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5 Tools for a Better Online Reading Experience

5 Tools for a Better Online Reading Experience

The internet is changing the way people acquire information. People’s excessive reading and exposure to blogs, online magazines, and social media have created a culture of instant information.

We are obtaining data at a fast rate, probably way more than our brains could handle. Many researchers are quite pessimistic about this since it is believed to be a contributing factor to our shorter attention spans, poor memory, and decline of verbal communication skills. Despite these, people are still more inclined to read and seek information on the web.

If the internet is a big library, how can you read as many books you want in a short time? The following are tools to help you manage your online reading experience:

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1. Feedly

Feedly

    The hottest RSS reader in town, Feedly lists all recently updated articles from your followed websites so you never miss a post. Feedly isn’t only for websites, you can also follow YouTube shows, Tumblr blogs, podcasts and more. Organizing your content is easy. Feedly has an organize button that lets you drag and drop feeds and reorder categories according to your preferred layout. A bookmark icon can also be found at the top of each post for later reading.

    2. Pocket

    Pocket
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      Found a great article while surfing the web during work? Save it for later reading with Pocket! With its sleek, minimalist design, and wide compatibility across platforms, pocket is easily becoming one of the best reading management apps loved by digital bookworms.

      Unlike Feedly which shows every content from the sites you followed, pocket stores your hand-picked posts for later reading. After you read posts, there is an option to ‘archive’ the post which makes it readily available the next time you may need it. Now, you can hoard all the content you want!

      3. Readism

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      Readism

        Feeling like you’re spending too much time reading online? With Readism, you can now calculate the average time you need to finish reading an article. Readism is a chrome extension application that features a small reading time indicator at the bottom of the screen of each article you open. You can also customize the size and the length of time you want the pop up to appear on every page.

        Take note that Pocket displays the average time a reader will likely finish an article. If you want a more accurate data of how long you may need to finish an article, you can visit the app site and take the series of tests to determine your reading speed.

        4. iSpeech

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        iSpeech

          Bring your reading anywhere, even when you are doing something else! iSpeech is an amazing text to speech tool that will let you indulge in your favorite readings while still having time to do your dreaded home or office work. Now you can read while you drive, work, cook or break a sweat in the gym. iSpeech lets you “read with your ears” as it converts web content, documents, and articles to speech. It currently supports 20 languages and is available for major mobile platforms like Android, iOs, and Windows.

          5. Spritz

          Spritz

            For those who wish they could read faster, Spritz is a great speed reading tool that will drastically increase your reading skills. Spritz’ technology allows users to read without the need to move their eyes. It presents texts in a layout where users are able to read content one word at a time.

            Spritz reading methodology is acquired based on the premise that our brains search for the OPR or the “Optimal Recognition Point” of a word before it starts to process its meaning. With Spritz, reading becomes more efficient, since the time spent searching on each word’s ORP is reduced.

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            Armela Escalona

            Freelance Writer

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            Published on September 20, 2018

            11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

            11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

            In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

            Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

            In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

            Minimizing Tabs

            Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

            Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

            Incognito Mode

            Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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            1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
            2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
            3. Download extension New Incognito Window

            This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

            Save Webpages as PDF Files

            Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

            Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

            Open Recently-closed Tabs

            Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

            One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

            The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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            Solve Mathematical Problems

            Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

            For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

            Play Media Files

            Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

            In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

            Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

            With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

            Stay Focus(e)d

            Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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            Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

            With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

            This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

            Grammarly for Editing

            Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

            You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

            Loom

            There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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            There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

            With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

            Chrome Calendar Extension

            No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

            Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

            Final Thoughts

            Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

            Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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