Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Another Way to Make Your Web Surfing Easier

Awhile back, I explained how to speed up your web surfing tremendously by subscribing to site feeds for the sites you like to visit on a regular basis. Some of you have tried that and like it. If you missed that article, go to my site and look for: “How to Make Your Web Surfing 10X Faster” in the October, 2005 archives. Today I’d like to tell you about three applications I use that also make my life a lot easier when using my computer while connected to the World Wide Web.
The applications are: “Evernote” (free), (free), and “QuickPhrase” (a $14.90 download).

Evernote” looks like a word-processing window, but is actually a never-ending roll of note paper reproduced electronically. If you come across some article or bit of information on the web, and you would like to save it or part of it for future reference, you need only to click on the “Evernote” icon placed in your Windows Explorer Tool Bar when you installed the program. The article or piece of information is then placed in the “Evernote” roll. When you have time, you can open the program and review the notes you have placed there. You do not have to be online to do this. The real key is that you can then categorize each note and even cross-reference them by multiple categories. At any time you can go back and look at only those notes you have for a particular category. By clicking on that category, only those notes appear in the window.

When you are through with a note you can delete it, and it moves to a deleted status, but remains available until you delete it a second time. That way you can trim your active-category notes once in a while, but still retain the original note until you are sure you will never need it again. Another great thing about this program is that when it saves the original note, it also saves the link to the original source of the article. If you are online and reading the note in “Evernote”, you can return to the original source with Ctl-click. You can also copy the link if you wish to include it as a reference in something you are writing.

In addition to the “Evernote” icon placed in your Windows Explorer Tool Bar, you will find an “Evernote” option in the list of options when you right-click your mouse while inside an article on the web. I find this even more convenient than clicking the icon. A couple of other nice features is the time-bar “Evernote” places to the right of its window, and its automatic backup feature.

Whenever “Evernote” captures a note for you, it not only gets and keeps the source link, it also notes the date. If you can’t remember the category you used for a particular piece of information, but you remember about when you got it, you can click in the time bar and bring up those notes recorded on a particular day or days.

I love this program and have only outlined some of its features. I hope I never have to go back to the days when I would copy and paste an article into a Word file and then forget about it or forget what title I gave it and never find it again. is another great application that is a free download. Once you download it and are online, whenever you encounter a word or subject you need explained, either Alt-click on the word or type the description of the subject into a little search box that pops up. A window then opens that contains an encyclopedia type description of the item or subject. It is a wonderful timesaver and short-cut research tool.

In the days of DOS (I am dating myself), you could program lines of frequently entered text (like your name or your e-mail address) into a function key like a macro. Download “QuickPhrase” and get a similar timesaver that puts frequently typed text phrases into documents and input boxes either on or offline. This program costs $14.90 to download after you try it for free for 90 days.

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