I’ll admit it. I am a surfer. I could spend hours just clicking away on different pages on the internet. Each page seems to have something new…a new news story, a blog update, a “you might like this” tag, and that’s even before Farkle. Farkle could be the death of me. For those of you who don’t know, Farkle is a highly addictive Facebook Game App, which involves rolling dice and scoring points. I, along with many of my friends, have spent entirely too much time trying to beat the Farkle high scores. As you can imagine, spending 45 minutes playing Farkle really impedes on the whole Time Management thing. So, I had to find a way to surf the net, and still have time to scrapbook and design (and play a little Farkle). These are the steps I have taken, hopefully they can help you out as well.
TweetDeck – I love social media. I am on Facebook and Twitter, and want to check them all of the time. Originally, I had set up Twitter on my iGoogle homepage, and would visit the Facebook site independently. Not only was this time consuming, but every time I went to check in on Facebook, guess what I stopped to do? Yup, Farkle. I had heard about TweetDeck, but I was reluctant to download another program. Once I gave in, I knew that this would help a ton. Check out my TweetDeck:
TweetDeck has four columns that you can set up. The first column monitors the people I follow, and the second column monitors the replies I get. The third column is the Twitter for Polka Dot Plum. The fourth column monitors the status updates of my Facebook friends. TweetDeck has the functionality to connect with your Facebook account, showing you only the status updates of your friends, not the “Amy took the “Which Twilight Character Are You?” Quiz and here is her result…” posts like the Facebook Homepage does. TweetDeck allows you to publish both tweets and status updates, with the ability to decide if something is a tweet, a status update, or both. With TweetDeck, I am able to follow all of my social media accounts, and stay away from Farkle.
Google Reader – I like to read blogs, I read over 30 of them regularly. This would be a daunting task without the help of Google Reader. With Google Reader, I am able to subscribe to the RSS of the blogs I want to follow, and Reader will show me when they update. It’s like TweetDeck for blogs. I had been happily using Reader through my Reader site for a while, until recently when I found out about the “Next” button. The “Next” button is a button that goes onto your Bookmarks Toolbar, and allows you to scroll through the latest blog posts just by pressing “Next.” What I find great about this little tip is that I don’t have to go directly to the Reader page to see what’s updated, and the “Next” button takes me directly to the blog, whereas the Reader page shows all the posts in a digest format. To install the “Next” button on your Bookmarks Toolbar, go to your Reader homepage, and click Settings -> Goodies. On the Goodies page, there will be instructions on how to install the button, as well as some other cool shortcuts I haven’t tried yet.
Firefox Bookmarks Toolbar – I use Mozilla Firefox as my web browser, having switched from IE6 some time ago. One feature that I have grown to love in Firefox is the Bookmarks Toolbar. In the Toolbar, I am able to put links to my favorite sites, as well as have folders of links. Let me show you before I explain more:
In my toolbar, you can see direct links to a couple of sites: Jessica Sprague, Twitter, Weight Watchers, and the page for the online class I am taking. To add a bookmark as a button to the toolbar, I can choose that option by double clicking the star in the address bar. You can also see some folders. To add a folder to your Bookmark Toolbar, go into Bookmarks -> Organzie Bookmarks -> Right Click on Bookmarks Toolbar and select New Folder. In my Toolbar, the forums folder is first. In this folder, I am able to keep links to the forums that I frequent. To go to one of them, I click the forums button, and a drop down comes down, and I choose where I want to go. I can add items to the folder by highlighting the address in the address bar, and dragging it over to the folder in the toolbar. The same is true of my Inspiration folder. I keep all the links of the sites that I go to for inspiration, and can easily add new ones as I find them. For my folder of digi stores, I took an idea I read in THIS POST at The Daily Digi. What I have done is I have bookmarked all of the sites that I usually shop at, then I went in and edited all of the bookmarks so that they show the store’s release day and/or sale day. Take a look.
Check out the post at The Daily Digi as well, there are some other great tips for shopping smartly.
This saves me a ton of time because I am not going from store to store each day. I only go to the store on the days that are listed. I can’t imagine trying to navigate the web without the Bookmarks toolbar, it saves me time and keeps me organized…not to mention keeps me from having to remember all kinds of info like web addresses and such.
What web applications or programs are you using to save time and make surfing the net easier? I am currently looking into email options…any ideas?
Up Next in the Time Managment Series: Scrap Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger