We use Google Reader to manage our RSS feeds online. Still, there are times when Google’s cloud-based solution isn’t quite as intuitive as we’d like. And that’s why Gruml is one of our favourite new toys.
Integrating with Google Reader, Gruml is an RSS reader without the hassle. It looks pretty much like standard RSS readers of old. The main viewing pane is split into headlines and previews, while the navigation bar contains a list of subscribed feeds, links and filters.
Gruml lets you do anything Google Reader lets you do, which means you can track RSS feeds from blogs and news sites, Google Alerts of your own creation and the feeds and recommendations of other Google Reader users. All great so far.
Gruml’s features make it easier to track, classify and categorise information
You can also do a lot with the individual headlines Gruml pulls from Google Reader. Items can be starred or favourited, or you can add notes and share items with other Google Reader followers. One very cool feature is that you can send URLs to an impressive list of other services. This makes it easy to share links on Facebook or Twitter, save articles for later reading on Instapaper or recommend pages to Digg or Reddit. Powerful stuff.
However, what you gain in functionality and features you lose in simplicity. Online, Google Reader marks headlines you’ve scrolled past as read. In Gruml you have to do it manually. And it’s best to return to Google Reader online when you want to search for new feeds. Still, despite grumbles, overall this is superb software.