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Top 10 Greasemonkey scripts to improve your productivity

Top 10 Greasemonkey scripts to improve your productivity
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    Two weeks ago we covered the top 10 Firefox extensions to improve your productivity. Similarly, the powerful Greasemonkey extension (with the help of Stylish) can do wonders for your productivity, as well. You can accomplish many of the tasks that the Greasemonkey scripts below can do with various Firefox extensions. However, if you prefer to keep your list of extensions short (and to help conserve your computer memory) then give these scripts a try and watch your productivity soar! The following are 10 Greasemonkey scripts that are bound to improve your productivity and web browsing experience.

    If you’re unfamiliar with the Greasemonkey Firefox extension, here is the somewhat techy definition from Wikipedia:

    Greasemonkey is a Mozilla Firefox extension that allows users to install scripts that make on-the-fly changes to specific web pages. As the Greasemonkey scripts are persistent, the changes made to the web pages are executed every time the page is opened, making them effectively permanent for the user running the script.

    The first step is to install Greasemonkey like any other extension. For the purpose of this tutorial, also install Stylish exactly the same way you installed Greasemonkey. I have directly linked to the 10 Greasemonkey scripts below, so after you install Greasemonkey, all you need to do is click the links and the script will be installed.

    1. Gmail Conversation Preview

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      Gmail Conversation Preview lets you right click on your messages in Gmail and see a preview of the message. Furthermore, Gmail Conversation Preview allows you to mark your email message as unread, archive, or delete exactly as if you had the email message open. Using this script will reduce the amount of time it takes to get through your email tremendously.

      2. Stylish + Adblocking per Gozer
      This script was introduced two weeks ago in my list of Firefox extensions. Adblocker is extremely accurate and will block all Google Adsense and many other various advertisements on any site throughout the web. With the amount of distractions cut out, your can get some serious work done.

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      3. Google Reader + Gmail

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        If you use both the Gmail and the Google Reader suite of applications, you can integrate Google Reader into Gmail so that you can read your feeds right in your Gmail window. Google Reader + Gmail tucks your Google Reader feeds right into Gmail allowing you to read your favorite feeds without leaving your email.

        4. Invisibility cloak
        When you really need to hunker down and get some work done, the best alternative is to completely block those time wasting sites. To explain, you can create a list of the sites you find yourself sucked to, and schedule them to be blocked until after a certain time. For example if you keep getting sucked to Lifehack.org, or Digg.com, you can ban these sites until after 5pm. Lifehacker’s Gina Trapani wrote the Invisibility Cloak script and it blocks flickr.com and metafilter.com by default. If you want to add your own favorite time-sucking sites, right click the Greasemonkey logo in the bottom right corner of Firefox, choose “Manage User Scripts…” and add your Web sites to the list. The script is totally customizable and great for your productivity if you don’t mind going cold turkey on some of your favorite sites.

        5. Gmail Macros

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          “This excellent script extends the built-in Gmail keyboard shortcuts to let you mark an email as read, star it, move it, send it to the trash and a host of other added functionality” all with a couple quick key strokes. In order to see a list of all the keyboard shortcuts added by this script, open up Gmail and type ‘?’ and you will get an expanded view of the window I have shown.

          6. Google Image Relinker
          The Google Image relinking script redirects your Google Image search results directly to the full sized image so that you no longer have to click through the originating site to get to the full-sized image.

          7. Gmail Persistent Searches.

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            If you find that you are consistently searching Gmail for the same type of content, a persistent search would be for you. With this Greasemonkey script, you can create one-click searches of all of your email.

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            8. Add a second inbox to your Gmail account.
            If you’re sick and tired of fighting with your significant other about whose Gmail account is signed in, or if you manage more than one email account, rather than forwarding all your email to one account, with this Greasemonkey script you can add a second button to your Gmail account and quickly flip between two accounts. In order to use this script, you have to edit the .js file to include your second email account.

            9. RSS Quick Subscribe

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              If you use Google Reader, RSS Quick subscribe will show you links to the RSS feeds in the top right corner. Give the links a quick click and you will seamlessly be subcribed via Google Reader

              10. Gmail Attachment Reminder

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                Ever use the line “I have attached so and so” and then forget to actually attach the document? Of course you have, everybody has! However, with the attachment reminder, you will never forget again. If you use the words “attach” or “attached” and there is no attachment, the script will ask if you forgot the attachment. This script has come in handy for me tons of times!

                I know I must have missed tons of productivity-enhancing Greasemonkey scripts. Which of the above mentioned scripts can’t you live without? Please share your favorite Greasemonkey scripts in the comments.

