Combat Information Overload With Firefox
I have seen too many people who try to browse the web and get things done with a highly cluttered browser interface and all the extra tools and doodads get in the way.
Information is flying all around us like debris from a tornado going through a trailer park. Information overload is a real problem now for the average person and it can wreak havoc on a persons productivity and goals. Never before in the history man has there been soo much information available. Experts, books, seminars, awareness: the availability of these are low if not non-existent. We are like little children who have been handed a gun with incredible power but no one is talking about how to safely handle it, and people are getting hurt!
WHAT TO DO
Fortunately for you, if you “shoot yourself in the foot” its your fault! Probably not what you were expecting, but it’s true. You have control over most of the information you subscribe to.
- RSS Feeds
- Social Networks
WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH MY BROWSER?
You can control what your Firefox looks like. I have seen too many people who try to browse the web with so many buttons, bars, and add-ons that much of the space for actually viewing web pages is reduced by about a third or more. Take back your browser real estate and surf the web with freedom again!
WHAT CAN I DO?
Here is an example of two extremes.
If the bloated one looks similar to yours or a friends browser then you are in the right place.
- Use the Toolbar collapse button to hide the clutter until you need it
- Remove all add-ons you aren’t using all of the time (Spring Cleaning!)
- Hide toolbars (functionality can often be accessed through the application menu)
- Remove buttons that aren’t needed (most have keyboard shortcuts which are faster)
This is really fun because you get to drag and drop buttons where ever you like.
- Hide status bar if you don’t use it (Bottom gray bar)
- Disable “Always show the tab bar”
The real trick is to balance the functionality of add-ons and buttons with space. After many months of trying different configurations, this has been the most effective layout for me.
I use the keyboard shortcuts for the Firebug add-on and the other basic browser buttons like forward, back, refresh, so I have removed all those buttons and add-on bars. I show the status bar on the bottom so I can see if the HTML pages I am coding are validating as strict without running a validator. I also hide the bookmarks bar because I don’t use them very frequently. Everyone uses the web differently which makes Firefox great for many people because it can be customized for their needs. Play around with your layout, reduce distractions, and find what works best for you.