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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 May 14, 2019

      8 Replacements for Google Notebook

      8 Replacements for Google Notebook

      Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

      1. Zoho Notebook
        If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
      2. Evernote
        The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
      3. Net Notes
        If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
      4. i-Lighter
        You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
      5. Clipmarks
        For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
      6. UberNote
        If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
      7. iLeonardo
        iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
      8. Zotero
        Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

      I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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      In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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