How to Save Starred Items from Google Reader Using Pocket
Phew, that was a lengthy title. Fair warning: this is not a recipe post. In the five years I’ve had this blog, there have been very few times that I published a post without a recipe. I hope those of you that come here for the food will stick around after this.
Since we’re all friends, I’m going to admit that I have gotten so behind on my blog reading since the demise of Google Reader. It’s ridiculous how much I counted on it being there, and of course I didn’t have time to pin or otherwise save all the recipes (and craft ideas) I had starred in Google Reader. I downloaded my Google Takeout file like I was supposed to but had no clue how to turn it into anything useful. My starred items were all saved in a file on my computer, but the file was just a bunch of jumbled text saved in a file type I’d never even heard of. Two months passed and even though I obsessively clean out my downloads folder, I couldn’t bring myself to delete that (at the time) useless file. I’m so glad I didn’t because, thanks to some internet-sleuthing, I discovered a way to turn it into an archive. A searchable archive! (Sorry, Feedly, but not being able to search my bookmarked items has been a real pain.)
I probably shouldn’t admit how excited I was to have all of my starred items back in one place, but for those of you that, like me, had over 1,000 items saved in Google Reader, I’m guessing you can relate. All 1,564 (!) of my starred items are now living happily in Pocket. I had never heard of Pocket, but thankfully my tech-savvy husband knew what it was. It used to be Read It Later, and it’s a way to save things you want to, surprise, read later. There’s a website version plus mobile and browser apps, so you can access these items from practically anywhere. The best part is that you can save new items from Feedly into Pocket and make them searchable! Heck yes! I’m still pretty ecstatic about this, in case you can’t tell. Okay, enough rambling.
Here are the step by step instructions you need to import your starred items into Pocket:
1. First of all, you need to have downloaded (and kept) your starred items file from Google Takeout. If you didn’t do this, sorry. There’s no way to access it now that Reader is gone. Make sure you’ve signed up for Pocket here if you don’t already have an account (it’s free).
2. Open the “starred.json” file. (Mine was under a folder titled “email@example.com,” then inside that there was a “Reader” folder.)
3. Hit command (control on Windows) + a to select all the text, then command + c to copy it. Go to this website and hit command + v to paste your text into the top text box .
4. Click the button that says “Click here to convert!” and then the new text will show up in the bottom text box.
5. Put the cursor in the bottom box, hit command + a to select the text, command + c to copy the text and command + v to paste it into a new text file (in whatever text editor you use). Save it as an .html file.
6. Go to the Pocket import page.
7. Scroll down to the “choose file” button and select the .html file you created, then click the “import” button.
8. If for some reason this doesn’t work, you may need to save your .html file as a rich text file (.rtf) first, re-save it as an .html file and repeat steps 6 and 7. I had to do this, but I can only attest to my experience and you may not need to do it.
9. Go to Twitter and thank the guy that created the converter.
Oh, and if you want to save items to your Pocket from Feedly (and why wouldn’t you?), it’s simple. You just click the Pocket icon and boom, recipe saved. You can even add tags or categories if you want. Score! And now all your saved items will be in one happy, searchable place.
I hope some of you will find this useful. I was super happy to have discovered this method, and, like a good recipe, information like this is meant to be shared. I’m not saying this is the best or fastest way, but it’s the only way I’ve found (and it is awesome).