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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 October 18, 2018

              10 Key Characteristics of a Highly Successful Entrepreneur

              10 Key Characteristics of a Highly Successful Entrepreneur

              When it comes to starting your own business and pursuing your dream of becoming an entrepreneur, it can be advantageous to go all in and embrace the flexibility of finally quitting your day job.

              Keep in mind, though, that it takes a special kind of person to take the business world by storm: a person who has cultivated the key characteristics of entrepreneurial success.

              People with these characteristics are likely to succeed, whereas people without them have difficulty moving forward with even the most brilliant business ideas.

              These characteristics of an entrepreneur are so important that I’ve decided to cover all 10 of them in detail so that you can start your business with your best foot forward.

              1. Successful Entrepreneurs Practice Discipline

              Plenty of business experts claim that you can’t get anywhere as an entrepreneur without vision or creativity, but that’s simply not the truth. Instead, the one quality that no entrepreneur can be successful without is discipline.

              To build an idea into a business, you have to have the discipline to spend time slogging through the least fun parts of running a business (like the bookkeeping), rather than taking that time to do something fun.

              Andrew Carnegie, one of the most financially successful Americans of all time, grew up working dull and difficult jobs in factories. Despite going to bed hungry some nights, he continued doing his best work. He was eventually hired by a railroad company and continued to move up the ladder until starting his own successful businesses. Carnegie is a fine example of an entrepreneur dedicated to discipline and hard work. He truly earned his dreams of prosperity and success.

              When you’re the boss, there’s no one to keep you at work except yourself — and there’s no short-term consequences for skipping out early.

              Sure, if an entrepreneur plays hooky enough he knows that the business just won’t happen, but it’s very hard to convince someone that ‘just this once’ won’t hurt (and to keep ‘just this once’ from becoming a daily occurrence).

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              2. Successful Entrepreneurs Keep Calm

              Things go wrong when you run your own business.

              Most entrepreneurs go through crises with their businesses — and more than a few wind up with outright failures on their hands. But when you’re responsible for a business, you have to be able to keep calm in any situation. Any other reaction — whether you lose your temper or get flustered — compounds the problem.

              Instead, a good entrepreneur must have the ability to keep his cool in an emergency or crisis. It may not make the problem easier to solve, but it certainly won’t make it harder.

              Honestly, losing your calm is a quick path to becoming the kind of person who gives up in the face of adversity. Instead giving in to frustration, remember classic entrepreneur Benjamin Franklin.

              Franklin kept his calm as he experimented and tweaked his inventions again and again in pursuit of success. He didn’t give up during his many failures – he chose to innovate. You can choose innovation, too.

              If an entrepreneur can handle failure without frustration or anger, s/he can move past it to find success.

              3. Successful Entrepreneurs Pay Attention to Details

              Restricting your attention to the big picture can be even more problematic than ‘sweating the small stuff.’

              As an entrepreneur, unless venture capital has magically dropped out of the sky, a small expense can be a killer. It’s attention to detail that can make a small business successful when it has competition and it’s attention to detail that can keep costs down.

              Attention to detail can be difficult to maintain — going over ledgers can be tedious even when you aren’t trying to pay close attention — but keeping your eye on a long-term vision is just asking for a problem to sneak in under a radar.

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              After a business grows, an entrepreneur might be able to hire someone to worry about the details. In the beginning, though, only one person can take responsibility for the details.

              Skeptical about the importance of details? Look no further than Howard Schultz, who grew a small coffee shop called Starbucks into one of the most globally successful coffee businesses in the world through his extreme attention to detail.

              He is famous for taking all aspects of growing a business into account, paying attention not only to financially smart business decisions, but also focusing on socially responsible business decisions. Details can take you far.

              4. Successful Entrepreneurs Embrace Risks

              No entrepreneur has a sure thing, no matter how much money s/he stands to earn on a given product. Even if a product tests well, the market can change, the warehouse can burn down and a whole slew of other misfortune can befall a small business.

              It’s absolutely risky to run a business of your own and while you can get some insurance, it’s not like most investment options. Even worse, if something does go wrong, it’s the entrepreneur’s responsibility — no matter the actual cause. In order to deal with all of that without developing an ulcer, you have to have a good tolerance for risk.

              You don’t need to channel your inner frat boy and take on absolutely stupid risks, but you need to know just how much you can afford to risk — and get a good idea of how likely you are to lose it. If the numbers make you uncomfortable, the risk is too great.

