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Top 10 Ways to Use del.icio.us

Top 10 Ways to Use del.icio.us
del.icio.us

Del.icio.us is an excellent system for archiving your favorite information from across the Net, tracking hot topics, and discovering new and useful sites. The power of del.icio.us comes in the form of it’s “collective intelligence”, which is constantly adding, reviewing, and filtering new information.

The community of del.icio.us allows you to find some of the best resources on the Internet without having to trudge through all of the junk.

It also gives you a centralized management system for organizing information from around the Net. However, many people are unaware of it’s complete list of features and valuable add-ons.
Here are 10 ways that you can use del.icio.us to its full potential.

1. Del.icio.us Firefox Extension
Del.icio.us Firefox Extension should be the number-one del.icio.us tool on your list. It allows you to quickly and easily add sites you like to del.icio.us with a bookmarklet. This tool puts a “My del.icio.us” button at the top of your browser, allowing you to view your save pages at the click of a button.

It also adds a “Tag this” button to the top of your browser, which allows you to bookmark websites while you’re browsing the Web.

If you use Internet Explorer, download this Internet Explorer Extension.

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This Firefox Extension has saved me tons of keyboard time.

2. Desktop Shortcut for Delicious
Having to visit the del.icio.us website each time you want to access your bookmarks can be a time-consuming process. Why not plug your bookmarks into your desktop for easy access. You can do this with Delwin for Windows and Delibar for the Mac.

3. Increase Your Search Powers.
There are a variety of ways to search del.icio.us.

To view bookmarks tagged with a specific keyword, type in:
http://del.icio.us/tag/keyword

To view bookmarks tagged with two or more keywords, type in:
http://del.icio.us/tag/keyword+keyword

So for example, if I wanted to look for sites about organization and GTD, I would type in:
http://del.icio.us/tag/organization+GTD

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If I wanted to narrow the search even further, I could include four terms:
http://del.icio.us/tag/organization+GTD+office+tools

If you are looking for the most popular sites in any category, than simply type in:
http://del.icio.us/rss/popular/TAGNAME

So if you are trying to find the most popular sites related to GTD, you would type in:
http://del.icio.us/rss/popular/GTD

4. Bookmark from Google Reader
If you’re a fan of Google Reader, then you’ll definitely want to start using Google Reader + del.icio.us. This is a Greasemonkey script that puts an “add to del.icio.us” button at the bottom of each post in Google Reader. With a single click, you will be able to transfer interesting posts from Google Reader into your del.icio.us bookmark collection.

5. Bundle Your Tags
Does your tag cloud look like a huge, disorganized mess. Bundle those tags into related categories for easy access. To organize your tags into bundles, click on the “Settings” link in the top right-hand corner.

From this page, click on “bundle tags” under the tags heading and start creating your own bundles.

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Of course, if you’re not into the whole bundling idea, then you can always just use the search box in the upper right hand corner of del.icio.us.

If you want to limit your search to specific tags, then use the prefix “tag:”. An example for all you productivity junkies might be “tag:gtd”.

6. Newsmasher

Here’s a cool Greasemonkey script called Newsmasher that places a small “del.icio.us” tag on the upper left corner of your browser. When clicked, a small window appears displaying what del.icio.us users are writing about the page you are viewing.

This is a great way to get some quick feedback on any website you’re visiting. Quickly find out if people are giving it a virtual “thumbs up” or “thumbs down”.

7. Use the Inbox
Navigate to http://del.icio.us/inbox. Here you can subscribe to various tags or specific users. This is an excellent way to discover new sites that you may enjoy. It almost reminds me a bit of StumbleUpon. Based on the preferences you submit, you will be given a flow of new items to check out.

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8. A variety of del.icio.us Uses
You can use del.icio.us in a number of exciting and interesting ways. Here are a few examples
to get you started:

  • Bookmark movies you want to see
  • Travel planning
  • Bookmark books you want to read
  • Bookmark things you want to blog about
  • Research

9. Publish Your del.icio.us Bookmarks on Your Website.
In addition to all that, you can also share your latest del.icio.us bookmarks on your websites for all of your readers to enjoy. You can do this using Linkrolls and Tagrolls.

Linkrolls display your latest del.icio.us bookmarks while tagrolls display all of your del.icio.us tags in a tag cloud.

You can see these unique features in action at this blog . His bookmarks are on the left and his tags are on the right.

10. Creative Tagging
My final tip is based on a bit of creative tagging. For my most important tags, I place an “@” in front of them. This moves them up to the very top of my tag list. So, for example, for books that I want to read in the future, I have a tag labeled @books. This simple trick allows me to place my most important tags at the very top of the tag list.

If you know of any other del.icio.us tips, please add them in the comments.

Kim Roach is a productivity junkie who blogs regularly at The Optimized Life. Read her articles on 50 EssentialGTD Resources, How to Have a 46 Hour Day, Do You Need
a Braindump
, What They Don’t Teach You in School, andFree Yourself From the Inbox.

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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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