Feed readers aren’t for everyone, and if you only have a few different sites that you follow you’ll more than likely find most readers to be a little extravagant. If you’re one of those people that are just looking for a quick way to keep up on the news then I think Taskable is just the right program for you. It is a tiny freeware application that sits in your System Tray and when you click on it will bring up a menu with all of your feeds.
Actually, this reminds me exactly of the Live Bookmarks that Firefox has. All you have to do is supply the URL to the feed and give it a name to display in the menu. You can then go through all of your feeds to look for news that might interest you…all without having to open an application. One thing that you can’t expect from this program is any kind of content from the articles that are shown. However, when you click on one of the items it will take you to the articles page in your browser.
There are a few things that you can do to help get the most out of this application. First off, when providing the URL for the feed you can also enter in the location of an OPML file. That is the filetype that most RSS readers will be able to export your feed list as so that it can be brought into Taskable without needing to enter a ton of URL’s by hand. Almost all online feed readers, like Google Reader, support exporting your feed list as an OPML file so it should be no trouble getting your list of feeds into the application.
The next thing I wanted to mention was using the new Yahoo! Pipes to bring multiple feeds into one so that you can mashup all of your favorite sites. I tried the service for the first time today and it took some getting used to, but I figured it out in the end. That large feed that you see in the screenshot is a compilation of Digg and CyberNet that I made with the Yahoo! Pipes. It doesn’t do any special filtering because I was just trying to learn the basics, and Yahoo! Pipes can definitely be intimidating when you first start using it. There isn’t any documentation available at this time to help you understand how to setup your own pipes other than this simple overview, but the sample pipes they have will surely help you figure things out.
The other reason I wanted to add Digg is to demonstrate what happens when there are a massive number of feed items available. Taskable does not have any sort of option to adjust how many items are displayed so it is only limited by the feed itself. For example, in our feed we show the last 10 articles that were posted so that is how many will be displayed in Taskable, whereas Digg displays a lot more. There is really nothing that you can configure in the program except for what feeds you want to show up in the menu.
This isn’t something that I would really use because we are subscribed to hundreds of feeds, but for the casual user I think this will be great. If it sounds like something you would like make sure to check it out!