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Track Internet History On Any Computer

Track Internet History On Any Computer
Track Internet History On Any Computer

    I previously wrote about Google’s new Web History as a handy tool to bookmark sites in retrospect [rather than on the fly] and monitor internet usage through RSS. [see Google Web History for Bookmarking & Monitoring].

    However, the main feature of Web History is to record the sites you visit, ala your browser’s history.

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    Always on the Web

    The first benefit of using this instead of your regular history is that Web History is web based, hosted by Google. This means you don’t have to delete history records to save space on your hard drive, and your history is accessible on other computers.

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    The second, and more interesting, benefit is that you can actually track your surf history while on another computer. All you have to do is login to your Google account, ie. Gmail.

    Track Internet History On Any Computer

      I discovered this while looking for solutions to the corrupt WMI on this computer that was preventing my web access. While performing searches on this other computer, I was logged into Gmail to check overdue emails. Once the problem was resolved, I noticed these queries appear in my Web History.

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      Now if I find something I want to reference while I’m on a different computer, I don’t worry about logging into Del.icio.us or emailing it to myself. I know it will be recorded in Web History and I can tag it later.

      This is another step in the direction Web History is taking me into auto-bookmarking. No more will I bookmark something in case I might want to check it again. Now I only Star items [later] that I know I need for future reference, using tags to put them where they belong.

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      Why would you do this?

      • Mobility – use any computer, anywhere, and have your history with you
      • Stability – no matter how many computers you crash, Web History will still be there
      • Productivity – don’t stop to bookmark, keep your workflow continuous knowing that what you visit is being saved

      Searches

      Also worth noting is that Web History keeps track of every search query you make from Google. Not only that, but it also categorizes those queries into Web, Image and Map searches. This is probably the least useful feature around, but it does indicate more automated categorizing. For instance, Web History already puts your viewed Google Videos in it’s own section. Now, how about the video sharing sites we actually use?

      Web History – [Google]

      More by this author

      Craig Childs

      Craig is an editor and web developer who writes about happiness and motivation at Lifehack

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      Last Updated on September 10, 2019

      How to Master the Art of Prioritization

      How to Master the Art of Prioritization

      Do you know that prioritization is an art? It is an art that will lead you to success in whatever area that matters to you.

      By prioritization, I’m not talking so much about assigning tasks, but deciding which will take chronological priority in your day—figuring out which tasks you’ll do first, and which you’ll leave to last.

      Effective Prioritization

      There are two approaches to “prioritizing” the tasks in your to-do list that I see fairly often:

      Approach #1 Tackling the Biggest Tasks First and Getting Them out of the Way

      The idea is that by tackling them first, you deal with the pressure and anxiety that builds up and prevents you from getting anything done—whether we’re talking about big or small tasks. Leo Babauta is a proponent of this Big Rocks method.[1]

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      Approach #2 Tackling the Tasks You Can Get Done Quickly and Easily, with Minimal Effort

      Proponents of this method believe that by tackling the small fries first, you’ll have less noise distracting you from the periphery of your consciousness.

      If you believe in getting your email read and responded to, making phone calls and getting Google Reader zeroed before you dive into the high-yield work, you’re a proponent of this method. I suppose you could say Getting Things Done (GTD) encourages this sort of method, since the methodology advises followers to tackle tasks that can be completed within two minutes, right there and then.

      Figure out Your Approach for Prioritization

      My own approach is perhaps a mixture of the two.

      I’ll write out my daily task list and draw little priority stars next to the three items I need to get done that day. They don’t need to be big tasks, but nine times out of ten, they are.

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      Smaller tasks are rarely important enough to warrant a star in the first place; I can always get away without even checking my inbox until the next day if I’m swamped, and the people who need to get in touch with me super quickly know how.

      But I’m not recommending my system of prioritization to you. I’m also not saying that mine is better than Leo’s Big Rocks method, and I’m not saying it’s better than the “if it can be done quickly, do it first” method either.

      The thing with prioritization is that knowing when to do what relies very much on you and the way you work. Some people need to get some small work done to find a sense of accomplishment and clarity that allows them to focus on and tackle bigger items. Others need to deal with the big tasks or they’ll get caught up in the busywork of the day and never move on, especially when that Google Reader count just refuses to get zeroed (personally, I recommend the Mark All As Read button—I use it most days!).

      I’m in between, because my own patterns can be all over the place. Some days I will be ready to rip into massive projects at 7AM. Other times I’ll feel the need to zero every inbox I have and clean up the papers on my desk before I can focus on anything serious. I also know that my peak, efficient working time doesn’t come at 11AM or 3PM or some specific time like it does for many people, but I have several peaks divided by a few troughs. I can feel what’s coming on when and try to keep my schedule liquid enough that I can adapt.

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      That’s why I use a starred task list system rather than a scheduled task list. It allows me to trust myself (something that I suppose takes a certain amount of discipline) and achieve peak efficiency by blowing with the winds. If I fight the peaks and troughs, I’ll get less done; but if I do certain kinds of work in each period of the day as they come, I’ll get more done than most others in a similar line of work.

      You may not be able to trust yourself to that extent without falling into the busywork trap. You may not be able to tackle big tasks first thing in the morning without feeling like you’re pushing against an invisible brick wall that won’t budge. You might not be able to deal with small tasks before the big tasks without feeling pangs of guilt and urgency.

      My point is:

      The prioritization systems themselves don’t matter. They’re all pretty good for a group of people, not least of all to the people who espouse them because they use them and find them effective.

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      What matters is that you don’t fall for one set of dogma (and I’m not saying Leo Babauta or David Allen preach these things as dogma, but sometimes their proponents do) until you’ve tried the systems extensively, and found which method of chronological prioritization works for you.

      And if the system you already use works great, then there’s no need to bother trying others—in the world of personal productivity, it’s too easy to mess with something that works and find yourself unable to get back into your former groove.

      “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

      In truth, this principle applies to all sorts of personal productivity issues, though it’s important to know which issues it applies to.

      If you thought multitasking worked well for you each day and I’d have to contend that you are wrong—multitasking is a universal myth in my books! But if you find yourself prioritizing tasks that never get done, you might need to reconsider which of the above approaches you’re using and change to a system that is more personally effective.

      More About Prioritization & Time Management

      Featured photo credit: Sabri Tuzcu via unsplash.com

      Reference

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