Okay so here are two questions for you - do you go online much and do you want to increase your productivity? I'm just going to assume the answer is yes to both of those!
I'm also going to assume that you have certain websites that you use frequently - whether these are social media sites, forums or other web locations. Wouldn't is be nice if you had instant access to those sites or your pages on those sites?
For example if you use LinkedIn wouldn't it be great to be able to, with a single click, go direct to your inbox rather than that normal home page?
Let me show you how.
For this tutorial I'm assuming you are using the Google Chrome browser. (If you use a different browser I believe the principles are much the same.)
To start with you need to activate the Google bookmark tool bar and make sure that it is displayed on your machine as this will give you permanent access to your short cuts all the time you are using that browser.
Activating the Google Bookmark Tool Bar
Using the keyboard press and hold down CONTROL and SHIFT and then press B.
This toggles the bookmark tool-bar on and off. (If a tool bar just disappeared off your screen then press the above combination again to bring the bar back.)
Alternatively - If you don't like using the keyboard to do this you can click on the three line icon that is displayed on the top right hand side of Google Chrome. Then click on Bookmarks and Show Bookmarks Bar
However you have done it lets now add a short cut to your bookmark bar.
Adding a Short Cut to the Bookmark Tool Bar
Go to a website that you use frequently and would like to have an instant link to on your toolbar - I'm using Quora.com as my example.
Then highlight the web address until it is blue - as shown below
Left click anywhere within the blue highlight text area and, holding the left mouse button down, drag the address down until it is over the bookmark bar.
You can move it left and right along the bar and a black line indicates where it will be placed once you let go - as shown below -
Step Three and Finished!
When you have the black line in the right place simply let go of the mouse button and the short cut link will be placed in the bookmark bar - as shown below and highlighted with the red arrow
Now when you want to go to the bookmarked site you can simply click on the icon shown on your tool bar - instant access!
Now we have done the basics lets look at using bookmarks cleverly...
Using Bookmarks Cleverly
A clever way to use bookmarks is to use exact ones - i.e. use ones that direct you not just to a website but to a specific part of a website.
So for example in the image above you can see that I have four blue W icons with different text next to them. Those are four different links to different parts of the Edenchanges website which is hosted on Wordpress.
With the four links I can jump directly to the part that I want rather than just going to the front page and then navigating from there. All these things save only a few seconds but those seconds add up when you consider how often you are online.
Many of you reading this will use LinkedIn a lot so you might want to set up a direct link to your LinkedIn inbox rather than your main LinkedIn page - or indeed set up both.
The power of this technique is that you can set a link to any specific address on the internet.
Editing Bookmarks - Let me now show you how to edit your bookmarks.
Editing Step One - Simply move your mouse over the shortcut that you want to change and RIGHT CLICK. That will bring up the dialogue box shown below
You can edit a number of things about the link but let me show you one particularly neat trick which helps you save some space on the toolbar.
You can only have one bar of bookmarks so it's possible to run out of space and not have all of the saved links displayed at the same time. Whilst they are still available via a drop down menu this isn't as efficient as I want it so let's save some space on the toolbar and thus make room for more bookmarks!
Saving Space on the Toolbar Example
Do Editing Step One above and then click on Edit as shown above.
This will bring up a dialogue box which lists the name of the link (which appears on the toolbar and the link itself - as shown below
The website name is listed 'QUORA' in this example and to remove that I simply delete all the name text using BACKSPACE.
The toolbar now looks as follows and as you can see the icon is still there - the Q in the red box.
Renaming the Link Example
If you do want to leave a text description then instead of deleting the name of the site you can enter in something more memorable. The toolbar will only show 20 characters of text however so do bear that in mind.
You can see in the following example that the Advanced Marketing Institute shortcut title has been truncated by the Google toolbar. That also isn't very helpful for me as it's not the site I'm interested in but rather one of the tools that is available on it. (A very neat headline marketing analyser, great for anyone who writes or blogs, that I blogged about here).
Anyway let's make the title more useful - and shorter ... as we did before right click on the shortcut to bring up the first dialogue box and then click EDIT. This will give you the name text dialogue box - as shown below
Now instead of deleting the text you can enter something in that works for you - keeping it to less than 20 characters. I've chosen to call it 'Headline Analysis' as that's what it does! Click SAVE and the result is instant - as you can see below.
We all go online a lot and revisit the same sites. By using the toolbar in this way you can save considerable time, make your online travels a lot more streamline and fundamentally increase your productivity.
Until next time; be successful!Stephen Hart Development Specialist, Edenchanges.com