Whether you’re a three-monitor system multi-tasker or not, I think what’s ON the screen also plays into your productivity. (By the way, I’ve got the nice 24″ screen with different Spaces, and my iPad in arm’s reach.)
Multiple browsers. Aside from Adobe Creative Suite, the apps I use most often are web browsers. Browsers aren’t just a way of getting to the Cloud and cute kitten videos and pinning pictures of places I hope to visit when I win the frickin lottery; they’re actually workhorses.
Maybe it is some ADHD. Certainly a lot of us do it to ourselves, put on the pressure to stay connected 24/7. There are ways to make it a little more manageable and with that, a few of my favorite productivity tips and tricks.
Whenever I’m tech supporting for PC family and friends, first thing I do is a short “you can do better than default IE” browser war lecture. Then install anything else.
One trick I learned long ago is to toggle from multiple browsers. It triples my workspace and saves the headaches of logging in and out of multiple accounts, if I need to make edits to someone’s social profile or a client’s Facebook page. I use a combination of Safari, Firefox and Chrome with tasks being divided along professional/personal lines.
Browsers do more. No one-size-fits all. Mac OS native Safari has its plusses, but the rich communities behind Firefox and Chrome are too powerful to ignore.
Safari. Added Weather Channel, Twitter, Do Not Track and a few others. Oh, and for shits and giggles, Comic Sans Be Gone.
Firefox. FireFTP, FireBug, Colorful Tabs are a few of the Add-ons I use most often. Oh, and a nice LSU Tigers persona during football season. Just added Pinterest since for whatever reason, I get fewer annoying 502 errors on FF than with Chrome.
Chrome. I recommended it to Jayme Soulati, as she’s made her switch from PC to a Big iMac. It’s my business browser, so many great extensions.
Many are shortcuts to Cloud, as well as bookmarks for repeat tasks. HootSuite, Box.net, G+, Pocket (nee Read it Later), SocialBro are a few shortcuts along with one-click easy options for Readability, Buffer, Someecards and Pinterest (when not giving me the damn 502 error). Must have for Chrome: Do Share, which lets you schedule posts for Google+ provided Chrome is running.
There’s an App for that. All of these wonderful cloud based applications have strong communities, so it’s easy to add the extensions to browsers. A few browser-slash-iPad apps I love and how I use them:
- Flipboard + Readability is a nice combo; ditto Zite + Pocket. Both are scan now, read later – just different workflows and options for sharing to Twitter, LinkedIn, or apps like Evernote. Many of these I click from the Chrome extension, read on the iPad – or vice versa.
- Google and Bing are on the iPad, starting to get a little more play when I search and surf on the go.
- I use Evernote daily and while I seldom use the desktop version, I do try to sync it weekly to stay current. Notebooks are divided, though I still would love to find an easier one-click way to clip stories and other blogs for future blog posts.
- Have all the apps for social, including Google+ and what did I do before I had a Dropbox and Evernote?! Oh and Scrabble, Word with Friends and Draw Something have joined Angry Birds as part of my games arsenal.
There are no shortcuts.
These tools are great but there’s nothing that’ll read and comment and send the perfect tweet for me; I gotta do the work of writing good posts myself.
What’s your favorite browser? Have a favorite extension or add-on that’ll make work and life easier? Do tell.