Staying up-to-date and getting all information you need is a common and important task in our daily work. SharePoint offers different options like RSS feeds and alerts.
SharePoint list items, files, folders, lists and libraries offer RSS feeds you can subscribe in order to get updates when content changes. If you already subscribed to other RSS feeds you can combine news in one place.
RSS feeds are updated periodically where you set the update interval inside your reader.
Alerts come as e-mails or text messages (SMS, MMS, since SharePoint 2010) where you define the interval at SharePoint. You can also select the kind of change to a SharePoint list item, file, folder, list or library (add new item, modify) which should trigger an update for you.
How to enable Alerts and RSS Feed in SharePoint
Under manage web applications select the web application where you want to enable alerts and RSS feeds. Open general settings and enable alerts as well as the RSS feed. Save your settings and close the dialog.
Note that a site collection administrator can disable RSS feeds on the site collection level.
If you want to send alerts via e-mail you need to configure outgoing e-mails or the SMS/MMS service settings for text messages in Central Administration.
Learn more about Alerts and RSS Feed in SharePoint