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20 Useful Bookmarklets

20 Useful Bookmarklets

Bookmark

    Bookmarklets are useful tools. Simply put, they’re bookmarked links you keep in your browser toolbar that perform a useful function when you click on them. There are about half a million of the things out there—far too many to fit in any bookmark toolbar! Let’s take a look at twenty of the most useful bookmarklets out there.

    To “install” a bookmarklet, drag the link presented on the bookmarklet’s Web site to your bookmarks toolbar, and you’re done.

    1. WordPress Bookmarklet

    With the release of WordPress 2.6, the team at WordPress reinstated the “Press This” bookmarklet—this time even more powerful, with Tumblr-like capabilities. Want to throw a YouTube video or Flickr pic into your blog real quick? This is the bookmarklet for you. You’ll find it on your WordPress “New Post” page to the right of the post editor.

    2. del.icio.us Bookmarklet

    If you want to save a link to your del.icio.us account without adding yet another extension to your browser, check out the del.icio.us bookmarklets available here. There’s a Post to del.icio.us bookmarklet and one for viewing your favorites quickly.

    3. Password Generator Bookmarklet

    If you have trouble coming up with secure passwords all the time, save some time and energy by installing this bookmarklet. It combines the domain name of the site you need a password for with your “master password” so you only ever need to remember one password—minus the security concerns. You can get it here.

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    4. Microformats Bookmarklet

    If your organization uses some sort of intranet project management that always has hCard or hCalendar (.vcf or .ics files) for download, or you frequent other sites that use these formats, the Microformats Bookmarklet will check through the page you’re on and find them for you. It makes keeping up with contacts and calendars easy. You can get it here.

    5. Facebook Bookmarklet

    If you’re an avid Facebook user and frequently share interesting Web sites using your Facebook account, this bookmarklet lets you do it even faster and without returning to the Facebook site itself. You can get it here.

    6. Reddit Bookmarklet

    The Reddit Bookmarklet makes it easier for redditors to not only submit interesting Web sites, but cast “like” or “dislike” votes for sites that have already been submitted. There’s also a “Serendipity” bookmarklet that’ll take you to a random site through Reddit. You can get it here.

    7. Google Translate Bookmarklet

    Constantly find yourself on pages written in French or Italian, but have no idea how to read any language but English? Your surfing habits may be baffling, but there’s something to make your life easier here.

    8. FriendFeed Bookmarklet

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    Saving interesting tidbits to FriendFeed is easy and incredibly pleasant with this excellent bookmarklet. It can grab an image from the page you’re saving if you’re into visuals. Grab it here.

    9. TweetBurner Bookmarklet

    Twitter users will love this bookmarklet. It can be a pain in the backside to get a regular link converted into a shorter URL without a bookmarklet or a desktop client with the capability built in—but with this installed, it has never been easier. It’s on the front page to the left here.

    10. ToRead Bookmarklet

    Once you enter your email address on this bookmarklet’s homepage, you’ll be able to quickly send pages you wish to look at again and read in depth later on to your email account for easy access. Check it out here.

    11. OnlyWire Bookmarklet

    If you’re really into social bookmarking and have a hundred different bookmarklets cluttering your toolbar, this bookmarklet that supports many of the most popular sites may help you simplify things a bit and get pages bookmarked quicker. Get it here.

    12. XRAY Bookmarklet

    Web designers will find this bookmarklet useful. It’ll show you the box model for CSS elements on any page along with a whole lot of information about the element you’re looking at. Get it here.

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    13. Rollyo Bookmarklet

    Sick of hunting and pecking through each site you visit to find a well-hidden search field? Rollyo lets you search any site you visit just by clicking the bookmarklet, and allows you to save frequently visited sites into a “searchroll” so you can search your favorites anywhere. Take a look at Rollyo here.

    14. RatesFX Bookmarklet

    Do you need to convert figures in one currency to another frequently? I’m always converting figures in US dollars to Australian (the results aren’t as pleasant as they once were!), so a bookmarklet like this is a huge timesaver. Try it out here.

