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17 Firefox Extensions That Make Blogging Easy

17 Firefox Extensions That Make Blogging Easy
Firefox Extensions That Make Blogging Easy

The great thing about the Firefox browser is when you have a problem, there is usually a solution in the form of an extension. As a blog writer, I’ve been using a few that smooth out the experience and get rid of a few annoyances.

Here are a few suggestions.

Collecting

Google Notebook – Highlight the content you want to save, Note it with this extension. You can organize different ‘notebooks’ with their own sections. Each note will have a link back to the original website.

Session Manager – Great for doing research and rounding up a few sources. Save the session of tabs so you can come back to them later.

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coComment – Keep tracks of comments you’ve left on other websites. This is particularly useful if the comment section is providing more resources than the actual post content.

Speak It – Have articles read out to you so you can do the dishes while researching. Not to be used while at the computer – speed reading = productivity. This extension uses the Microsoft TTS Engine.

DocuFarm – This is a cool extension that previews word, PDFs etc within Firefox. It comes with a search, which you can also use to search PDFs!

Writing

Scribefire – Performancing.com’s popular split-browser blog editor. Multiple blog management, categories and simple source editing. FTP Uploads are available but buggy. No good image support.

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Deepest Sender – Very similar to ScribeFire, these two extensions lack greater features like image uploading, time-stamp editing and compatible tagging. Both are very easy to set up.

Resizable Text Area – If you stick with your regular blog editor, such as WordPress, this extension comes in handy to resize the text area quickly and freely.

Spellbound & Google Toolbar – Inline spell-check, ala Microsoft Word. Use the extension or Google Toolbar’s built-in spell-checker. Both work great. Superseded by Firefox 2’s built in spell check.

Tabinta – turns the Tab Button to a text editor spacing tab rather than cycling through the web forms. Only interacts with the text area, otherwise does the regular Firefox tabbing.

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Split Browser – Great when copy and pasting content and URLs, this extension makes it easy to split any tab any which way. Put your editor in a ‘sidebar’ and continue surfing the other tabs in the other pane.

Copy Plain Text – This is a can’t-live-without extension for me. When I copy text, I don’t want any of the original site’s formating, links or text-link-ads to be copied over as well. Just the text. That’s what this extension does.

Copy As HTML Link – Use this extension in conjunction with Copy Plain Text to create links for your posts. Only make links when you want with the text you want.

Images

Web Developer – Other than View Source and those functions, Web Developer is great for getting image information like size etc. If a site is making it hard to get access to their images, use the View Image Information button to get all the images and their links. Respect copyright.

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Snagit – to use with the SnagIt image capture application, this extension just makes it easy to start grabbing screenshots while still in Firefox.

Picnik – this web based app trumps SnagIt in many respects. With the Picnik extension you can grab a screenshot of the visible page, or the entire page, with one click. The same goes with any images on the web, including a button at Flickr.com.

Picnik is also a very good image editor. I don’t use anything else to edit images for articles. You can take any photo, from your computer, Flickr or Picasso account, or anywhere on the web, and start editing without downloading anything to your computer.

Please share any you have to add.

More by this author

Craig Childs

Craig is an editor and web developer who writes about happiness and motivation at Lifehack

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Last Updated on September 17, 2020

5 Practical Ways to Get Over a Mental Block

5 Practical Ways to Get Over a Mental Block

There’s nothing quite like a state of “flow” when you’re working. The rare moments when your inspiration aligns with your motivation likely lead to some of your most creative work. Plus, it feels great to actually check a task or project off the list so you can move on to the next thing. Meanwhile, a mental block — its opposite — can cause work to feel laborious and uninspired. Forget creativity when you have a mental block — it makes it difficult even to start working on what you need to do.

A mental block can manifest in several ways. Perhaps your imposter syndrome is squelching your creative ideas, for instance, or you’re overwhelmed by the breadth of a project and its impending deadline. Maybe you’re just tired or stressed.

Either way, having a mental block feels like being trapped in your own head, and it can seriously dampen your ability to think outside the box. The problem is, you’re so locked into your own perspective that you don’t see more innovative approaches to your problems.[1]

Luckily, jumping over these mental hurdles is simpler than you think. You just need the right strategies to get your flow back.

Try these five practical ways to overcome a mental block.

1. Break Your Project Down

A few years ago, I was working on changing a company product that I believed would hugely benefit our customers. Sounds great, right?

