Someone on Twitter, several weeks ago, asked me how I manage close to a dozen social profiles and life. I didn’t really have a proper answer at that time, however. So, I’ve been trying to figure out how I manage to be as efficient as I am, and it comes down to several good apps and just some simple real world note taking.
The #1 productivity tool I have is Firefox. It trumps the rest of the browsers in usability, speed, and security. I have issues with the other three, IE is slow and not quite secure, Safari is pretty much Firefox without any real way to improve it’s productivity, and Flock seemed way to cluttered for regular use. I use a clean filing system on my bookmark toolbar to make it easier to get the sites I want when I want them.Then I also use several add-ons that also reduce the time I spend completing tasks. The 3 that I use most often are:
Feed Sidebar, provides your feeds anytime you want without having to visit another site. I find it better than Google Reader as it provides same pre-content viewing when you click the link and opens it when you double-click. It has a multitude of options that allow you to set how often it updates, how long the list remains, and how you want to have the pages opened. The only thing is that your feeds don’t exist in the cloud.
CoolPreviews, formerly CoolIris Previews, an add-on that displays a little mouse-over button that provides a preview of the page on the other side of a link. Think Snapshots without the automation and annoyance of interruption.
Firebug, this one’s going to help web developers and designers out a bit. It provides debugging for your web pages, quick viewing of how a technique someone has on their page that you would like, and also provides some nifty tricks for scraping media.
One more thing to add, not an add-on per say, but Ubiquity is a nifty tool so far. We’ll see if it gets better.
Microblogging and IM.
I use Twhirl for staying up on Twitter and if I need to I can cross post something to Pownce. Very productive tool as I can catch up on close to 200 peoples tweets for a period of 4 hours in a matter of 10-15 minutes.
For my IM client I use Trillian, it allows me to incorporate all my accounts into a single interface and provides me with alerts when I receive an Email so I can respond relatively quick. The cloud variant of this is Meebo but doesn’t provide the email updates, but still a nice piece of browser based software.
Notes, Writing, and Schedule
Notes depending on what the content is. If the note’s just something simple and I’m at my desk I’ll just scribble it down on an index card very simple and old school. If it’s something a bit bigger like a chunk of info off the web I just quick copy it to MS OneNote and clean it up later. I occasionally use Evernote but, it hasn’t become a necessity as I usually am on my own computer.
Writing, I use Onenote because If I need to post something to the web i can just drag it out of the window and drop it. Makes the copy and paste an inefficient process.
For a schedule, I use an old school calendar and just write my info in real quick.
I use Vista, honestly not that bad but, I have 1 icon on my desktop, Recycle Bin all the programs and folders I use are stored in the quicklaunch. Quicklaunch means I don’t have to leave my browser window to open up Photoshop, Trillian, ITunes, Secondary Browsers, or my editors.
P.S. This is just what I do to stay productive I don’t know how much or even if any of this advice would help you.