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Google Web History for Bookmarking & Monitoring

Google Web History for Bookmarking & Monitoring

I’ve become quite interested in Google’s new Web History feature.

What it does is essentially record every site you visit and is enabled through the Google Toolbar for Firefox. So it’s like your browser’s History, but online and reaching as far back as when you enabled it.

Google was already basically tracking what I was doing since I had Google’s PageRank feature enabled in the toolbar, so I’m not too worried about that. If I do want Web History to stop recording, I can Pause it and also Remove Items from the history at any time.

Google has also implemented a StumpleUpon-style suggestion feature called Trends which I’m not too interested in and also provides stats of sites most visited etc.

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Google Web History for Bookmarking & Monitoring

    Bookmarking

    If you look at your Web History list, you are able to Star items as you would in Gmail or Google Reader. This puts them into your Google Bookmarks where you can tag and provide a description for each item.

    Now, I’m not a Google Bookmarks user – I’ve been using Del.icio.us for a number of years – however, this is swaying me to move everything over to Google.

    Why? Because I’m lazy.

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    Manually bookmarking everything I like or want to read later is almost a chore. It’s at least 3 mouse clicks! Web History makes it one – excluding tagging etc.

    I like this because I can go about my surfing and daily activities, and then at the end of the day, peruse my Web History, then Star and Label what I want to add to Google Bookmarks.

    It’s kind of the GTD way to bookmark.

    However, I don’t like how Google Bookmarks displays Labels on the side – a Tag Cloud would be nice. Plus I don’t like how after I imported all my Del.icio.us bookmarks to Google they all come under the same day[today] instead of keeping their respective bookmarked dates.

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    But I can search Bookmarks and my Web History from any computer now.

    Monitoring

    This is for those with kids who want to make sure they’re surfing safely.

    Google Web History provides an RSS feed for everything that comes through there. Monitoring what your children are doing [through Firefox] is as simple as subscribing to the feed in your favorite feed reader.

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    It’s easily subverted if your kids know about it, but for all intents and purposes, it works. Web History will run independently from different Google Accounts, so if your kids do use Gmail and login, the History will still be updated.

    Productivity

    Also it might be beneficial to be able to see exactly how much time you spend on certain pages and work. Would you procrastinate less if you were being watched?

    Improvements?

    • Integration with my browser’s History.
    • Bookmark tag cloud.
    • Trends Suggestions based on a network and sites browsed, rather than just on searches

    Web History – [Google]

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    Craig Childs

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

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    Last Updated on March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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