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Setting Up Your Browser to Increase Your Productivity

Posted By Nicole Avery 15th of February 2017 Be Productive 39

Setting up your browser to boost your productivity | ProBlogger

As bloggers we spend most of our work time staring at our browser. How we have a browser set up can have a significant impact on our productivity in two ways:

  1. It can help us eliminate distractions.
  2. It can help up keep focused on our key activities.

Below I am sharing four ideas you can implement to your browser, which will boost your productivity. While the below apps and techniques I share below are for the Google Chrome Browser, if you search for the app or process and your browser name, you should hopefully find something comparable.

Setting up your browser to boost your productivity | ProBlogger

1. Set your browser start up page

How many tabs do you currently have open in your browser? Many of us have 10+ tabs open at a time and we simply close the browser when we shut the computer down, without closing off the tabs.

The default for many browsers is to open up the browser with all the tabs you had left open when it last closed. This set up is unproductive as it takes a longer for your browser to fire up and be ready for you to start your work. Also the tabs it opens may not relate to the task you need to work on that day and can distract you from undertaking focused work.

In the settings section for Chrome you have three options from for how you can set your startup page. I recommend choosing either option one or two of the three listed below:

  1. Have a new tab open – I prefer to start this way. It is a clean slate and works well with the second tip listed below.
  2. Open a specific set of pages – you can set what pages exactly you want to open. This can be useful as it can open your WordPress dashboard, a Google Doc etc for you that you work on every day.
  3. Continue where you left off – while you may think it saves you time to use this option because it opens up everything you had open last time, it can be a distracting option especially if you have left your Gmail or social media open in tabs.

2. Install the Momentum app

To be really productive you should always know what you are going to work on before you turn the computer on. Starting with the open space of the internet can at best see you working on less important tasks and at its worst it can be a dangerous time suck as you procrastinate about what to do while checking your Facebook feed.

I write down at the end of my workday a maximum of three tasks I will work on the following day. This ensures that I don’t waste time procrastinating and I am working on tasks that are going to help me achieve my blogging goal for the year.

The Momentum app is an extension you can add to your Chrome browser that supports you working towards your goal. I have Momentum set up, so like in my first recommendation, when my browser opens up it is only with one tab with the Momentum page active. You can adjust this in your settings:

Each day when I start up my browser I am greeted with the Momentum screen and only one tab. I add to the tab what my key focus is for the day and the other tasks that I had written down the night before.

Setting up your browser to boost your productivity | ProBlogger

For the rest of the day, each time I open a new tab in Chrome, I will see my goal for the day, my to do list and a pretty picture with a quote. (The picture and quote change every day.)

Being reminded of what I should be working on every time I open a new tab helps to keep me focused on the task at hand and think twice about opening any new pages that will not help me with the task

3. Be smart with your bookmarks bar

Your bookmarks bar on your browser is the space that comes directly under the search bar and it is completely customizable. Setting up this space to have the websites you access most frequently can save you plenty of time across a day.

The image above shows part of my bookmarks bar. If you haven’t played with the bookmarks bar before, you can find comprehensive instructions here.

To maximize the bookmarks bar, make sure you edit the name that is automatically given to the bookmark when you add it to the bar. You can shorten it so you can fit more bookmarks on your bar.

If you look at my example it includes these key items:

  • My Gmail
  • My Google Calendar
  • My Google Drive
  • My wordpress dashboards and homepage to my sites
  • My quick stats package
  • My content plan Google spreadsheet
  • My planning sheet for my online course
  • Facebook page and Facebook groups I manage

You may need different bookmarks than what I have set up, but make sure you set up your bookmarks bar so your key sites can be quickly and easily accessed.

4. Install the News Feed Eradicator for Facebook

This will be the hardest extension to install for most bloggers. The News Feed Eradicator for Facebook is a fantastic tool. As bloggers we need to be able to access our Facebook pages so we can respond, add content and monitor our Facebook pages or groups.

It is however, so easy to work on our page and then take a “quick check” of our news feed once we have done our work. 30 minutes later we come out of a scrolling daze and we wonder where we were up to with our work.

What News Feed Eradicator for Facebook does is allow you access to everything in Facebook but your feed. So you can work on your Facebook page or group, but the minute you try to look at your feed, you will see this:

Setting up your browser to boost your productivity | ProBlogger

A motivational quote where your news feed once was, giving you a gentle prod to get back to work!

Now if you really want to see what is happening with one of your friends or the Facebook page of another blogger, you can simply type the name in the search bar and the page will come up. The News Feed Eradicator simply prevents you from mindless scrolling. You have to specifically search for anything that falls outside your groups or pages.

What have you added to your browser to boost your productivity?