              Embracing risks is essential for growth and additional success, as well. Walt Disney, for example, could have stayed comfortable with his advances in the film and animation industries, but decided to expand his brand with a new dream: a theme park that soared above the competition. Without taking this risk, the incredibly successful Disney theme park empire would never have come about.

              An entrepreneur has to be willing to accept pretty big risks, with some level of comfort.

              5. Successful Entrepreneurs are Balanced

              You can take any characteristic too far. There’s a point at which attention to detail can become obsession or calm can become unemotional response.

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              As an entrepreneur, you have to be able to balance your characteristics, getting the most of them without going over the edge. But balance for an entrepreneur goes far beyond keeping your characteristics in check, though.

              Just as an entrepreneur doesn’t have a boss to keep them at work when necessary, they don’t have one to send them home when they’re done. If you are working for yourself, you have to decide how to balance your work and home life — and if you have a day job to add into the equation, balance just gets more complicated.

              Oprah Winfrey, one of the most successful and influential entrepreneurs out there, understands the importance of balance. Winfrey has a lot going on; she runs her own media kingdom, acts, produces films, publishes print, and more. In an interview with Fast Company,[1] she talks about her efforts to balance priorities and self care, saying that she must ask herself what is truly important in each limited day.

              You may or may not have as much on your plate as Oprah, but learning how to balance whatever you have going on in life will certainly help you farther along down the road as you learn to be a great entrepreneur.

              6. Successful Entrepreneurs are Passionate and Motivated

              In order to develop any of the above characteristics, you must have a foundation of passion. Staying disciplined day after day during the building of your business takes unrivaled motivation.

              Before you start any business, ask yourself if you can sustain true excitement about your idea during even the darkest days ahead of you. If the answer is yes, then good for you! Nurture your natural motivation by taking these action steps throughout your business journey:

              • Commit to making short and long-term goals. Check in with them often to stay on task.
              • Have a plan in place for the inevitable days when you feel discouraged. Make a list of things that will help keep you motivated and focused.
              • Share your ideas with trusted individuals who are just as excited as you are. They will help keep your enthusiasm rolling even when you are feeling down.

              By being prepared for apathetic days and holding fast to your authentic passion, you can actually enjoy your journey to success.

              7. Successful Entrepreneurs Adapt

              Remember this one word: flexibility. Seasoned entrepreneurs know that change is not only a part of life, but also a part of the business world. Expect change and choose to adapt.

              As a new entrepreneur, it will be tempting to cling to your original business plan with no exceptions, even if you notice it isn’t working. Good entrepreneurs know that it’s okay to make smart, informed changes in order to ensure efficiency.

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              8. Successful Entrepreneurs are Marketing and Sales Experts

              No matter what kind of business you are starting, a knowledge of marketing and sales will save you many headaches. A passion for creating a beautiful handmade lifestyle product is not enough to run a successful lifestyle brand; it is critical that you understand key business principles in addition to your natural skills or great product line.

              Not sure how to start? Taking business courses is a great idea, but you can also easily brush up on sales and marketing through free online resources. Check out these 10 Sales Skills Everyone Should Master To Be Successful to begin now.

              9. Successful Entrepreneurs Have Strong Money Management

              Along with sales and marketing skills, money management is a very useful tool in the box of the entrepreneur. Understanding how to best manage your money can be the difference between early success and early failure in the business world.

              If money management isn’t your strongest skill, prepare to hire a financial expert to help you with any tricky business that comes up. Financial guidance and knowledge is never a bad idea.

              10. Successful Entrepreneurs Ask Questions and Continually Improve

              Pride is a natural human quality, but it’s important to humbly conduct some constructive criticism every now and again on both yourself as a leader and your new business as a whole.

              Assess how things are going and be willing to make positive changes if necessary. Here’re 15 ways to cultivate lifelong learning.

              If you are always improving, then how can you ultimately fail?

              The Bottom Line

              Let me remind you of one important fact: the qualities of an entrepreneur listed here are not exclusively available to some people and elusive to others.

              Although some people may have natural strengths and weaknesses, these qualities can be learned by anyone interested in taking up the entrepreneurial challenge. It might not be easy to change old habits, but it is absolutely possible to cultivate these characteristics in yourself.

              Whether you’re a business owner or an aspiring entrepreneur, with hard work, you can train yourself to develop the qualities that truly determine the entrepreneurial spirit and future success.

              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

              Reference

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