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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

How I work faster

Like most jobs, mine involves a lot of repeat work.  I'm on the web and writing almost constantly, and also using spreadsheets and presenting data in charts.  Here's a few things I use to work faster:

  • Firefox v4 Beta.  It's so much faster than FF 3, it's really remarkable.  Just get it.  
  • FF bookmark keywords - type "pblog" to post to my blog or "gm" to open gmail.  Awesome!
  • Firefox add-ons: 
    • Adblock Plus - news pages load a lot faster without ads
    • Table2Clipboard - get the data, ready-formatted for Excel
    • Favicon Picker 3 - it's easier to find a bookmark by an image than text.  You can get rid of text entirely and just have a toolbar of images or short text reminders and get more of your bookmarks right in front.
    • Pin tabs (in FF3, FaviconizeTab) - great way to make always-open tabs smaller.  
    • Tinyurl Generator - get links in short format fast, for making citations.
  • Remember the Milk - no better way to keep your task list up-to-date (and synced with your mobile device).  You can add tasks by Twitter, email, SMS, or on their website Smart Bar.  My favorite is to create tasks and then put in the unique URL for the email I was reading as a reference.  One click and I have all the context for "reply to Jim"
  • Quicksilver (Mac) - Hit Command-Spacebar and you can move files, find files, open programs, all from this beautiful window.  My favorite is selecting several images files and dragging them, then opening Quicksilver (while holding the files with the mouse) and dropping them on the window to open my image editor.
  • Punakea (Mac) - I tag all my files with this, allowing me to sort emails, web pages, pdfs, and my own documents by category without lots of nested folders.  Best tool for organizing my research, ever.
I hope some of this is useful to you!

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