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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.

More by this author

50 Ways to Increase Productivity and Achieve More in Less Time How to Live on a Tight Budget Top 10 Ways to Use del.icio.us Top 20 Free Applications to Increase Your Productivity 101 Steps to Becoming a Better Blogger

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system”.

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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The power of habit

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being six hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The wonderful thing about triggers (reminders)

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to make a reminder works for you

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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