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Top 10 Firefox Extensions to Improve your Productivity

Top 10 Firefox Extensions to Improve your Productivity
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    Firefox is the browser of dreams for many people (myself included). One of the great perks of Firefox is that there are tons of extensions that enhance the functionality of the browser. With over 1500 extensions in existence, there are many that can be used to improve your productivity. The following is my take on the top 10 extensions that will keep you focused, reduce distractions, streamline your daily work flow, and improve your productivity.

    1. Customize Google

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      Customize Google is a very robust extension that lets you customize many features of the services provided by Google. Customize Google lets you block advertisements on pretty much any Google page (including Gmail). It remaps Google Images search results to point directly at the images (no longer will you need to click through the originating site). Customize Google lets you add links from other search engines directly into your search results. It can also block Google click tracking and allows you to connect to Google Calendar and Gmail securely (https). Give it a try, you won’t be sorry.

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      2. Gspace

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        Gspace is a content management extension that lets you turn your Gmail account into an online mass storage device. Gspace integrates nicely into your browser and lets you drag and drop files into Gmail for backup or storage purposes without interrupting your work flow. If you use Gspace, I recommend adding a tag in Gmail to your files so they can be filtered and accessed quickly. The following is the description of Gspace from its homepage: “Gspace turns the 2GB of your Gmail account into free online storage. With Gspace you can manage unlimited Gmail accounts to store all type of files within its simple, user friendly interface. Listen to your favorite stored music directly from your Gspace, view your collections of pictures and manage your Gdrive files as well. Download Gspace now and transfer files between your computer and Gspace at anytime, from everywhere!”

        3. Flashgot/DownThemAll
        The default download manager built into Firefox is very handy; however, there are many occasions that you’ll find that you need more flexibility with your downloads. This is where Flashgot or DownThemAll comes in handy. The features of Flashgot and DownThemAll have their differences; however, they generally provide finer-grained control of your downloads. My personal preference is Flashgot. I recommend trying at least one of them.

        4. Greasemonkey + Stylish + Ad blocking per Gozer
        Greasemonkey is an extension that lets you add scripts that alter the web pages you visit. Using Greasemonkey and Stylish and Ad blocking per Gozer together will block pretty much every advertisement from any Web site you visit.

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        5. Flashblock

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          The Flashblock extension by default blocks flash from playing when a Web page is first opened. Most (distracting) advertisements are written using flash. Flashblock is particularly useful because it replaces the flash from a Web site with a “play” button so you can watch the flash if it something useful (like a video at Youtube) and leave it blocked if it is an advertisement.

          6. Download Statusbar

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            Download Statusbar manages your downloads in the status bar instead of the Firefox Download Manager. I find that the download manager that comes with Firefox to be very intrusive. Download manager tucks your download progress bars into the generally unused status bar of Firefox. This lets you download care-free without the Firefox Download Manager popping up and interrupting you.

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            7. URL Fixer
            URL fixer will replace the common typos you enter when typing a Web site into the URL bar (i.e., http://www.lifehack.rog, htp://lifehack.org). The auto correct feature of URL fixer is very helpful. “[URL Fixer] will correct common misspellings of .com, .net, .org, .edu, .gov, and .mil, as well as the protocol (http:, https:). It will also correct errors in country code TLDS such as .com.XX, .net.XX, and .org.XX.”

            8. Tab Mix Plus
            Many of the features of Tab Mix Plus were incorporated into the release of Firefox 2. However, Tab Mix Plus allows you to add finer-grained control of your tabs. The following is a description of Tab Mix Plus: “Tab Mix Plus enhances Firefox’s tab browsing capabilities. It includes such features as duplicating tabs, controlling tab focus, tab clicking options, undo closed tabs and windows, plus much more. It also includes a full-featured session manager with crash recovery that can save and restore combinations of opened tabs and windows.”

            9. Scrapbook
            Scrapbook is extremely useful for researchers and students. Scrapbook saves blurbs from Web pages to your hard drive along with the URL of the originating Web site. It allows you to organize and categorize your blurbs in a format similar to your bookmarks so that when it comes to creating a bibliography or works cited, you won’t waste any time.

