Overview: Attensa for Outlook

If you live and breath in Outlook (I used to spend 1/3 of my day in Outlook), Attensa may very well be the RSS reader for you.

Attensa integrates itself into Outlook so well that you’re not even aware it’s there most of the time. You can switch back and forth between reading email and RSS feeds so easily you’ll wonder why you used to use a browser or separate app for RSS. And best of all, it’s free.

About Attensa for Outlook
Installing Attensa for Outlook
Using Attensa for Outlook
Attensa for Outlook Options/Settings


About:

From the Attensa overview page, “If Outlook is the first app you open in the morning and the last app you close at night you need Attensa for Outlook, the RSS reader designed for business users looking for an easy to use, secure RSS reader for Outlook that helps track and monitor critical business information “automatically.”

Minimum System Requirements

  • Windows 2000 (most recent service pack)
  • Outlook 2000 (most recent service pack)
  • 667 Mhz CPU
  • 20Mb free disk space
  • 256 Mb RAM
  • Windows Media Player 9 or above
  • And last but not least, download Attensa for Outlook here.

    Installing:

    As expected, you have to close Outlook before starting the Attensa installation. Once completed, relaunch Outlook and you’ll be presented with a brief Welcome screen.

    From here you’ll set up a few of the initial features. Each of these can be changed later, so don’t worry too much. To get an idea of how Attensa works, leave the “recommended subscriptions” checked – again, you can always remove them later. Decide if you want to make Attensa your default RSS reader (maybe not yet), and decide if you want to create a new file to store your subscriptions (a good idea). When you’re ready, click OK.

    attensa for outlook welcome screen
    Welcome screen (click to enlarge)

    The main Attensa window will now be in the foreground. Click OK to close it, we’ll come back to this in a bit.

    attensa for outlook main options window
    Attensa for Outlook Home (click to enlarge)

    Notice that Outlook now has a new Toolbar.

    attensa for outlook toolbar

    And you should now have an Attensa for Outlook mail folder

    attensa for outlook folder view

    Using:

    Select one of the default feeds, and just like your email view, Attensa presents RSS.

    attensa for outlook full window
    Attensa for Outlook (click to enlarge)

    Right-click on one of the default groups that you’re not likely to keep. Notice that the pop-up menu is exactly the same as if you’d selected a regular email folder. Use the Delete feature to clean up the feeds you don’t want to keep.

    attensa for outlook right-click options

    Choose Unsubscribe to completely remove the feed or group.

    attensa for outlook unsubscribe options

    If you select the Attensa for Outlook folder itself, you’ll be presented with the River of News view. The first time you view your feeds this way, a brief Help/Overview window will appear (see below).

    attensa for outlook river of news welcome screen

    attensa for outlook river of news view
    River of News view (click to enlarge)

    Use the River of News toolbar to increase or decrease the preview length of each article

    attensa for outlook river of news toolbar

    To add a feed, click the Attensa button in the Attensa Toolbar.

    attensa for outlook toolbar

    Now click the Add button

    attensa for outlook adding a feed

    Enter the Subscription URL (full address of the feed), assign the feed a Category (otherwise the feed will appear in the Attensa for Outlook folder) and then click Get info on this feed. The title, article count and description will auto-populate. Click Add Feed to continue.

    attensa for outlook adding a feed main

    Your newly added feed will now appear in the main Attensa settings window. Repeat the above steps to add additional feeds. When you’re done, click OK

    attensa for outlook options

    In addition to your email, Outlook will (by default) block images in your RSS articles. And just like with your email, you can right-click any of the images and create a “rule” (Add the Domain to Safe Senders list, Add Sender to Safe Senders List etc).

    attensa for outlook right click an image

    Options/Settings:

    To change your Attensa settings, click the Attensa button in the Attensa Toolbar

    attensa for outlook toolbar

    And click the Options button

    attensa for outlook options button

    Carefully review each of the Options categories – there’s a lot you can change!

    attensa for outlook options preferences and settings
    Attensa for Outlook Settings (click to enlarge)

    { 3 comments… add one }
    • Scott Niesen November 6, 2006, 3:42 pm

      Ross

      Thanks for all your hard work. This is incredibly useful. Let me know if you need anything else.

      Scott

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