February 11th, 2009
by Kate McMillan
If you’re not familiar with it, Firefox is a killer web browser: http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/
Not only does it work really well straight out-of-the-box, but there is a huge community of people building innovative addons to it that help you Get Things Done (GTD): http://addons.mozilla.org
Some of the best ones allow you to customize your Google Apps, the way you communicate with your social networking accounts, and manage file transfers on the web. Here’s my list of the top 10 “must haves” for every web-saavy user out there to help GTD:
- Better Gmail 2 – Add useful extra features to Gmail, like hierarchical labels, macros, file attachment icons, and more.
- Blank Canvas Gmail Signatures – Automatically inserts HTML signatures into your Gmail messages based on which address you are sending from. Supports up to four signatures for each address you have set up. Works for Compose Message and Reply/Forward.
- Integrated Gmail – Allows you to make the Inbox Collapsible and loads your choice of Google Calendar, Reader, Notebook, Groups, etc… plus Custom URLs and Google Gadgets seamlessly into the gmail interface. Works w/Google Apps Accounts and GMail Themes.
- Better GCal – Adds collapsible header and sidebar, event title text wrap, colored weekend days, week numbers, and skins to Google Calendar.
- Google Preview – Inserts preview images (thumbnails) and popularity ranks of web sites into the Google and Yahoo search results pages.
- CustomizeGoogle – CustomizeGoogle is a Firefox extension that enhance Google search results by adding extra information (like links to Yahoo, Ask.com, MSN etc) and removing unwanted information (like ads and spam). All features are optional and easily configured.
- FireFTP – FireFTP is a free, secure, cross-platform FTP client for Mozilla Firefox which provides easy and intuitive access to FTP servers.
- Sage-Too – Sage is a lightweight RSS and Atom feed aggregator extension for Mozilla Firefox. It’s got a lot of what you need and not much of what you don’t.
- Friendbar – Friendbar makes it easy to keep in touch with friends on Facebook and Twitter. It displays a running stream of text and photo updates from Facebook and Twitter right on the toolbar, and allows you to post updates and reply from the toolbar itself.
- ShareThis – ShareThis makes it easier and more efficient then ever before to share any type of content you wish with anyone you care to share with. With mashed up online address books and posting to MySpace and Facebook plus a free Sharebox for archiving things you shared ShareThis helps you sharify the web.
And a bonus; if you use Firefox on multiple machines (like me) and can’t deal with your bookmarks being different on each one, try this:
Foxmarks Bookmark Synchronizer – If you use Firefox on more than one computer, you’ll want Foxmarks. Install Foxmarks on each computer, and it works silently in the background to keep your bookmarks and (optionally) passwords synchronized. Foxmarks also keeps your data backed up and safe from computer failures. If you’re away from your computer, Foxmarks allows you to access your bookmarks online by logging into my.foxmarks.com.
You can always use Safari or IE that came with your machine — or Opera if you’re feeling very opensource, but having used each of these browsers, I can say with certainty that Firefox wins for ease-of-use, customization, speed and security. What else do you want in a browser?