Web Browsers

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This page discusses a few ways that you can use various web browser features to help you Get Things Done.


[edit] Bookmark Change Checking as "Undated Tickler File"

Quite often, I'll find pages on the web whose development I want to track, but which lack content right now. A current example is a web page for a conference I'll be attending some months hence. It's only a placeholder now, but I want to know when more details appear. I find it useful to bookmark such a page in my browser and have it check for changes on a daily basis. This allows me to be notified when there's something new to process.

[edit] How to do it

[edit] WebSpeedReader

You can schedule pages with WebSpeedReader, a Windows browser based on Internet Explorer. Schedule a page to open automatically every day, every weekday, a particular day of the month, a particular weekday in a particular week, or in other ways simply by adding the page as a Favorite and filling in the appropriate boxes on the form.

[edit] Safari

Safari doesn't natively support such a feature, but there appears to be a third-party soluton, the (imaginatively-named) SafariBookmarkChecker.

[edit] OmniWeb

This feature is built in. You can turn it on in the bookmark info pane.

[edit] Subscribe to RSS Feeds for blog comments

Some blog sites supply RSS feeds for the comments to a particular post. It can be useful to use RSS subscription (or, indeed, the abovementioned bookmark checking) to keep up with the comments on a post with little effort. I tend to prefer to use a bookmark folder in OmniWeb for this, rather than my RSS reader.

[edit] How to do it

[edit] Safari

Simply click on the link to see the RSS feed for comments and bookmark it. It will automatically refresh each time you run Safari or click the bookmark.

[edit] OmniWeb

Omniweb supports RSS feeds. You can click on RSS links to subscribe to them.

[edit] Firefox

Firefox supports RSS feeds with its Live Bookmark feature. A live bookmark icon appears in the status bar on any page with an RSS feed. Live bookmarks can easily be added to the toolbar and provide a quick dropdown view of the most recent articles posted to your favorite sites.

[edit] RSS Readers

Of course, you can use your favourite RSS reader to subscribe to an RSS feed.

[edit] Surf asynchronously

Learn the shortcut for opening links in another tab (command-click, for example), and the shortcut for closing the tab (CMD-W). Then instead of launching news articles in the current tab, you add them to the end of the queue with command-click, then "eat" pages off the beginning of the queue with command-w. Browsing this way means you can go off on a dozen tangents without losing track of them. OmniWeb is particularly good for this because there's no UI penalty for opening lots of tabs. --Cwenham 15:30, 24 Mar 2005 (EST)

This works with Firefox too. If you also want to keep track of what you browse, you could use an extension like Tabbrowser Extensions, which keeps track of tabs and can save your tab automatically session so you can come back to it later. --Xeelee 11:50, 27 Mar 2005 (EST)

  • Using Firefox's "Open in Tabs" function for a folder of bookmarks on your toolbar means that all the pages begin opening in the background and you can just close each tab as you read the page. My "Daily Reading" and "Comics" folders save me a ton of time this way. --ACGelwicks 13:43, 13 Jul 2005 (EDT)
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