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Today, 40Tech is pleased to present a guest post by Neil Jones.
My Father has a saying; if you’re paid by the hour, take your time. Sadly I’m not paid by the hour and I can’t afford to take my time. I guess I’m like most folks and every minute is precious – especially if you are in a job like mine where you are only paid on results, so the more you can get done in a day the better your wage will look at the end of the week. Automation and generally trying to increase your productivity throughout your working day is something that none of us can now overlook, and if any part of your job involves using the web, then, for a start, Firefox is a must .
Make no mistake Firefox will help you get more done, save time and generally help to remove or at least automate any mundane repetitive jobs you have to do. It can’t do it on its own though, it needs the help of these plugins:
Imacros: If you only ever add one plugin to Firefox then add this one, it can fill forms, auto-click buttons and do pretty much whatever else you need it to. I can’t stress enough how good this plugin is, but to help I’ll give you an example. The first thing that most people who own a website do when they sit down to start work is check their analytics for the previous day, I know it’s a little anal but I counted the amount of clicks and the time it takes, and you are talking between 4 and 5 clicks and 30 seconds to get to where you want to go. Imacros can do this for you while you go make a coffee. This is only one example of how this plugin helps and I know 30 seconds doesn’t sound like much, but they all add up!
Autocopy: As the name suggests this little plugin will automatically copy any highlighted text on a web page, with no longer a need for CTRL+C one hand is now freed to drink more coffee!
URL Fixer: If you’re a typo demon, this plugin will help you whenever you misspell a TLD ( Top Level Domain) like when you type .cm instead of .com. Maybe not a huge time saver but it definitely helps and saves on the number of clicks.
Adblockers: Though there are countless available they all do pretty much do the same thing, they prevent any flash banners or ads from being displayed, this saves on load time and it also removes any distractions from the page. GreaseMonkey in particular has some of the best adblockers.
For the addictive websites that you find you spend too much time on (mine is PassiveAggressiveNotes.com just can’t get enough) there are plugins that will either block the site completely during certain times (LeechBlock) or if you just want a friendly reminder of the amount of time you have spent on a certain site then use Procrastato. It can be scary to realize how much time can be wasted just on one site alone.
Following on from the idea of the addictive websites there are a couple of plugins that allow you to save a page so you can read when you have more time, the best is probably Read It Later. Essentially, it works in the same way as the bookmarking services but it’s quicker and stores the addresses locally.
Finally, Morning Coffee keeps track of the most visited sites on your browser, giving you quick and easy access to your most popular pages.
If you are looking for your working day to be revolutionized, where you will find yourself with all your work done and an hour to spare every evening, then maybe you are reading the wrong post (start looking for a Virtual Assistant…) but if you want things to work a little smoother, a little smarter, and a little faster, then any of these plugins are a pretty good place to start.
What are some of your favourite time saving plugins for your browser?