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As inspired as I was to make people’s lives easier, though, the sheer magnitude of the task at hand felt overwhelming. Every morning, I cracked open my laptop to work and felt totally paralyzed. I loved the idea, yes, but actualizing it felt risky. What if it didn’t turn out the way I pictured in my mind? More importantly, where would I even begin?

A former colleague gave me great advice over coffee:

Change how you think. Start by breaking the big project down into small tasks.

When a major project overwhelms you, you only see the entire forest instead of the individual trees. And as you stare it down, you start to feel discouraged by your own lack of progress, thus slowing you down further.

Breaking down a massive task into smaller chunks makes the work feel more manageable. You’ll have multiple clear places to start and end with, which will lend a motivating sense of productivity and mastery to your process. Learn more about it here: The Motivation Flowchart: The Mental Process of Successful People

Think of it as accumulating small wins. When you realize you’re more capable than you have once thought, you’ll develop the momentum and confidence needed to get your big job done little by little.[2]

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2. Change Up Your Scenery

Of course, there’s a time and place for sitting down to get things done. But if you’re experiencing a mental block, switching up your surroundings can make a big difference in your output.

Have you ever noticed how your environment directly impacts your performance and mood?

Your brain associates your physical surroundings with certain feelings and activities. So, if you feel mentally stuck, your mind may need some new sensory stimuli.

During this time in your life, it may not be possible to set up shop at a cafe or move from your cubicle to a conference room, so you may need to think outside the box. If you’re working remotely in a home office, try going to your dining table or couch. If the weather cooperates, sit outside for a bit with your computer or take a walk around the block.

You can also simply rearrange your workspace. Not sure where to begin? Try decluttering. Some studies show that an organized desk enhances productivity.[3]

The point is to stimulate your brain with new sounds and sights. You may find a much-needed dose of inspiration when you work while breathing in the fresh air, listening to city sounds, or staying in the comfort of your own living space.

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3. Do an Unrelated Activity

When it comes to productivity, a bit of distraction isn’t always a bad thing. That’s especially true if your chosen distraction helps you get things done in the long run.

Have you realized how your most creative thoughts tend to bubble up when you’re, say, lying in bed or taking a shower? In their research of the “incubation period,” scientists have discovered that people’s best ideas seem to surface when they aren’t actively trying to solve a problem.[4]

In a 2010 study, participants needed to look for a roommate or new employee based on the profiles that the researchers gave. The people who had a brief “incubation period” — in this case, working on an anagram — consistently made better choices than those who spent more time weighing their options.

If you can’t seem to prime your brain for a project, try doing something completely unrelated to work, such as washing your dishes, working out, or calling a friend. Some experts say finding another low-stake project to work on can help jump-start the creative part of your brain and activate your flow.[5]

The key is to allow your unconscious mind to do its best work: eliciting the new knowledge your conscious mind may be ignoring or suppressing.[6]

4. Be Physical

Feeling antsy? When your mind won’t seem to settle into a state of flow, it may help to swap out your mental activity for a physical one and see how it impacts your perspective.

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While any physical activity is beneficial for your body — and getting up to move can serve as a helpful form of distraction — certain forms of exercise can more directly impact the mind. To be specific, relaxing, flow-based exercises like dance, yoga, or tai chi can create a gentle sense of momentum in your body, which can prime your brain for the same state.

Stress-reducing activities may also be necessary. Meditating or taking slow, deep breaths will also calm your nervous system if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Evidence shows that the logical, creative part of your brain essentially shuts off when you’re stressed.[7]

On the flip side, when your mind and body are relaxed, you can think more clearly, be more creative, and focus for longer periods — all of which will help you overcome a mental block.

5. Don’t Force It

It can be frustrating to fight against your own mind. If your mental block won’t go away after some effort, it may be time to take a break. Forcing creative thoughts only adds to your stress levels, which in turn inhibits your ability to think creatively. And if you sit and stare at a project for too long, you’ll not only waste valuable time but also begin to associate this specific work with frustration and produce work you’re not proud of.

“I know that forcing something is not going to create anything beyond mediocre, so I step aside and work on a different project until it hits me,” the artist Ben Skinner said about his creative process.[8]

If your work isn’t time-sensitive, then it may make sense to step away for a while to focus on something else, be it an administrative task that requires less creativity or a project that you feel motivated to work on.

When the time is right, you’ll find your way back to the original task with a fresh, creative perspective (hopefully).

More on Getting Rid of a Mental Block

Featured photo credit: Jonas Leupe via unsplash.com

Reference

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