How to ‘Trick Out’ Your FireFox Browser: The best plugins for productivity

firefox best plugins

For my next post highlighting my migration from a PC to a Mac I am going to discuss how I have optimized my browser to make it my ‘virtual command center.’ I know I’m going to face some serious criticism for this next statement, but – I detest Safari. I’m a Firefox man. The reason is partially because I never had Safari as an option with my old Dell. Another quasi reason is that I love the open-source movement. And’ I do love that really cool Fox logo! While Safari may be a great browser for some ‘lesser’ people, my true reason for sticking with Firefox is its plugins.

I’m now going to run through the plugins I currently have installed, complete with links to the installation pages. I’m running Firefox for Mac, version 2.0.0.4

Google Tool Bar: I like this primarily because it constantly shows me the page rank of the websites I visit and adds a spellchecker. I can also easily add Google Bookmarks and access Gmail (see next).

Gmail Notifier plus Growl: This is a sweet app that alerts you when you’ve received a new email through Gmail (really cool bubble pop ups) and it allows you to receive updates from Google Calendar, similar to Outlook reminders. True, it’s not totally a Firefox plugin, but I consider it in the same genre. What’s more, the real name is actually ’Google Notifier,’ but Gmail Notifier is really a better name.

Twitterbar: Like may people I have resisted Twitter for the longest time. However, I admit to enjoying reading what my REAL friends are doing, and frankly I have been ’Twittering’ through my status window in Gchat for over a year. So, if you too want to Twitter, a sweet app is Twitter Bar. It installs and integrates so that you can send Twits right from your Firefox browser. But wait! It’s super cool. You actually type your Twits into the Address Bar and then send from there. This also makes it super easy to send a webpage (like a new blog post’ )

Del.icio.us: There is no plugin I use more. I strongly recommend the version that actually replaces your Firefox Bookmarks with Del.icio.us bookmarks. You can easily tag, search and navigate your network right from the browser. Sick.

CoComment: I use this plugin to easily track all my comments and see if there is follow-up. I haven’t been commenting very often recently, but it’s a great way to aggregate all my comment chains in one spot and then easily reference past comments I have made at a future date. Yes, I could have follow-up comments emailed to me, but I detest clutter in my inbox.

Adaptive Blue: This is the plugin I use the least, although in theory, it’s the one with the most functionality. I think I simply haven’t totally figured this one out, but it essentially attempts to serve as an organizer allowing you to tag, post, blog, send, email, Digg, bookmark, etc any webpage. Fred Wilson backs it and he’s on a tear, so I figure it’s worth watching.

Deadpool ’“ StumbleUpon. I used to use this Firefox add-in religiously until StumbleUpon got lame. While Stumble is still a great tool (maybe the best) to drive traffic, I have sort of stopped caring about traffic and would prefer instead to use the more robust and functional Del.icio.us for all my bookmarking.

In the past I also used the Compete and Alexa plugins, but I’m over them now. If I went back, I’d instead probably opt for the plugin SearchStatus, which aggregates the best of the aforementioned. I also tried out the LinkedIn plugin, but didn’t find much use for it. I also used Me.dium for a while, but found it too intrusive and no one I knew used it.

What else do you use or recommend?

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