Starting Visually


I started getting really serious about this when my Netbook became part of my life.  Because of its smaller screen size, you start to worship every pixel that you can.  When you start a browser, it’s generally to do thing on the internet, right?  If you actually peel pack the covers and think about it, there are probably a few places that you use regularly.  So, why not bookmark them?  Or, if you’re using a tabbed browser, open them in tabs.

All of these are very good suggestions.

Opera has had a great feature for a long time now. They call it Speed Dial and the concept is really simple.  It’s bookmarking, but in a very visual way.  You’re presented with a screen shot of the bookmarks and places that you have decided to use regularly.  Safari now features the same concept as does Chrome.  I use all of those browsers periodically, but Firefox remains my primary program.  In addition to all of its features, I like the add-ins that I have accumulated.

I’ve added the Fast Dial to my Firefox configuration and set it to open when my browser opens and whenever I want a new tab.  It gives me quick, easy, and a visual representation of the places that I go most of the time on the web.  But, the really cool thing is that it scales the thumbnails so that this start page is exactly the same on a Netbook as it is on a big theatre sized screen.  Here, you can see how my browser starts.

You probably can’t guess what computer I took that image of and it doesn’t really matter.  During the course of the day, I may use a Mac or Windows or a Linux PC.  But, in Firefox, the start is always the same.  These are the places that I visit regularly and visually, they’re just a click away.

What do I do when I’m on another computer?  The website Tizmos has the same functionality.  I find that it increases my productivity just getting to a website … marginally.  But, rather than looking through a bookmarked list or using up the screen real estate with tabs, I just click on the thumbnail and I’m there.

Everyone’s browsing experience is different.  I just happen to like this one currently as my starting point.

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