Caught in between Feedbin and Mailbrew
3 min read

Caught in between Feedbin and Mailbrew

How I use Feedbin and Mailbrew to curate and consume the most relevant content to me.
Caught in between Feedbin and Mailbrew

Feedbin is a beautiful gift to RSS lovers and over the years Feedbin has enhanced its awesomeness by supporting Twitter, Newsletters and most recently YouTube. The buttery smooth experience gives me joy every time to the extent that I do not use any other RSS client, other than Feedbin.

It amazes me that to this very day, so many services support RSS in some way or form and yet is not heavily advertised/promoted because platform owners want users to spend time on their platform and not on RSS. These services include but not limited to:

Feedbin

Before I discovered Mailbrew, Feedbin was my hub for:

  • News websites
  • Blogs
  • Twitter
  • Newsletters
  • Google searches

I found Feedbin a delightful service that I visited few times a day. Quickly, I realised there is a direction correlation between the number of feeds and time spent going through them.

Therefore, I removed all news related feeds. These tend to update frequently throughout the day, and I am much happier without them. I thought removing these feeds will be a chore but Feedbin has a feature of muting feeds, so I did that instead. This feature works by creating an action where any feed I have tagged as “News” is automatically marked as read. This works better because if ever, I want to check out these sources again, I am not spending time adding them. Few clicks and the feeds are unmuted 😀.

Mailbrew

There are subtle differences between Mailbrew and Feedbin. From my perspective, the primary reason Mailbrew appeals to me is that Mailbrew has a unique feature where it holds back feeds/sources until you want to read it. Let me explain. Previously, every time I am bored, I open Feedbin on my iPhone. If I do the same with Mailbrew, I will not see new articles or new content until my next brew. This is powerful. This tells my brain, now is not the time to read your feeds, now is work time or family time etc.

I use Mailbrew for:

  • Newsletter
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • My stock portfolio

Why not all in on Mailbrew?

Mailbrew is young and growing while Feedbin is a mature and polished service. Clearly there are overlaps between the two and at this stage, I do not see myself going all in with either platform.

Perhaps it's easier to list what Feedbin does that Mailbrew does not:

  • Lack of OPML support: without this, it's too much of a hassle to bring all my feeds from Feedbin to Mailbrew.
  • Native App: The Feedbin app on iOS is great. In addition, there are many third-party RSS apps that support Feedbin.
  • Full Content: some sites do not provide full content via RSS and therefore the user has to visit the website for the entire article. Feedbin cleverly extracts the full article and shows it within Feedbin.
  • Enhanced Privacy: I am confident that Mailbrew also values user privacy. However, Feedbin takes the approach where its private by default. For example, images are loaded via proxy thereby keeping your location private. This is not a dealbreaker, but it's nice to have.

Each service has its unique blend of advantages and therefore, I will continue using them both for my needs. I am making an intentional effort in reducing what websites/sources I subscribe to and therefore, when I do visit Feedbin and Mailbrew, it's not time-consuming and thus its an enjoyable and knowledgeable experience.


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