One of the great things about technology is the ability to customize the tools we use every day.  Small, lightwieght laptops for traveling, robust quad-core systems for gaming, the gaming monitor with optimal resolution and engineering work, multiple smartphones of wonderfullly variety to choose from… we have great options to choose from when looking for the right computing experience.

Luckily the same is true in most areas of technology.  One of them being the killer app of the decade: the web browser.  Today I happen to be a Firefox user, and the most important feature for me is the extension and plug-in architecture that allows 3rd part developers to add new unanticipated functionality to the browser.  At first, I went overboard (who doesn’t) and added all the coolest plug-ins that I ran across.

Soon, however, I figured out the functionality that really enhanced my usability and quickly pared down what I needed to a select group of plug-ins that I install on computer I run Firefox on – including Linux boxes.  The ability to have the same customized environment on both my Windows and Linux boxes is a huge productivity boon for me. I found that my eyes stress less on the best monitors for gaming, I’m glad they serve the dual purpose of work and play with the added benefit of being easier/healthier on my eyes.

Anyway, here’s the list of Firefox Plug-Ins that I run at the moment:

  • Scribefire Blog Editor – Blog post creating/editing tool accessible right from the browser.
  • XMarks Bookmarks and Password Sync – The best bookmark and password sync tool you can find
  • Multirow Bookmarks Toolbar – Allows me to have more than one row of bookmarks on the toolbar
  • Smart Bookmarks Bar – This tool allows me to remove the text labels and control the space between icons
  • Read It Later – Great tool to bookmark interesting one-off pages and articles that creates my daily reading list
  • ColorZilla – A nifty tool that let’s me identify the exact RGB and hexidecimal color codes on any site
  • MeasureIt – Another great tool for measuring the exact size of on-screen components down to the pixel level
  • ShareAHolic – For a social media guy, this one is great because I can share a web page to any service I want to include
  • WiseStamp Emial Signature – Ever wanted to have an HTML signature in, Hotmail, Yahoo, and other web-based email?  Here you go
  • Prism – Allows for creating of isolated web-apps similar to what Google Chrome allows you to do.  Facebook in its own simplified, minimal UI browser?  Yes please.
  • Download Status Bar – This one is great to get rid of the download window that Firefox uses and puts all that functionality into the statusbar area.

So that’s what I use right now.  These tools help me in my daily browsing, monitoring, reading and writing routine.  Will it change – undoubtedly.  As new services and tools come about, I’ll adapt as the tools change.  They always do.

Photo Credit: Lordcolus

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