My Workflow – Internet Browsing
As more and more of everyday life moves toward the internet, I find myself looking for ways to make my internet browser flow more smoothly. I have been back and forth with browsers, trying to choose the one I love the most. I have landed on Google Chrome for the time being. It isn’t quite as smooth as Safari on my Mac, but I can forgive that due to the expanse of other things it does for me.
There are a lot of reasons I currently enjoy Chrome: the way the tabs work, the syncing features, the speed, the consistency. But I’d like to focus on the extensions I use. I use several (probably no where near close to the number that a super user might) and they help me get the things done that I like to do on the internet.
I probably wouldn’t get along on the internet without Agile Software’s 1Password app. It’s a great password keeper, generator, and with the browser extension it will auto fill for you too! I use the extension to autofill things for me and to be able to generate passwords on the fly. It’s a sweet addition to the full app.
Adblock is an ad blocker extension that will block almost any ad on any website. It’s awesome because once you use it for a while, you forget it’s there. Then when you use someone’s computer that doesn’t have it you see all sorts of annoying adds that attempt to get your attention or distract you from the content you really want to see. Some websites request you turn it off to browse them, Hulu for example, because they make their money from advertisements. But living without this extension is something I just don’t want to do.
I use the bitly extension to shorten and track links I send out on the various social media avenues. Bitly is cool because it will keep track of other people shortening the same link and tell you about the overall clicks for that URL.
Buffer is like a bitly and social media poster in one. I can schedule tweets or statuses and track how well or poorly they do.
This is a sweet extension. This puts a little box on a YouTube page that will let you download the video or just audio and keep it for your very own. I believe it only works on things that are free to the public, so you can grab all the freebies your heart desires. I use it when I find a live recording of a great song and want to stick it in my Dropbox and play it later in the car or something of that nature.
I don’t really utilize this as much as I should, but DuckDuckGo is a competitor to Google’s Search so I feel like I’m sticking it to the man when I have the extension installed in Google Chrome. DuckDuckGo supposedly doesn’t track a thing you do and you’d get better searches with more depth (outside of your bubble, they call it) when you use them for search.
An invaluable extension, FlashBlock blocks the flash plugin until you need it. Flash is very insecure so having it shutdown until you manually tell it to run is a great idea. You can also whitelist websites and even choose to use HTML5 in some cases to view your web video.
We use this to function as a quick proxy on/off for when we need to get into our work network from the outside world. It is very customizable and has proved very useful in doing exactly what we need it for.
Ghostery is awesome! It not only tells you what trackers a website has when you visit it, but it will also block those trackers. I used it for quite some time before I realized it could do the blocking thing. Now I LOVE it.
This extension rivals Safari’s “reader” function. It basically takes the content you’d like to read on the webpage and puts it in an article type format with no distraction around it.
Pocket was formally “Read it Later” and is basically a service to put links in a database for an app that you can later go to when you have time and read the articles you’ve saved. With the extension installed, “pocketing” something is just a click away.
Prowl is a Mac/iOS app that allows you to trigger various events and get notifications about certain things. I use the extension to send a link quickly from my desktop browser to my iPhone.
If you don’t know what this is, then I won’t take you down the rabbit hole. This is an enhancement for the website reddit.com.
The Camelizer extension has already paid for itself. Well, it was FREE, but it tells you on various shopping pages what the price of the item you’re viewing has been in the past. This allows you to see if it’s going to come back down or if it is a great time to buy it. It was VERY useful when the price of hard drives shot up after the floods in Asia.
When I see a cool font on a webpage I like to find out what it is to see if I am able to use it later on a Data Cave webpage or when I develop webpages for other clients. WhatFont’s extension allows me to click a button, mouse over a font, and it will tell me as much information as it can with a popup.
There are most of my extensions. I use some of them often and some I use rarely, but they have all proven useful at one point or another. I’m always looking for great ways to make my browsing the Internet more fun and safe and I’m always open to suggestions. I hope this at least gets one’s mind thinking outside the standard browser box and opens the mind to the world of browser extensions.