I’ve noticed time and time again the tendency to settle into one comfortable way of doing things. I’ve also noticed that sometimes people aren’t settling, they just don’t know a faster way. When it comes to moving information, there’s always a faster way than the way you’re doing it.
Take logging into websites for example. Most people that I have observed travel down the following path when logging into their websites:
- User types full website address in address bar. Even worse, they type the website address into a search field on another website instead of going directly to the site.
- They proceed to click in the user name login field and type out their entire user name.
- Instead of using the TAB key, they reach for their mouse and click in the password field.
- After pondering for a few minutes, typing the wrong password, and becoming generally frustrated, they either give up or finally get it right…but one thing is certain…they have clicked the login button repeatedly with their mouse.
The 4 steps above will, and I guarantee it, consume more time than you care to know.
How to Virtually Eliminate this Process
Before you implement the following practices, which are guaranteed to save you time, you may need to make sure you understand a few things about securing your computer. Take a look at this article to learn about user accounts.
Most of you are probably using Internet Explorer to browse the internet. In some cases, IE is required because of the underlying technologies on certain websites, but, for the most part, Firefox 2.0 by Mozilla will handle your internet browsing more efficiently and will offer the tools you need to make you more efficient.
Saving Passwords While Browsing
If you use Firefox, (Internet Explorer does this as well, but not nearly as effectively) you may notice that when you enter your user name and password on any site, Firefox prompts you to save your password. As long as you are certain that your user profile (see the user account article) is inaccessible by just anyone, then you can be assured that saving your passwords while you browse is completely safe. If your computer is stolen, however, there are ways to extract this information, which is why it is important that you use a tool like Google Browser Sync.
Autofill is a feature that will help you speed up the entry of your user name in your user name fields. No longer do you have to type out your entire e-mail address or user name. Simply enter the first few characters of your user name and watch your browser identify all of the user names that you have previously entered in that particular field. Find your logon name and either click it (the slow way) or use your down-arrow key on the keyboard to highlight the correct user name. In most cases, there will only be one user name shown. Press TAB and the last password you saved will automatically fill the password field. Now all you have to do is press enter. No mouse movement is required here!
With autofill and saved passwords, you will be able to login to a site with 3 keystrokes. 1) First letter of logon name, 2) TAB, 3) ENTER. It’s a lightning fast upgrade to the traditional method as I outlined at the beginning of this article.
More Than One Computer
What do we do when we have more than one computer that we use regularly? One would think that the entire process would need to be repeated for each computer. This is not true, as long as the right tools are used.
Google, in its infinite wisdom, has created a plug-in for Firefox called Google Browser Sync. Google Browser Sync stores all of your user names, passwords, and shortcuts on a secured server that can be called up from any computer running Firefox with the Google Browser Sync plug-in installed. As soon as you have your browser information synchronized with Google Browser Sync, every computer you use will behave exactly as the others.
Don’t forget about the added benefits of these types of tools. Having all of your shortcuts and logon credentials backed up means that you can quickly get connected on another computer, find your settings, and get back up and running if you happen to be the unlucky target of theft or if your computer fails you.
Making sure that you have the tools in place to speed up your browsing is the first step to increased productivity. Think about how much time you’re wasting with user names and passwords, and consider using the tools that the experts use to keep on top of everything they do. I currently have over 200 user names and passwords and there is no way I would be able to remember each and every one of them and the amount of time and energy I would have to invest in recovering those passwords is monumental.