Web Tools I Use

April 15, 2009 — 5 Comments

Although I’m definitely not a tech guru, I’ve found a number of tools that help me keep moving throughout my day that many people didn’t know existed.  Below is a short list of some things that I use frequently:

  • Firefox – This is the anchor to a cuztomized web experience.  Wouldn’t use any other browser..
    • IE Tab – Useful when things are native to IE, but you don’t want to leave Firefox (we have a few tools that are native to Microsoft, and don’t have full functionality in Firefox)
    • Ctrl-Tab – Makes switching tabs in Firefox a lot more fun and visual (for those of you that didn’t know, pressing Ctrl + Tab will switch tabs…).
    • XMarks – If you use multiple computers, you need this add-on.  It will sync your bookmarks across browsers and across machines.
    • Make sure you utilize Add-ons.  They will make your life easier, and your browsing experience better.
  • Google Tools
    • Gmail – I manage all personal email from here.
      • By simply adding a period anywhere into your email address, you can create an entirely new address which is delivered to the same inbox, enabling you to filter incoming email (for example: t.engstrom@gmail.com versus tengstrom@gmail.com)
    • Google Reader – There are tons of feed readers out there, but this works just fine for me.
    • Google Notebook – Great for webclips and keeping an online journal.
    • Google Books – Ever want an online library of the books you own? I’d recommend using this to catalog, write short reviews, and keep a few notes for easy access.  My library is here.
    • Google Alerts – Best way to keep up with specific searches you want to track (I use it for Blogs and Twitter), and put the RSS feed into my Google Reader.
  • Greasemonkey and Userscripts – Customization to individual pages
    • Google Multi-login Script – If you’re like me, you’ve got a few different google accounts that need to be accessed.  This does the job nicely.
    • Google Reader Widescreen – Makes text run the full width of a widescreen…much better experience.
    • Better Gmail – A whole host of features for Gmail…basically packaged Greasemonkey scripts.
  • Twitter
    • Power Twitter – Soups up the web-based Twitter experience quite a bit
    • Tweetdeck (Desktop app) – A great way to manage the people you follow by breaking them into groups
    • Tweetie (for iPhone) – Great user interface, but I’m considering a switch to TweetStack once it’s a tad more proven because it integrates with Tweetdeck.
    • Twitterfeed – An easy way to update your Twitter status when you post a new blog.
  • Helpful Tools
    • Bit.ly – An excellent way to shorten web links, and also track their traffic.
    • Doodle – Ever get tired of scheduling with larger groups of people.  Try this, it will save you a lot of email.
    • Del.icio.us – A great way to save bookmarks and share them online.  My username is tengstrom.
  • Helpful Websites
    • Lifehacker – Always has great information on using technology effectively.
    • Mashable – Great way to stay informed on Social Media.

If you’d like to see more of how I journal/study Scripture online, go here.

Todd Engstrom

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Although I was raised in the church and had a knowledge of God, I didn’t embrace Jesus until I heard gospel preached and lived out by some Young Life leaders. God has proven faithful and good to me since that day, even in great suffering and loss. I have learned to treasure Romans 8:28 as a wellspring of hope and truth. God has blessed me with an amazing wife (Olivia), three sons (Micah, Hudson and Owen) and a daughter (Emmaline). Growing up in the northwest, the thought never crossed my mind that I would have four children who are native Texans. Despite landing in the south, I still watch Notre Dame games with my children every Saturday in hopes they will land at my alma mater.

5 responses to Web Tools I Use

  1. Great list!

  2. Todd,

    Our internet experiences are EXTREMELY similar.

    I didn’t know about Ctrl+Tab for the switching tabs thing. Thanks.

    Did you know that hovering over a link in Firefox and clicking it with your scroll wheel will open the link in a new tab? Knowing this changed my life. Seriously. Of course, this assumes mouse usage.

  3. whoa! Tim! that last tip is awesome!

    Also, delicious.com for bookmarks….you can access them from anywhere.

    If you download the new TweetDeck Beta, you can update facebook and twitter simultaneously, as well as see facebook status updates along with twitter updates!

  4. Good post! I’m using most of these tools, but I’ve never been introduced to Greasemonkey. Thanks for the tip. I’ve already starting installing scripts for gmail especially, and I’m really pleased.

    I also use a plug-in on Firefox called Firebug. It allows you to inspect and edit code for any web page. Pretty great.

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