Productivity Tools For Web Development (A Monday Series: Part 1)

September 17, 2007

I decided that I need something to fill in gaps between posting longer articles, so it’s time for a series. I’ll post a new part each Monday until I run out of ideas, start a different series, or die. LIFO rules apply here. So let’s get this show on the road…

About 3 months ago, I started on a journey. The destination? Better productivity and organization. Along the way, I’ve read thousands of productivity articles, a few books, and tried hundreds of different apps, shortcuts, and systems.

What follow are the tools I’ve adopted to make web development more productive. However, many of these are applicable to any flavor of development and some will apply to any sort of computer work at all.

Monday #1: Firefox bookmarks – Not just any ol’ bookmark, each Firefox bookmark is customizable with a keyword that lets you enter it into the location bar instead of the URL. So, for example, if I want a shortcut to my shopping cart page named ‘sc’, I first create the bookmark the way I would any other bookmark. Then, I right-click on the bookmark in either the toolbar or the Bookmarks menu and click on Properties. I enter a keyword (‘sc’ for example) in the Keyword field and click ‘Ok’. Now I can type ‘sc’ + Enter to navigate right to the shopping cart page.

Firefox Bookmark properties

On our website, we use different URLs for testing than we do for production, so from the example above, I might set up a bookmark for the shopping cart test URL and give it a keyword of ‘tsc’. I’ve set up bookmarks for all the URLs I frequently hit for testing and it’s saved me a bunch of mousing around.

Got a better way to do it? Let me know in a comment.

And stay tuned for a long post this week! I’ve got a post or two marinating that I think you’ll find tasty.


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