About Nicole Avery
Nicole Avery is a Melbourne mum to five beautiful kids aged seven to 17. She is the master organiser behind the popular parenting blog Planning With Kids and the author of a book by the same name, where she shares tips and tricks for organising the chaos of family life. She is slightly addicted to spreadsheets, tea, running and, of course, planning!
Comments
  1. Never thought such site of blogging, these really some of great hacks.
    Will implement them for sure. Thanks Nicole for such great effort 👏

  2. Thanks for these suggestions Nicole. The Momentum app sounds very useful, I think I’ll try it.

    • Great stuff.

      If you are working on line, distraction is the biggest enemy.

      There’s Fb, insta and there’s YouTube and a ton of other distractions. The point here is you need to make time for your work.

      Schedule tasks in advance. Use smart apps like Momentum, pocket, ad block etc for distraction free work.

      Also I highly recommend using a site like Calm.com while working (it gives soothing music in the background).

    • Momentum is great Vladimir. Thanks so much for the tip on Calm.com Anil, I will check it out.

  3. What I’d like to subtract from my browser permanently would be anything that allows the browser to choke on a mess of graphics. I’d like to add a Text-Only Filter that forces anything that’s not text to display as a link that can’t open unless I click on it!

  4. Some good tips. I do most of these things but have not tried Momentum. Thx!

  5. Sometimes i find myself with about 40 open tabs and freak out when i dont know which ones to close. LOL stressful.

    • It is stressful and distracting to have so many tabs open, so if you set up your browser to shut them for you, it does the decision making :)

  6. Hey Nicole,

    I always use my default page and never restore the browser if closed with many tabs opened.

    I like to keep it simple. And the bookmarks are tin the list for sure. I visit a few blogs like ProBlogger quite often.

    I will definitely try Momentum app. It seems productive.

    ~Ravi

  7. just giving Momentum a try. Looks to be very useful . Thanks for the tip

  8. I write a sports website, so each of the bookmark folders in my bookmarks bar drops down to a different category: stats, highlights, news sources, social media (Hootsuite, Twitter, Facebook), blogging resources, etc. It’s a big time saver to just use those bookmark dropdowns.

  9. Hi Nicole,

    What an amazing blog. You have shared very useful information. Thanks for sharing. Keep posting.

  10. Amazing Post I liked this blog ..Thanks For Sharing With us

  11. Hi Nicole Avery,
    Thanks for the informative post!
    After reading this post, I will definitely give Momentum extension a try.
    Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox are my favourite browsers.
    Hope Momentum will support for Firefox too.

  12. Great tips, Nicole. Here’s a new tool I am using to increase productivity while I work – Tracking Time. It has a great interface and helps me keep myself on schedule.

  13. Hey Nicole,

    Google Chrome is far and away the most popular browser around and it supports a huge number of extensions, which are essentially plugins that add functionality to your browser. There are a ton of them that can help you get more work done in short order, while consuming less system resources than standalone apps and integrating more tightly into your workflow.

    Every time you open a new tab on your browser, a personal dashboard with an inspirational quote, your to-do list, and weather data shows up. This gives you a moment to reflect on your actual goals and focus on what’s important. Eventually, thanks for sharing your valuable information with us.

    With best wishes,

    Amar kumar

  14. Thanks for the post. You have shared a wonderfull article. I will definitely try the Momentum app is an extension to add my Chrome browser for increasing the browser productivity.

  15. Thanks for the great article….I personally liked Momentum very much. Really cool Addon for Chrome. Thanks for introducing the Extension.

  16. Momentum looks like a great plugin. My greatest distraction when blogging or doing any work is my phone, any tips for that, other than smashing the screen ofcourse.

  17. Hey Nicole, I follow all your article and like all the tips you share. This browser setting will definitely help for a person like me who is little unorganized while using PC. I tend to forget my tasks and file path while working and it consumes lot of time to get back on track and if this happens in the very start of the day then it spoils the entire day. I am sure now I will be more productive :)

  18. Nicole – thanks, this was a great post! I immediately cleaned up and reorganized my bookmarks bar! I’m ready to ‘get cracking’ on my next project. Thanks again. Yochi

  19. Dear Nicole,

    Thanks for this wonderful and productive article. I have applied the use of The Momentum app and i can say “Thanks” as this for me will be more productive as it will keep me reminded on my To Do lists.

    once again this post is very useful.

  20. Glad to see someone ‘local’ – I’m in Ocean Grove, Victoria.
    Most of the tips here I already do but I did install ‘Momentum straight away – now I have my top priorities for the day right in front of my face.
    Thank you.

  21. Nicole, so glad you shared these tips and tools! I’m so thankful that I went back and reread this old email from Darren and saw this post. I’m going to install these TONIGHT! Can’t wait to check out your blog too.

  22. I love Go Fucking Work. You nominate the sites you want to block, and if you try to open them it gives you hilarious messages instead. My favourite is, ‘You’re not a Kardashian. Fucking work.’ You can turn it off for a nominated period of time, but it’s great to have that extra step before I go to do something on my Facebook group etc. – it makes me much more mindful that what i’m about to do could turn into a time sink.

    https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/go-fucking-work/hibmkkpfegfiinilnlabbfnjcopdiiig?hl=en

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