    15. Google Reader Bookmarklet

    This Google Reader bookmarklet will help you subscribe to new blogs, or any site with an RSS feed, as you surf the web. Check it out here.

    16. Newsgator Bookmarklet

    Much like the Google Reader bookmarklet, the Newsgator bookmarklet will allow you to subscribe to RSS feeds under your Newsgator account. I love this because it means I can add a feed without opening NetNewsWire, which can take some time. If you’re using a Newsgator account in any compatible feed reader and getting sick of opening the app just to add a new feed, this is the solution for you. Find out how to install it here.

    17. Layout Grid Bookmarklet

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    Another one for designers: this bookmarklet will overlay a layout grid on any Web site. Particularly useful if you’re developing your own and want to see how it’s matching up to your grid calculations in a browser without adding the grid as a background image. Check it out here.

    18. View Passwords Bookmarklet

    Whenever I login to GoDaddy I get paranoid that one small typo in my password will lock me out for the rest of the day—this has happened more times than I can count. Here’s a typo that soothes this paranoia and allows you to see your passwords as you type them. No more asterisks! Get it here (also offers a handy Remember Passwords bookmarklet that fixes those pesky sites that refuse to remember them for you).

    19. Digg Submit Bookmarklet

    If you’re a Digger, this bookmarklet might be useful for you—click it to start the submission process for the page you’re currently on. This is an unofficial bookmarklet. Get it here.

    20. Spreeder Bookmarklet

    Want to practice speed reading, but find the text that comes with your speed reading app incredibly boring? The Spreeder bookmarklet lets you paste a block of text into a dialogue box, which is then displayed to you in rapid-fire, word by word. Check it out here.

    Do you have a favorite bookmarklet that I haven’t listed here? Let us know about it in the comments section!

    More by this author

    Joel Falconer

    Editor, content marketer, product manager and writer with 12+ years of experience in the startup, design and tech digital media industries.

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    Last Updated on July 8, 2020

    3 Techniques for Setting Priorities Effectively

    3 Techniques for Setting Priorities Effectively

    It is easy, in the onrush of life, to become a reactor – to respond to everything that comes up, the moment it comes up, and give it your undivided attention until the next thing comes up.

    This is, of course, a recipe for madness. The feeling of loss of control over what you do and when is enough to drive you over the edge, and if that doesn’t get you, the wreckage of unfinished projects you leave in your wake will surely catch up with you.

    Having an inbox and processing it in a systematic way can help you gain back some of that control. But once you’ve processed out your inbox and listed all the tasks you need to get cracking on, you still have to figure out what to do the very next instant. On which of those tasks will your time best be spent, and which ones can wait?

    When we don’t set priorities, we tend to follow the path of least resistance. (And following the path of least resistance, as the late, great Utah Phillips reminded us, is what makes the river crooked!) That is, we’ll pick and sort through the things we need to do and work on the easiest ones – leaving the more difficult and less fun tasks for a “later” that, in many cases, never comes – or, worse, comes just before the action needs to be finished, throwing us into a whirlwind of activity, stress, and regret.

    This is why setting priorities is so important.

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    3 Effective Approaches to Set Priorities

    There are three basic approaches to setting priorities, each of which probably suits different kinds of personalities. The first is for procrastinators, people who put off unpleasant tasks. The second is for people who thrive on accomplishment, who need a stream of small victories to get through the day. And the third is for the more analytic types, who need to know that they’re working on the objectively most important thing possible at this moment. In order, then, they are:

    1. Eat a Frog

    There’s an old saying to the effect that if you wake up in the morning and eat a live frog, you can go through the day knowing that the worst thing that can possibly happen to you that day has already passed. In other words, the day can only get better!

    Popularized in Brian Tracy’s book Eat That Frog!, the idea here is that you tackle the biggest, hardest, and least appealing task first thing every day, so you can move through the rest of the day knowing that the worst has already passed.

