Friday, January 4, 2008


Jane Hart added my Top 10 Tools to her listing, viewable here, over at the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies. Sweet.

I wanted to take a few moments and expand on how I use the tools in my list a little here. Jane only wanted a single tool for each of the top 10 rather than a group of tools. That's great, but in reality I often use groups of tools in conjunction with each other rather than a single tool. For example, I am using ScribeFire now within Firefox to write this blog post which I will then publish on Blogger.

Firefox is a great browser. It is typically faster than IE and is much more standards compliant. However, one of the things I like best about Firefox is all the addons and extensions available. There are a bunch! I use FoxClocks to keep track of the time in multiple countries around the world where I have interests. Some of my clients have particular proxy settings so I use FoxyProxy to enable my connections. The web developer tool kit is great for someone coding up basic pages. Because of the rush to get information out, many organizations are settling with "good enough" as a short-term solution. Many times that "good enough" involves just putting information up in multiple web pages. The web developer tool kit helps with that.

I have been using Delicious now for several months and have come to rely on tags, along with the toolbar in Firefox, to help me categorize and keep track of information. Let me give an example to illustrate one way I have found this useful.

One client I work with has a corporate intranet with thousands of web pages. I work on several projects for this client and sometimes work with different people or groups on different projects. Some web pages have information applicable to several projects; others have information applicable to only one project. With some projects I need to access the same set of web pages on a daily basis. I set up tags for each project and name the tags "project_a", "project_b", etc. I then tag every page I use on each project, or at least the pages I need to use on a daily basis, with the appropriate tag. I also set up favorite tags on the toolbar named project_a, project_b, etc. When I need to work on project_a I click on the project_a favorite tag on the toolbar and then click "Open in Tabs". By so doing, I can quickly open every page I need for the project. If I need to switch to work on project_b all I need to do is click on the project_b favorite tag on the toolbar and then click "Open in Tabs" to open all the pages relevant to project_b.

I will write more, later, about how I use the other tools.

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