This is a short list of tools and services I use for managing my daily flow of information. It works very well for me, but your milage may vary.
Feedly (free service; $45/year for Pro version) – I subscribe to more than 100 RSS feeds so I need some good tools for managing the flow of posts. In the wake of Google killing Reader, their online RSS aggregator, in the summer of 2012, Feedly has emerged as the best of the replacements. They have a paid version for power users but for most of us, the free version is just fine.
Although Feedly works well in browsers and has apps for most mobile platforms, there are better tools for reading and managing the feeds.
ReadKit ($9.99) – A Mac-only application, this is the best and most flexible desktop application I’ve found. It connects well to various social media accounts and to long-term and short-term bookmarking services. A 14-day free trial is available from their website. Reeder (also $9.99) is a close second if you want an alternative.
Mr. Reader ($3.99) – Hands down the best RSS reader for the iPad. My only complaint is that they don’t have a similar version for the iPhone. The interface is great for quickly scanning through your feeds and choosing what to do with the links. On my mobile phone I use Unread ($3.99), which is good but you may want to look at the other options since there are several apps of similar quality and price.
Overcast (Free; $4.99 for premium features) – I listen to a lot of podcasts and have tried many different apps to download and organize them. This is currently the best. It allows you to search as well as offering recommendations in various categories. Each episode downloads automatically and can easily be organized into playlists.
Tweetbot ($4.99 iPhone $2.99 iPad, $19.99 Mac) – For me Twitter is an essential information source and Tweetbot’s apps are the best tools for managing the flow. The prices may be a little high but I believe in paying for great software and services. If you’re not a serious Twitter user, stick with their website and free mobile apps.
Instapaper (free, premium features) – This is the absolute best service for when you find a post you want to save for later reading. It works seamlessly with many other apps, making it easy to move information around. The best feature, however, is that the website and the mobile apps (iPad, iPhone, and Android, all free) reconfigure the pages to remove ads and other crap to make reading easier. The mobile apps also download the pages for reading offline. The premium option removes the ads and offers some additionalÂ features but at $30/year, it’s overpriced for most people.
Evernote (free, paid subscription) – It’s hard to describe Evernote in a few sentences but basically it’s a Swiss army knife of information management. This service will store text, images, documents in various formats, record audio notes, and more. Plus Evernote works with practically every other mobile app and web service you have, including offering the ability to clip material from web browsers and send email directly to your account. The $45/year subscription increases the monthly upload and offers some premium features, but the free version should be more than enough for most people. Evernote’s free apps are available for just about any computer or device you might have.
Desk ($29.99) – If you’re an active blogger, on any of the major blogging platforms, this is the absolute best writing tool for the Mac. Period. Lots of essential features that are great at staying out of your way while you work and easily accessible when you need them. It’s relatively new (released October 2014) and we’re hoping the developer builds a companion iPad app soon.