Fireday - Firefox extensions for August 25, 2006

This week: GMail Time Management, RSS Ticker, and OPML support for Firefox.

August 25th, 2006 at 4:00am — Comments: (0) — By: Jonathan Danylko — Tags: Fireday

GMail Time Management

If you read Getting Things Done by David Allen, then this extension will assist you in managing your tasks and time efficiently.

For those who don't know anything about Getting Things Done (GTD), you follow these steps in getting yourself organized:

  • Collect
  • Process
  • Organize
  • Review
  • Do

You may not know it (you probably do), but GMail already takes care of the first category: It collects. The extension adds the following functionality to take care of the Process, Organize, and Review. The last step, Do, is up to you.

One of the features I like is the ability to view outstanding tasks quickly. You send yourself tasks and references through GMail.

After you are finished setting up your labels and tasks and references (oh my!), you can print out your tasks through Hipster (wiki) 3x5 index cards.

This extension was extremely easy to install and reminds me of the greasemonkey extension, which if you are a developer, takes an existing web site and adds additional functionality.

The extension works beautifully and if you've read the book, Getting Things Done, it will be a great benefit in using your time and energy more wisely.

Rating: 5/5 

RSS Ticker

Last week, I was talking about SportsFox and wondering if there was a way to create a ticker across the bottom of the status bar. Well, one of my friends pointed me to an extension that eluded me.

The RSS Ticker adds another status bar to the bottom of Firefox when its activated. If you have Firefox Live Bookmarks, your RSS list is automatically added to your RSS Ticker extension. If you don't use Firefox Live Bookmarks, then you need your OPML file to load into your Firefox Live Bookmarks. However, most of you know that there isn't any OPML file support in Firefox. If you continue reading after this review of RSS Ticker, you'll find another extension to help out with this.

To activate the Ticker, right-click on the toolbar and click "Customize..." You'll see the RSS Ticker icon. Click and Drag it onto your toolbar somewhere in Firefox. Click Done to save your changes. Clicking on the RSS Ticker Icon toggles the ticker bar on and off. Don't add too much to your Firefox Live Bookmarks because I've noticed a little bit of a lag inbetween each RSS feed.

Another thing I've noticed about the extension is the exclusion of adding an OPML import/export feature. Even if it was saved in the Bookmarks file storage, importing an OPML would've been a lot easier. Select the file to import, read it in, and save your bookmarks out to a Live Bookmarks folder of your choice.

Aside from the above observations, the extension is really quite handy. I use it strictly for my NFL news and weather. That's it. If I want more news, I go to a RSS news reader. Don't want to bog down Firefox with tons of RSS feeds, now, do we?

Rating: 4/5

OPML Support

Here is the complimentary extension that works in conjunction with the RSS Ticker. And what a coincidence! Its on the same web site.

The OPML extension does just what it says: It adds OPML support to the "Manage Bookmarks..." option under Bookmarks. When in the Bookmarks Manager, click File/Import and you'll see Bookmarks and OPML file.

If the author can merge these two extensions together or at least add the import OPML feature to the RSS Ticker extension and save the bookmarks to the Live Bookmarks section, the RSS Ticker extension would be complete.

Overall, this extension adds functionality that should already exist in Firefox. This was something that went completely under my radar and I was totally unaware of. I am grateful for this extension because I've used it multiple times already in a couple of projects I'm working on.

This week, the extension gets a 5/5 for functionality because it does one simple thing and it does it well. Nice work!

Rating: 5/5

Everyone have a great weekend! Oh, and let me know if you have any comments. If you do, jot them down in the Chatterbox below, or contact me directly.

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Jonathan Danylko is a freelance web architect and avid programmer who has been programming for over 20 years. He has developed various systems in numerous industries including e-commerce, biotechnology, real estate, health, insurance, and utility companies.

When asked what he likes doing in his spare time, he answers..."programming."

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