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4 Firefox Add-Ons to Ease Your Online Life

4 Firefox Add-Ons to Ease Your Online Life

    I’ve experienced 100s of Firefox add-ons, and have whittled them down to about two dozen I use on a regular basis — even out of these, I have favorites. Here are 4 I find both casually enjoyable and sheerly indispensable; I hope they add value to your browsing. Even if you’ve heard of them before, I share specific reasons why they’re so useful + fun (usefun!). All are compatible with the wonderful Firefox 3:

    DownloadHelper

    Ever wanted to download Flash videos from YouTube or another site and found yourself frustrated by sluggish web conversion utilities?

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    This add-on keeps rocketing in popularity, and with good reason: it simplifies the process of downloading multimedia with a couple clicks. It can be as easy as opening a movie-playing page, clicking the toolbar icon, and selecting the file to download. Moments later, it’ll be on your hard drive.

    The interface is a bit odd at first, but once you get up to speed, it’s a breeze. I use this for archiving FLV copies of videos I’ve created — please don’t do bad things with it.

    Picnik

    Picnik has saved me a tremendous amount of time by removing wasteful steps in my workflow. This add-on provides an easy path to visually send a webpage into my fave online Picnik image editor (many features are free) so it can be cropped and edited with delicious effects, then posted on your blog, Flickr, another photo-sharing site, or even saved back to your hard drive. For that reason alone, it has a halo appeal for bloggers who need webpage screenshots… fast!

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    Before, I suffered with saving screen captures to disk, then Photoshopping them because most lesser editors are too limited on the tasty eye candy. But Picnik has a fine balance of both, and enables the process to take place totally online.

    Alas, the Picnik add-on can’t capture your web browser or other apps’ user interface; you’ll still need a utility like Gadwin Printscreen (free) or SnagIt for that.

    ScrapBook

    Perhaps you desire to capture a webpage’s appearance, not as a static image but as an annotable file? ScrapBook will do that and more for you: it can cache whole webpages or parts of them for later review, then you can add notes and sort your clippings into folders.

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    This is terribly handy if you’re on a laptop and want to save some offline reading material for when you get on a plane or train.

    There’s lots of excellent note-taking assistants like EverNote out there, but ScrapBook integrates extremely well into Firefox.

    Tree Style Tab

    Arguably, I may’ve saved the best and most un-obvious for last. Tabs are a fundamental and common feature in every popular web browser, but they’re often positioned horizontally. If you’re a frequent tabber, instead of messing around with proportionally-shrinking or even multi-row horizontal tabs, wouldn’t you like to be able to have a long list of vertical tabs? Even better, you can expand/collapse these into trees, change the width of their titles on-the-fly (or lock the width), and tweak the nitty-gritty details. Also, on the rare occasion should you want to revert to horizontal tabs, Tree Style Tab gives you that power too.

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    Once I transitioned to vertical tabs, I never looked back: vertical tabs are far easier to manage and sort, exponentially boosting my effectiveness and allowing me to make far more use of Firefox’s “Open All in Tabs”, since the tree-view helps keep clutter down.

    Are you skeptical? Think of how long info-lists like menus, phone numbers, and spreadsheets are organized: vertically. Then dive in, for Tree Style Tab is even more tasty with the popular Tab Mix Plus.

    Here’s a raw shot of my vertical tabs before being Picnicked as shown above, but there’s no better way to understand than to experience this joy yourself — click for full-size:

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      Last Updated on August 29, 2018

      5 Killer Online Journal Tools That Make Journaling Easier and More Fun

      5 Killer Online Journal Tools That Make Journaling Easier and More Fun

      Journaling is one of the most useful personal development tools around. Not only does it help us process emotions and experiences, work through internal conflicts and improve our self-awareness, it also provides us with a way to keep a day-to-day record of our lives. Traditionally an activity limited to pen and paper, the expansion of consumer technology has enabled journaling to go digital.

      Saving your journaling entries online enables you to access them from anywhere, without having to carry a notebook and pen around, and provides you with digital features, like tagging and search functions.

      Here are a list of five online journaling tools you can use to bring your practice into the modern age:

      1. 750words

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      750 words

        750words is a free online journaling tool created by Buster Benson. The site is based on the idea of “Morning Pages”; a journaling tool Julia Cameron suggests in her creativity course The Artist’s Way. Cameron advises aspiring creatives to start each morning with three pages of stream-of-consciousness writing to clear away the mental clutter, leaving you with a clearer mind to face the day.

        750 words is the three-page digital equivalent (assuming the average person writes 250 words per page) and lets you store all your journaling online. Each morning, you’ll receive a prompt asking you to write your 750 words, and the site keeps track of various statistics associated with your entries. The site uses a Regressive Imagery Dictionary to calculate the emotional content from your posts and provides feedback on features like your mood, and most commonly used words.

        750 words is simple to set up and is ideal for anyone who finds it challenging to maintain a consistent journaling practice. The site uses a number of incentives to motivate users, including animal badges awarded to journalers who complete a certain number of days in a row, leader boards, and opt-in monthly challenges.

        2. Ohlife

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        ohlife

          Ohlife is designed to make online journaling as easy as possible. Once you’ve signed up for your free account, the website will send you an email each day asking “How did your day go?” Simply reply to the email with as much or as little detail as you like, and your response will be stored on your account, ready to view next time you log in.

          Ohlife’s appeal lies in its simplicity: no stats, no social sharing, no complicated organisational systems—the site is designed to provide you with a private, online space. Simply respond to the email each day (or skip the days you’re busy) and Ohlife will do the rest.

          3. Oneword

          oneword

            OneWord is a fun online tool that provides you with a single word as a prompt and gives you sixty seconds to write about it. The concept’s aim is to help writers learn how to flow, and the prompts range from the everyday mundane to the profound.

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            Oneword is not a private journaling tool: if you sign up, your answers will be published on the site’s daily blog, which contains a stream of users’ answers, and might be used by Oneword in the future. If you’d rather keep your answers to yourself, you can still use the tool for fun without giving out any personal details.

            4. Penzu

              Penzu is a journaling tool that allows you to store your journaling notes online. The service also offers mobile apps for iOS, Android and Blackberry, so you can journal on the go and save your notes to your account. The basic service is free, however you can upgrade to Penzu Pro and get access to additional features, including military-grade encryption and the ability to save and sync data through your mobile, for $19 per year.

              With either version of Penzu, you can insert pictures, and add tags and comments to entries, as well as search for older entries. You can set your posts to be private and viewable by you only, or share them with others.

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              5. Evernote

              Evernote isn’t a purpose-built journaling tool, however its features make it perfect for keeping your journaling notes in one safe place. With the ability to keep separate “notebooks”, tag your entries, include pictures, audio and web clipping, Evernote will appeal to journalers who want to include more formats than just text in their entries.

              Available online within a web browser, and as a stand-alone desktop app, the service also comes with a series of mobile apps covering almost every device available. These allow you to make notes on the go and sync between the mobile and browser versions of the app.

              For additional features, including text recognition and the ability to collaborate on Notebooks, you can upgrade to Evernote’s premium service, which costs $5 per month.

              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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