Google Reader Next Button: Part 1

Have you heard about the Google Reader next button? If so, jump to the bottom to see what’s next in this little series. If not, and you’re like me, you read a lot of blogs for inspiration and/or to see what your blogging buddies have been up to.  One of my favorite ways to keep up is through Google Reader. It keeps all of the blogs that I read in one convenient place.

There is one big drawback to using Google Reader though, and that is not being able to see the post on the original website, as it was intended. You don’t get the blog header, or the sidebars, or any of the other styling the blogger (in this case, Cristina from Remodelando la Casa) has painstakingly designed (or paid someone else) to make their blog unique.  Google Reader strips everything away except for the words and pictures contained in the post.

Not to mention that while inside the reader, you’re not bringing any traffic or page views to the blog, as mentioned by Cristina in the comments below. I don’t know about you, but I would much rather read the post on the original website than in a reader, wouldn’t you? What a difference!

One option is to click on the post title in the reader, and read it on the blog instead.  Then when you’re done, close the window, go back to your reader, and click on the next article.  And so on. But what if I told you that you could read all of your favorite blog posts, on your favorite blogs, one post after another, with just a single click of a button in your bookmarks bar? That’s where the Google Reader Next button comes in! Once you’ve added it, all you need to do is to click on it to be taken to the next article.

If you use Google Reader and aren’t already using this button, I promise it’ll change your life! Okay, maybe not your life, but definitely the way you read blogs. Don’t worry if you’re technologically challenged, Google has made it SUPER easy. First, be sure your browser has the bookmarks bar turned on. Some browsers (like IE) call it a Favorites Bar. Directions for this part will vary based on the browser and operating system you’re using, but you can find out easily by Googling it. Next, be sure you’re logged in to your Google account, whether in Gmail, Blogger, Calender, Reader, etc.  If you’re not already there, navigate to Google Reader by clicking on the More tab, and then Reader.

Once in Reader, click on the little gear near the top right hand corner, and go to Reader settings.

In Settings, click on the Goodies tab. Once there, you’ll see an actual Next button that you can just drag up to your bookmarks bar and drop it in wherever you want.

And that’s all there is to it! Now you can give it a try. Just click on the new button and it’ll take you directly to your next unread post. You don’t have to start in Google Reader either, just start on whatever page you happen to be on already. Give it a try!

When you’re done reading that one, click on the button again to go to the next one. It’s like magic! My favorite is when I’ve read all the new posts and get to this screen:

Google definitely has a sense of humor, don’t they? You’ll have to get there yourself to see where the link takes you. :)

Want to follow me in Google Reader? No, I’m not above a little shameless self-promotion! :) Just click on the  RSS button in the top right corner of my blog,

Then click the Google button,

and finally click on this button and you’re all set!

Don’t have a Google Reader account?

Lastly, if you don’t have a Google Reader account, just head here, create an account (or log into your current Google account), and you can add feeds with the orange subscribe button.

Up next

In the next installment of this little series, I’ll show you how to install the Google Reader Next button on your iPad.

It’s a little more complicated since you can’t drag and drop, but I’ll walk you through it.

And lastly, for the really ambitious, I’ll show you how you can add a button to your iPad or iPhone home screen to take you straight to the next post, without even opening up Safari first.

Won’t that be fun?  :)

What’s your go-to method for keeping up with your favorite blogs? Do you use Google Reader? And if so, have you installed the Next button? I would love to hear from you! As always, thanks for stopping by!

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