONthink Pro

Today Google announced that they would shut down their online RSS reader service Google Reader on July 1, 2013. So if you are a Google Reader subscriber looking for an alternative you may not yet know that DEVONthink Pro and Pro Office are excellent news reader, too!

Add any RSS feeds that you want to read in DEVONthink using the menu command Data > New > Feed. Feeds appear just like “living” groups with HTML files for every downloaded article. Just like in any news reader DEVONthink marks new articles as “unread”. Adjust how your feeds are updated and presented in DEVONthink Pro (Office) > Preferences > RSS. DEVONthink offers a number of different styles, converts RSS categories automatically to tags, and can remove old articles.

Import from Google ReaderIf you want to transfer your existing feeds from Google Reader to DEVONthink Pro (Office) you can also easily do so. Lifehacker has a great description on how to export your feeds using Google Takeout. You just have to add one more step between steps 3 and 4: “Rename ‘subscriptions.xml’ to ‘subscriptions.opml'”. That helps DEVONthink to recognize the XML file as proper OPML. Import your feeds by dragging the “subscriptions.opml” file into DEVONthink and rename the created group “subscriptions” to anything you like.

26 Responses to “Switch from Google Reader to DEVONthink Pro”

  1. Zack42 says:

    Is there an easy way to read the feeds on iOS with Devonthink, or will we have wait for our favorite mobile RSS Reeder to adapt to the loss of Google Reader/Feedburner?

  2. Afshin says:

    Thanks for the tip. I’m wondering if it’s possible to enable media to shown/rendered from blog posts, i.e. youtube videos, audio files, etc?

  3. eboehnisch says:

    @ Zack42: Not at the moment. We are working on a solution but don’t have any concrete dates yet.

  4. eboehnisch says:

    @ Afshin: No, not at the moment, I am afraid. DEVONthink shows what is actually in the news feed and leaves the rest to your web browser.

  5. Bernd says:

    Tip:
    Besides reading feeds I also follow some tweets with DEVONthink.
    If one wants to see the tweets listed in a row just like the RSS feeds in DEVONthink (instead of collecting their URL as a ‘bookmark’) here’s how to:
    Put the name of the tweets author at the end of the following URL – without the quotation marks of course:
    “http://api.twitter.com/1/statuses/user_timeline.rss?screen_name=”
    For example in case of DEVONtechnologies’ tweet the complete URL to be used is:
    http://api.twitter.com/1/statuses/user_timeline.rss?screen_name=devontech

  6. Norris Preyer says:

    Is it possible to recover the ‘starred’ state of articles I marked a year ago? I don’t want to have to manually find all the articles I wanted to save. Although, I guess I really should just import them to DTP, if I’m going to be reading RSS feeds with it!

  7. […] Or you could even use DEVONthink Pro (my preferred knowledge management tool ) to be an RSS Reader as described in this article. […]

  8. eboehnisch says:

    @ Norris Preyer: We can import the current state of the RSS feed but the “starred” state is not part of the information we get I am afraid.

  9. […] Google abonnierten Feeds einbinden, indem man die Liste über Google Takeout exportiert und dann in DEVONthink Pro lädt. Das Vorgehen hierzu […]

  10. John says:

    Hey, this trick did not work for me. The ‘subscriptions.opml’ file gets imported as a list, not a collection of feeds. Not helpful … what did I do wrong? John

  11. eboehnisch says:

    Which edition of DEVONthink do you use? RSS reading needs DEVONthink Pro and up and does not work with DEVONthink Personal or DEVONnote.

  12. Matthew says:

    I also could not get this to work. It just became a page of code. I have Devonthink Pro Office 2.5.2. I have tried importing, dragging the file onto the icon, and dragging into a Devonthink window. They all come in as a page of code. I also noticed that the file is subscriptions.opml.xml not simply subscriptions.opml as it appears in the Finder. I am sure that is a clue, but I am not computer savvy enough to figure it out. I tried changing from opml.xml to simply opml within Devonthink but that doesn’t work.

    I also noticed that the instructions, combining Lifehacker and yours, has me renaming the Reader file, renaming the subscriptions file, AND THEN extracting. I can’t do that. I have to extract first and then open the Reader file and continue. I can’t figure out how to do everything in the exact order you and Lifehacker have in your instructions.

    Thoughts?

  13. Matthew says:

    Note on above.

    I also noticed that the instructions, combining Lifehacker and yours, has me OPENING [not renaming] the Reader file, renaming the subscriptions file, AND THEN extracting. I can’t do that. I have to extract first and then open the Reader file and continue. I can’t figure out how to do everything in the exact order you and Lifehacker have in your instructions.

    Sorry for the poor editing .

  14. eboehnisch says:

    First you follow Lifehacker’s instructions to download the ‘subscriptions.xml’ file. When you have that, rename it to ‘subscriptions.opml’. When you import this OPML file into DEVONthink Pro or Pro Office it automatically shows up as an RSS group. This does not work with DEVONthink Personal, we are afraid.

  15. Georg says:

    one important feature of Google RSS is the option to sync feeds between several devices you use.
    Does the new database sync of 2.5.x support such a RSS feed sync?

  16. eboehnisch says:

    Yes, RSS feeds are kept in sync just like any other group.

  17. Matthew says:

    eboehnisch: As my post noted, I have done this several times. It doesn’t work for me. Any thoughts why? Ready to move on to another solution for this problem than Devonthink.

  18. Matthew says:

    Maybe there is a preference I need to adjust? A setting somewhere? Very frustrating.

  19. When you rename subscriptions.xml to subscriptions.opml make sure you don’t end up with subscriptions.opml.xml. That will just show up as XML file. It has to properly end in .opml. Try to use the Finder’s Info panel which shows you the complete file name including the extension for more control.

  20. Matthew says:

    That worked perfectly, thank you very much.

  21. […] With the demise of Google Reader, I, like many people, have started looking for different ways to manage the RSS feeds I follow.  I am not sure if I will use DEVONthink for this in the long term (I also imported my feeds into Feedly), but it was an easy process.  Find out how to import your RSS feeds into Devonthink Pro Office on the DEVONthink Blog. […]

  22. Christi says:

    Okay, so I successfully got this to import however most of the RSS feeds only had the last 10 articles. I was hoping to get them all imported. Is there any trick to getting them all imported and not just the ones unread (or if all read, then the latest 10)?

  23. eboehnisch says:

    @ Christi: This depends on the RSS feed. In general they don’t contain all news but only the last n items. Everything before that doesn’t appear any longer in the news feed. That’s why e.g. DEVONthink saves all articles it received as HTML files so that you can archive them even when the original news item has already gone to dust.

  24. […] 2) Switch from Google Reader to DEVONthink Pro […]

  25. hayssam says:

    You can import starred items by subscribing your own google reader feed:

    http://www.addictivetips.com/web/export-google-reader-rss-feeds-import-starred-liked-items/

    1. make your starred items public
    2. subscribe the feed with DT but add “starred?n=500” to the feed address and change the 500 to your number of articles (or greater)

  26. […] Google abonnierten Feeds einbinden, indem man die Liste über Google Takeout exportiert und dann in DEVONthink Pro lädt. Das Vorgehen hierzu […]

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