Spend your work day on a computer? You’re in the right place. This is the second post in the Manage Your Work Load Series, which provides online marketers with work load organization applications to optimize browsing productivity.
Last week I talked about some of my favorite applications, including Rapportive (find contact info quickly through Gmail), Evernote (organize and store notes, Microsoft Word 2.0 in the cloud), and Lastpass (automatically save passwords and easily login to sites). You can check it out through the link below.
Optimize Your Web Browsing
I have a hard time staying true to a diet. Just like I have a hard time staying focused when web browsing.
When (Ok, if) I go on a diet I need to clean out my cupboards, and plan most of my meals in advance (Willpower has never really been my strong point).
For a diet, I need reinforcement and organization to stay on task (Otherwise my diet will consist of coffee, brownies and peanut butter toast). So I keep a food diary and write down everything I eat. The same structure really helps me stay on task when web browsing.
Check out the 7 web browsing tools below which help me keep a web browsing diary.
Eliminate Waste Web Browsing
1. Optimize Web Browsing with Web Time Tracker
Web Time Tracker keeps track of how much time you spend on each page you browse, in relation to your total web browsing activity for the day. The timer pauses whenever you are not actively using a page, so it accurately reflects the time spent actually web browsing, not the time a window has been open.
Here is a look at my web browsing activity via Web Time Tracker on Saturday (which confirms that yes, I check my email much too often):
Improve Your Web Browsing
Web Time Tracker is a good way to force myself into productivity with irrefutable web browsing data (I do the same thing to force myself to eat healthy with my food diary).
With Web Time Tracker you can also:
- Plan your tasks according to your browsing tendencies to boost your browsing efficiency (E.g. Schedule only 30 minutes of Facebook time in your day).
- Review where you have browsed throughout your day, week, or lifetime.
- Manage how long Web Time Tracker stores your browsing time information (erase it, save it for 1-2 months or indefinitely):
Web Time Tracker Summary
- Web Time Tracker holds you accountable for where and how long you browse, and reveals what your browsing habits truly are (today, yesterday and as long as you’ve been browsing).
- Keep track of browsing time on sites you know decrease productivity (Somehow I watched 6 hours of Community on Netflix last weekend, yikes!).
- Web Time Tracker leaves no room for excuses. You may not like what you see.
2. StayFocusd Browser tool
StayFocusd tracks the amount of time you spend browsing on specific sites and prevents you from using them after a predetermined amount of time. Identify sites with StayFocusd which you waste time on and how long you will allow yourself browse on them, and StayFocusd will block you from browsing on them once that established time is reached.
Like Web Time Tracker, StayFocusd only times you while you are browsing on the site, once you click out, the timer pauses.
Once you open a site or page which you have limited browsing time for, StayFocusd begins to count down from the set time, as below:
I use StayFocusd as my virtual trainer browser tool, keeping me on-track and efficient while web browsing at work.
When you are nearing your pre-determined time limit, StayFocusd reminds you of the impending deadline with a warning pop up (Don’t eat that cookie!):
Additionally, StayFocusd helps you save you from yourself, with its “no cheat” browsing feature (self-named). Which will not allow you to remove sites as blocked once they have reached their maximum time allowance.
So once you’ve been logged out of Facebook, you can’t get back in by extending the browsing time limit on that site, or taking it off the block list. The following pop up appears when you try to do so:
Optimize Browser Efficiency with StayFocusd
After you download StayFocusd, you need to identify which sites you’d like blocked, and how much time you will allow yourself to browse on them.
You can block browsing access through the drop down menu (1), or by typing them in the advanced options menu (2), as noted below:
By default, StayFocusd sets the browsing time limit to 10 minutes, but you can edit this through the settings option in the drop down menu:
- Prevent any lapse in self-control while browsing, with your own browsing productivity enforcing tool.
- If you use Facebook for work and pleasure (link useful resource articles for other users, but also waste browser time viewing status updates). You either have to block Facebook and not post any links, or leave it unrestricted, and trust your self-control.
- You can still access sites through a different web browser (don’t be tempted by Firefox).
Optimize Your Browsing Habits
3. Improve Your Browser Activity with Session Manager
For those of you who are interrupted a lot or switch from different browsing tasks frequently, Session Manager is the solution to all of your problems (Excluding that winning lottery ticket).
Session Manager allows you to save your current browser tabs, windows and pages and re-open them later.
Maximize Web Browsing Efficiency
Session Manager allows me to save browsing sessions so I can organize my work load. Planning out my daily browser activities and scheduling chunks of time to focus on specific tasks really helps me stay productive, and optimize my browsing.
Here is a quick look at some of the browsing sessions I have saved, which are based on tasks I perform daily:
With Session Manager you can also:
- Import and Export sessions to other services or computers:
Session Manager Summary
- Return to web browsing projects after having been interrupted.
- Organize and save browsing sessions according to your personal preferences. (Like all of your research on which Honda Sport Bike to buy.)
- Bookmarks might start giving you the stink eye.
4. Optimize Browsing Productivity with TabJump
Optimize Browsing and Tailor Your Browsing
TabJump is a convenient application for the disorganized web browser. I use TabJump to easily access tabs which relate to what I am browsing. Check out some of the things you can do with TabJump:
- Access frequently used tabs, and lock open tabs.
- Restore closed browser tabs (Impress people and say “alakazam” first).
- Larger interface, not very minimalist friendly.
5. TooManyTabs, the Web Browsing Tool for Champions
Navigate Between Browser Tabs
TooManyTabs is an extension designed to help you navigate within your browsing session, which gets pretty cluttered if you’re anything like me.
With TooManyTabs you can also:
- View all the browser tabs you have open, to get a more holistic view of your browser tabs (note the picture below).
- Return to closed tabs, search tab history, and organize existing open tabs.
- Always know how many browsing tabs you have open at a glance, I have 24 tabs in the example below (the first step is admitting you have a problem):
- Organize, and access multiple open browser tabs.
- Open closed tabs or browse tab history.
- When open, TooManyTabs covers a large portion of your browser screen.
6. Browse Effectively with Speed Dial
Access Sites for Optimized Browsing
My main motivation for using Speed Dial? I’m just too lazy to click through multiple folders in bookmarks, or goodness forbid type an entire URL into a search box to browse. What’s next? Walking up an escalator?
With Speed Dial you can also:
- Organize site links according to your personal preferences.
- Google Search.
- Access your frequently used web browsing pages every time you open a chrome tab, and open them with one click (because any more than that would be work):
Speed Dial Summary
- Quickly access browser sites you use frequently.
- It’s pretty! You can edit the theme and layout of Speed Dial (My color scheme is blue).
- You tell me.
7. AppJump, the Extension to Optimize Extensions
AppJump lets you organize other Apps and Extensions by grouping them.
You can group your applications and extensions through the Manage Apps and Extensions page for easy access:
- Optimize your web browsing extensions in organized groups.
- Launch applications right from the AppJump menu.
- AppJump only allows you to launch certain web applications from its dropdown menu.
Stay Organized My Friends
You are well on your way to optimal efficiency in your online marketing campaign with these optimization web browsing tools, and work flow applications.
Keep looking busy, and you can use the time you’re saving to develop more Klout.