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                Last Updated on November 5, 2019

                How to Cultivate Continuous Learning to Stay Competitive

                How to Cultivate Continuous Learning to Stay Competitive

                Assuming the public school system didn’t crush your soul, learning is a great activity. It expands your viewpoint. It gives you new knowledge you can use to improve your life. It is important for your personal growth. Even if you discount the worldly benefits, the act of learning can be a source of enjoyment.

                “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” — Mark Twain

                But in a busy world, it can often be hard to fit in time to learn anything that isn’t essential. The only things learned are those that need to be. Everything beyond that is considered frivolous. Even those who do appreciate the practice of lifelong learning, can find it difficult to make the effort.

                Here are some tips for installing the habit of continuous learning:

                1. Always Have a Book

                It doesn’t matter if it takes you a year or a week to read a book. Always strive to have a book that you are reading through, and take it with you so you can read it when you have time.

                Just by shaving off a few minutes in-between activities in my day I can read about a book per week. That’s at least fifty each year.

                2. Keep a “To-Learn” List

                We all have to-do lists. These are the tasks we need to accomplish. Try to also have a “to-learn” list. On it you can write ideas for new areas of study.

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                Maybe you would like to take up a new language, learn a skill or read the collective works of Shakespeare. Whatever motivates you, write it down.

                3. Get More Intellectual Friends

                Start spending more time with people who think. Not just people who are smart, but people who actually invest much of their time in learning new skills. Their habits will rub off on you.

                Even better, they will probably share some of their knowledge with you.

                4. Guided Thinking

                Albert Einstein once said,

                “Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.”

                Simply studying the wisdom of others isn’t enough, you have to think through ideas yourself. Spend time journaling, meditating or contemplating over ideas you have learned.

                5. Put it Into Practice

                Skill based learning is useless if it isn’t applied. Reading a book on C++ isn’t the same thing as writing a program. Studying painting isn’t the same as picking up a brush.

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                If your knowledge can be applied, put it into practice.

                In this information age, we’re all exposed to a lot of information, it’s important to re-learn how to learn so as to put the knowledge into practice.

                6. Teach Others

                You learn what you teach. If you have an outlet of communicating ideas to others, you are more likely to solidify that learning.

                Start a blog, mentor someone or even discuss ideas with a friend.

                7. Clean Your Input

                Some forms of learning are easy to digest, but often lack substance.

                I make a point of regularly cleaning out my feed reader for blogs I subscribe to. Great blogs can be a powerful source of new ideas. But every few months, I realize I’m collecting posts from blogs that I am simply skimming.

                Every few months, purify your input to save time and focus on what counts.

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                8. Learn in Groups

                Lifelong learning doesn’t mean condemning yourself to a stack of dusty textbooks. Join organizations that teach skills.

                Workshops and group learning events can make educating yourself a fun, social experience.

                9. Unlearn Assumptions

                You can’t add water to a full cup. I always try to maintain a distance away from any idea. Too many convictions simply mean too few paths for new ideas.

                Actively seek out information that contradicts your worldview.

                Our minds can’t be trusted, but this is what we can do about it to be wiser.

                10. Find Jobs that Encourage Learning

                Pick a career that encourages continual learning. If you are in a job that doesn’t have much intellectual freedom, consider switching to one that does.

                Don’t spend forty hours of your week in a job that doesn’t challenge you.

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                11. Start a Project

                Set out to do something you don’t know how. Forced learning in this way can be fun and challenging.

                If you don’t know anything about computers, try building one. If you consider yourself a horrible artist, try a painting.

                12. Follow Your Intuition

                Lifelong learning is like wandering through the wilderness. You can’t be sure what to expect and there isn’t always an end goal in mind.

                Letting your intuition guide you can make self-education more enjoyable. Most of our lives have been broken down to completely logical decisions, that making choices on a whim has been stamped out.

                13. The Morning Fifteen

                Productive people always wake up early. Use the first fifteen minutes of your morning as a period for education.

                If you find yourself too groggy, you might want to wait a short time. Just don’t put it off later in the day where urgent activities will push it out of the way.

                14. Reap the Rewards

                Learn information you can use. Understanding the basics of programming allows me to handle projects that other people would require outside help. Meeting a situation that makes use of your educational efforts can be a source of pride.

                15. Make Learning a Priority

                Few external forces are going to persuade you to learn. The desire has to come from within. Once you decide you want to make lifelong learning a habit, it is up to you to make it a priority in your life.

                More About Continuous Learning

                Featured photo credit: Paul Schafer via unsplash.com

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