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Desktop 101: Understanding How to Keep Your Web Browser Clutter Free and More Productive

I’m almost certain you all know what it is like to look at all the open tabs on your web browser and feel overwhelmed about clicking on the one you need currently, then finding the previous one you were looking at, or attempting to find another. Are you afraid to close some tabs because you won’t remember how to find the sites again?

Luckily, you are not alone if you have ever felt overwhelmed. Software developers have created some great features to de-clutter the tabs and make management of frequently visited websites easier. First off, a web browser, often called a “browser” is a software program that allows you to engage with the Internet to search, retrieve, and explore information on the World Wide Web.

 

Google Chrome Browser:

Google Chrome has become one of the most popular choices for web browsers. This browser can be installed on Chromebooks, PC computers, Mac Computers, and Android and iOS operating systems. To customize your browser for your specific needs and wants will require you to learn some knowledge about the browser. Chrome offers several ways to customize and sign-in or “register” to make your browsing experience more efficient.

 

Often, we have multiple websites that we frequently visit for personal, and academic or career needs. Bookmarking these sites will allow you to open them with a click, rather than typing their name into the search field each time. Bookmarked sites will appear in the toolbar and can be arranged in order of your preference. You can also add files to house your bookmarked sites. Some examples of files you might find useful are: social media, school, and work. If you are doing research for school or work, then you can create a folder to house the sites you have found to be helpful for your project. You can easily delete any bookmark and folder you no longer need.

 

Chrome Extensions can be found in the Chrome Web Store-Extensions. Extensions are, for the most part, free software programs that will interface with the websites you are browsing in Chrome. You can Google top Chrome Extensions for 2018, and several lists will appear. Some will increase browsing privacy, remove or reduce ads, improve productivity, and offer accessibility options for your browsing experience.

 

Remember we identified how to bookmark sites prior. OneTab is an extension that allows you to “one click” convert all of your tabs into a list for you to access again later, either individually or all at once. OneTab boasts you will save up to 95% of memory using it by reducing the number of open tabs. Have you ever noticed the more tabs you have open in your browser the slower your computer appears to load the webpages? This extension allows you easily to create groups of tabs that you can custom name, and lock them to ensure they are kept without the option of accidentally deleting. This can be a great tool for those needing to do research. Watch an informative short video on how one tab can improve your browsing.

 

Organizing tabs and de-cluttering the browsing experience can increase your productivity, as well as your computer’s productivity. Concepts to consider:

 

  • How can I customize my browser’s visual aspects for my needs?
    1. Remember “less can be more.” Having fewer extensions installed allows you to focus on what you need and easily find them.

 

  • What bookmarks do I want to see, or do I want bookmark files?
    1. Remember if you constantly see the individual social media or news sites you frequently visit as a bookmark then you might visit them more often. Placing them inside a folder might keep you more task-oriented.

 

  • Do ads and pop-ups bother me?
    1. Install extensions that reduce ads, tracking, and block pop-ups.

 

  • Do I need extensions to enhance my productivity?
    1. Install extensions for editing help.
    2. Install extensions for accessibility.
    3. Install extensions for time management and blocking distracting websites.

 

What if you don’t use Google Chrome? All the concepts addressed above for the Google Chrome browser apply to the other browsers as well. Microsoft Edge basically replaced Internet Explorer. It is available for the Windows computer operating system, and for iOS and Android. Safari is Apple’s web browser for Mac computers and iOS. Firefox is Mozilla’s browser for Mac, PC, and Linux. There are so many choices. What browser do I use? Besides the obvious that some browsers only work with certain operating systems, some tend to interface better with some websites as well. Have you ever had “glitches” when trying to navigate some material on a certain webpage?  It could be because the company which created it intended it to be viewed on a certain browser, and if you contact their technology support, they will tell you to try using it on a specific browser. You might find you have specific preferences for the visual layout of a specific browser, or the ease of using it regarding the privacy, extension, and organization options.

 

I hope you got as excited as I did about the ability to make your browsing experience more organized and less hectic. Often, we unintentionally decrease our productivity when using the web and hopefully the information above will help you.

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Tags: Browsers, Executive, Function, Internet, Productivity, Web

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Comment by Erika J. Kluge on March 23, 2018 at 1:51pm

Great apps Joel-I have used both on and off as well. I particularly like when they cross-platform.

Comment by Joel on March 16, 2018 at 3:13am

I am a productivity app junkie of sorts, so this article particularly interested me. I have done a lot of investigation into solutions for the overload of information that can be found on the Internet. Two applications I have used with particular success are, Pocket and Instapaper. Each are cross-platform in that they work on numerous web browsers, phones and computers. With each of these apps, you can install them into your particular device or browser and when you are surfing the web you use them to save your websites to come back to later. The benefit is that you could save a site from your computer and view it on your phone later or vice versa. Also, you can configure the settings to allow you to view an article you have saved even while you are off-line. I find Instapaper is nice because it has a feature that makes you read faster, but Pocket seems to be more universally integrated into other browsers and such. Anyways, I just thought I would spread the word about those two things that I have used in the past. I will put the links to each app below if you are interested in checking out more info about them:

https://getpocket.com

https://www.instapaper.com/

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