Last week, I started experimenting with a new setup on the computer and it's working out quite well for me.
I downloaded Mozilla Firefox, which I haven't had installed in a long time (I use a mix of Chrome and Safari). I set up Firefox to have all my primary work materials on it -- Pipeline Deals for CRM/sales, Google Apps for Email, Google Docs (err, Drive) which has our Ops Manual in it, Tout for email tracking... and that's about it. Additional windows for whatever is relevant for research, projects, or client-related stuff.
So far, it's great. When I'm using Chrome (my primary browser), I try to keep the number of tabs down and not overwhelming. That means I might have interesting material loaded up in the tabs that I don't want to close, but also don't want to have open.
Likewise, it's nice to have my work tabs all lined up and logged in without worrying about them taking up mental bandwidth.
Finally, lower procrastination / task-switching, since I know I shouldn't be screwing around in Firefox. It's just for work.
It's pretty early, but it seems like a setup I'll keep. Also, Firefox improved a lot since I last used it a couple years ago. It's just about as fast as Chrome and that brutal memory leak bug seems fixed finally. It might be worth it to create a designated browser for your work if you're doing similar things in similar windows on a daily basis... jury's still out for me, but it looks like a nice little productivity boost for minimal effort so far.
I've never tried a different browser -- I do work in Mac spaces and will set aside spaces for aimless browsing or IMing versus production-only spaces.
In the vein of your other post on internet browsing, where you said you keep your use to 3 hours max/day, any tips on doing that? I've been trying a simple timer tool (http://www.orzeszek.org/dev/timer/), but it must be manually controlled, so sometimes I forget to stop it when closing the browser, or I restart the computer and it resets. I've tried RescueTime and all those things but they seem to be more work just to keep track than actually tracking my time. I've found that internet browsing (surfing, email, commenting) are the major time distractions of my day, and I'm still searching for that tool that would just track my open browser time per day.
Hey, a great tool for tabs you wanna read later in chrome is the FreshStart plugin.
I use it all the time, and it's great for clearing the windows and/or saving a group of tabs you always use for a specific task (eg. the time tracker, blog posting, and music tabs I always have when I'm writing SEO articles)
I've done this via Chrome, and Chrome Canary....or gone all out and created a separate work virtual machine.
What's Canary like?
Canary is just the development version of Chrome. In practice, I just use it to have a second copy of Chrome in use, without most of my addons installed.
Thank you so much for that tip! I'm totally using Canary now as my "fun" browser now. Definitely better than having to use FireFox! I used another Google Account that I have to sync my fun tabs to Canary, and by doing so, removing all those distracting and fun bookmarks from my work Chrome. 2 Thumbs up. Highly recommended setup of browser for work/fun!
"Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter Here." -- Inscription on the Gates of Hell, Dante Alighieri's "Inferno"
The worthy detour? I think I've got a formula for "High Creative Mode"... just it's not particularly consistently effective yet, and it's playing a pretty high stakes game. On Day Seventeen, I made my first crack at applying it, and had an incredible day. I wrote a 5000-word piece, that after editing and getting the ending right, I think could be amazingly fantastic. Just writing it was a joy.
Following from that, I was walking on air for the rest of the day.
In Day Eighteen, I attempted the same thing, and fell short. This was maddening, and the whole day was aggravating. I think I've got a rough formula for High Creative Mode, but it doesn't produce 100% results. And when it fails, it's pretty ugly, at least so far.
I kept detailed notes on both days, much more fleshed out than usual. There's more stream-of-consciousness. They're... honestly, a little weird. You can evaluate for yourself:
I was eating in Chipotle, browsing Hacker News on my phone when I read some outdated article about how the NSA may or may not have backdoor access to some cryptographic function of Windows.
Considering that the NSA's interest in my computer is probably around zero, and that I don't even use windows cryptography, this backdoor probably wouldn't ever affect me. But the sentiment of it did, and it was just enough to push me over the edge.
I'm not new to Linux. In 1998 my friend Phil and I drove across town to a shabby computer store to by Slackware Linux on CD. He sideswiped a lady as we approached the parking lot, so I ran into the store to buy the CDs while he swapped insurance cards.
We ran Linux for the summer, or at least dual-booted it, but eventually practicality made way and Windows was installed again. Diablo II just wouldn't run in Linux.