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One Firefox Toolbar to Rule Them All

One Firefox Toolbar to Rule Them All
One Firefox Toolbar to Rule Them All

If you’re like me, the first thing you started doing when you downloaded the Firefox browser was start customizing the look and feel to suit yourself.

Since then I have continually made changes, added new extensions and improvements that I thought would improve my productivity.

A goal early on was putting everything that I used into one toolbar so to maximize screen space. Here is what I’ve done so I only look at one toolbar and the tab bar [plus status bar].

firefox customize menu

The Menu Bar

This is where you want all your stuff – because it’s the toolbar you can’t remove through Firefox’s Customize utility. All the others can be hidden from view.

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Right-click on the toolbar, hit Customize and start moving everything you want to the Menu bar. Leave the Google Search box. It’s extensively useless if you use Smart Keywords in the location bar to carry out searches on web pages.

Get Google Toolbar and move anything you actually use into your Menu toolbar. If you like to see the PageRank of all the sites you visit, you can move the meter to the Menu bar.

If you want to access webpages from your toolbar, drag the ‘double pages’ icon from the Bookmarks toolbar. This will put anything you bookmark to the ‘Bookmarks Toolbar’ to this area. When adding a bookmark to the ‘Bookmark Toolbar’, remove the title so only it’s favicon is shown.

firefox bookmarks toolbar customize button

If you use the Web Developer Toolbar, only drag the icons you use regularly and leave the rest. These buttons have drop-down menus to quickly access the stuff you use the most.

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Add any other buttons for extensions you use regularly.

Saving Space

The most important thing about using only one toolbar is maximizing the space you’re using. The first step is only adding buttons you use regularly and need to use as buttons. If you are happy doing the same thing with a keyboard shortcut or a smart keyword, then don’t bother so much with the button.

Remove what you don’t use. Use the Escape key instead of a button. F5 to refresh. Get MileWideBack to navigate back and forth between pages.

Custom Buttons

With this extension I found two great ‘custom buttons’ that save me the most space.

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The first is Compact Menu. This compiles all of the menus into one expandable icon. If I need to, it’s there and easy to navigate. Get more here.

firefox menu bar

Other Extensions

Stop/Reload Button – Combines the Stop and Reload buttons so only one is showing at any given time.

Menu Editor – You might want to have occasional access to certain buttons. Use Menu Editor to trim your Context Menu to what you use.

UI Tweaker – This extension provides some handy hacks to slim down your toolbar. Anything from removing the Go button to only allowing favicons in your Bookmarks Toolbar.

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Auto Hide – With this plugin you can customize what exactly happens when you put Firefox into fullsceen mode. Hit F11 and you can rig it so only your Menu bar and the status bar are showing. Also you can tell Firefox exactly which existing toolbars you want to be visible when you come out of fullscreen mode.

This means you can surf in fullscreen mode with only one toolbar, but if you want to quickly access other toolbars – even a secondary customized version on the Navigation Toolbar – all you need to do is hit F11.

Customization

There’s not much to it other than figuring out what you like and what you use the most. Firefox is too customizable to use stock. Keep hacking it for productivity.

firefox logo

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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