            10. IE Tab

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              I find myself using this extension less and less as more Web developers code their Web sites following standards. However, occasionally you will find it necessary to open a Web site using Internet Explorer in order for it to render correctly. Rather than taking the time to launch a separate browser, just choose “View Page in IE tab” and an Internet Explorer tab opens in Firefox. This is very useful if you like to have multiple Gmail accounts open and active on one computer.

              That’s my take on the extensions that will improve your productivity. Like I previously mentioned, there are tons of Firefox extensions. What extension didn’t I mention that you can’t live without? Please tell us about your favorite productivity-enhancing Firefox extension in the comments.

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              Last Updated on May 12, 2020

              8 Steps to Continuous Self Motivation Even During the Difficult Times

              8 Steps to Continuous Self Motivation Even During the Difficult Times

              Many of us find ourselves in motivational slumps that we have to work to get out of. Sometimes it’s like a continuous cycle where we are motivated for a period of time, fall out and then have to build things back up again.

              There is nothing more powerful for self-motivation than the right attitude. You can’t choose or control your circumstance, but you can choose your attitude towards your circumstances.

              How I see this working is while you’re developing these mental steps, and utilizing them regularly, self-motivation will come naturally when you need it.

              The key, for me, is hitting the final step to Share With Others. It can be somewhat addictive and self-motivating when you help others who are having trouble.

              A good way to have self motivation continuously is to implement something like these 8 steps from Ian McKenzie.[1] I enjoyed Ian’s article but thought it could use some definition when it comes to trying to build a continuous drive of motivation. Here is a new list on how to self motivate:

              1. Start Simple

              Keep motivators around your work area – things that give you that initial spark to get going.

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              These motivators will be the Triggers that remind you to get going.

              2. Keep Good Company

              Make more regular encounters with positive and motivated people. This could be as simple as IM chats with peers or a quick discussion with a friend who likes sharing ideas.

              Positive and motivated people are very different from the negative ones. They will help you grow and see opportunities during tough times.

              Here’re more reasons why you should avoid negative people: 10 Reasons Why You Should Avoid Negative People

              3. Keep Learning

              Read and try to take in everything you can. The more you learn, the more confident you become in starting projects.

              You can train yourself to crave lifelong learning with these tips: How to Develop a Lifelong Learning Habit

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              4. See the Good in Bad

              When encountering obstacles or challenging goals, you want to be in the habit of finding what works to get over them.

              Here are 10 tips to make positive thinking easy.

              5. Stop Thinking

              Just do. If you find motivation for a particular project lacking, try getting started on something else. Something trivial even, then you’ll develop the momentum to begin the more important stuff.

              When you’re thinking and worrying about it too much, you’re just wasting time. These tried worry busting techniques can help you.

              6. Know Yourself

              Keep notes on when your motivation sucks and when you feel like a superstar. There will be a pattern that, once you are aware of, you can work around and develop.

              Read for yourself how the magic of marking down your mood works.

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              7. Track Your Progress

              Keep a tally or a progress bar for ongoing projects. When you see something growing, you will always want to nurture it.

              Take a look at these 4 simple ways to track your progress so you have motivation to achieve your goals.

              8. Help Others

              Share your ideas and help friends get motivated. Seeing others do well will motivate you to do the same. Write about your success and get feedback from readers.

              Helping others actually helps yourself, here’s why.

              What I would hope happens here is you will gradually develop certain skills that become motivational habits.

              Once you get to the stage where you are regularly helping others keep motivated – be it with a blog or talking with peers – you’ll find the cycle continuing where each facet of staying motivated is refined and developed.

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              Too Many Steps?

              If you could only take one step? Just do it!

              Once you get started on something, you’ll almost always just get into it and keep going. There will be times when you have to do things you really don’t want to: that’s where the other steps and tips from other writers come in handy.

              However, the most important thing, that I think is worth repeating, is to just get started.

              Get that momentum going and then when you need to, take Ian’s Step 7 and Take A Break. No one wants to work all the time!

              More Tips for Boosting Motivation

              Featured photo credit: Japheth Mast via unsplash.com

              Reference

              [1] Ian McKenzie: 8 mental steps to self-motivation

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