    When you’ve got a fat old frog on your plate, you’ve really got to knuckle down. Another old saying says that when you’ve got to eat a frog, don’t spend too much time looking at it! It pays to keep this in mind if you’re the kind of person that procrastinates by “planning your attack” and “psyching yourself up” for half the day. Just open wide and chomp that frog, buddy! Otherwise, you’ll almost surely talk yourself out of doing anything at all.

    2. Move Big Rocks

    Maybe you’re not a procrastinator so much as a fiddler, someone who fills her or his time fussing over little tasks. You’re busy busy busy all the time, but somehow, nothing important ever seems to get done.

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    You need the wisdom of the pickle jar. Take a pickle jar and fill it up with sand. Now try to put a handful of rocks in there. You can’t, right? There’s no room.

    If it’s important to put the rocks in the jar, you’ve got to put the rocks in first. Fill the jar with rocks, now try pouring in some pebbles. See how they roll in and fill up the available space? Now throw in a couple handfuls of gravel. Again, it slides right into the cracks. Finally, pour in some sand.

    For the metaphorically impaired, the pickle jar is all the time you have in a day. You can fill it up with meaningless little busy-work tasks, leaving no room for the big stuff, or you can do the big stuff first, then the smaller stuff, and finally fill in the spare moments with the useless stuff.

    To put it into practice, sit down tonight before you go to bed and write down the three most important tasks you have to get done tomorrow. Don’t try to fit everything you need, or think you need, to do, just the three most important ones.

    In the morning, take out your list and attack the first “Big Rock”. Work on it until it’s done or you can’t make any further progress. Then move on to the second, and then the third. Once you’ve finished them all, you can start in with the little stuff, knowing you’ve made good progress on all the big stuff. And if you don’t get to the little stuff? You’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you accomplished three big things. At the end of the day, nobody’s ever wished they’d spent more time arranging their pencil drawer instead of writing their novel, or printing mailing labels instead of landing a big client.

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    3. Covey Quadrants

    If you just can’t relax unless you absolutely know you’re working on the most important thing you could be working on at every instant, Stephen Covey’s quadrant system as written in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change might be for you.

    Covey suggests you divide a piece of paper into four sections, drawing a line across and a line from top to bottom. Into each of those quadrants, you put your tasks according to whether they are:

    1. Important and Urgent
    2. Important and Not Urgent
    3. Not Important but Urgent
    4. Not Important and Not Urgent

      The quadrant III and IV stuff is where we get bogged down in the trivial: phone calls, interruptions, meetings (QIII) and busy work, shooting the breeze, and other time wasters (QIV). Although some of this stuff might have some social value, if it interferes with your ability to do the things that are important to you, they need to go.

      Quadrant I and II are the tasks that are important to us. QI are crises, impending deadlines, and other work that needs to be done right now or terrible things will happen. If you’re really on top of your time management, you can minimize Q1 tasks, but you can never eliminate them – a car accident, someone getting ill, a natural disaster, these things all demand immediate action and are rarely planned for.

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      You’d like to spend as much time as possible in Quadrant II, plugging away at tasks that are important with plenty of time to really get into them and do the best possible job. This is the stuff that the QIII and QIV stuff takes time away from, so after you’ve plotted out your tasks on the Covey quadrant grid, according to your own sense of what’s important and what isn’t, work as much as possible on items in Quadrant II (and Quadrant I tasks when they arise).

      Getting to Know You

      Spend some time trying each of these approaches on for size. It’s hard to say what might work best for any given person – what fits one like a glove will be too binding and restrictive for another, and too loose and unstructured for a third. You’ll find you also need to spend some time figuring out what makes something important to you – what goals are your actions intended to move you towards.

      In the end, setting priorities is an exercise in self-knowledge. You need to know what tasks you’ll treat as a pleasure and which ones like torture, what tasks lead to your objectives and which ones lead you astray or, at best, have you spinning your wheels and going nowhere.

      These three are the best-known and most time-tested strategies out there, but maybe you’ve got a different idea you’d like to share? Tell us how you set your priorities in the comments.

      More Tips for Effective Prioritization

      Featured photo credit: Mille Sanders via unsplash.com

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