How to Read Your Google Reader Feeds In Microsoft Outlook

RSS feeds let you read blog updates and news items from all over the web in a news reader. The most popular web based news reader is Google Reader and we have earlier discussed some Google Chrome extensions to maximize your RSS experience. But in some situations, reading feeds inside a browser may not be possible or comfortable. Especially when you use Microsoft Outlook all the time to read and reply emails, plan meetings etc. You do not want another feed reader software or your browser to read news updates. Moreover, you may be working in your office and can’t risk your job by opening Google reader in a browser.

All you want is a simple solution which will let you read your emails and RSS feeds at a central place. Microsoft Outlook 2007 has a solution for this.

Microsoft Outlook 2007 can be used to import Google reader subscriptions and read RSS feeds alongside your daily emails. You can also choose to open Google reader right inside Outlook to read blog updates.

Export Feed Subscriptions From Google Reader to Ms Outlook

Follow the steps below to add RSS feeds in Microsoft Outlook:

1. Log in to your Google Reader account and click the “Settings” link placed at the top right corner of the browser window.

google-reader-click-reader-settings

2. Go to the “Import/Export” tab and click “Export your subscription as an OPML file”. This will export an OPML file containing the information for all the RSS feeds to which you have subscribed.

google-reader-export-opml-for-feed-subscriptions

3. Open MS Outlook and right click the RSS feed link from the sidebar. Select “Import an OPML file” and browse to the file that you exported in step 2.

ms-outlook-import-opml-file

4. Select the RSS feeds which you want to export in Microsoft Outlook. You can select all the feeds by clicking the”Select All” button or you can import selected feeds by checking the box placed on the left of that feed.

ms-outlook-import-selected-feeds

5. Microsoft Outlook will import the selected subscriptions and then you can read blog updates right from your favorite email client.

ms-outlook-read-imported-feeds

When Microsoft Outlook runs in your system tray, it will auto fetch all the updates so you can carry out your official tasks as usual.

Open Google Reader inside Microsoft Outlook

You can also open Google reader right inside Microsoft Outlook. This will let you enjoy reading feeds in Google reader and without leaving outlook. Following are the steps involved to open Google Reader within the Outlook window:

1. Open outlook and click the RSS feed icon from the sidebar. Select “Properties” and navigate to the “Home page” tab.

ms-outlook-rss-feed-properties

2. Enter the URL as http://www.google.com/reader in the address box and select the checkbox “Show home page by default for this folder”. Click “Apply” and then “Ok” to save the changes.

3. Now whenever you click the RSS icon from the Outlook sidebar, Google Reader will open. Sign in to Google reader and you can read the RSS Feeds as you normally do.

ms-outlook-login-to-google-reader

Comparision – Manual Export vs Opening Google reader in Outlook

Below is a short comparision of the above two methods used to read RSS feeds in Microsoft Outlook:

Export Subscriptions Using Google Reader from Outlook
1.  You can read the feeds offline.1. You can not read feeds offline.
2.  No Google reader shortcuts2. You can use Google Reader shortcuts
3.  All the data is stored in disk.3. No data is stored.
4.  No synchronisation available4. Synchronisation available.



Now its all upto you, whether you will prefer to read the RSS feeds by importing the OPML file or by opening Google Reader in Microsoft Outlook. Let us know your ideas in the comments section.