How a single number makes my life easier

21 February 2008

While I enjoyed using the features available to me through iGoogle, they are more useful to me in a personal than a professional context.

One of the ways I handle quick and easy access to my most frequently used sites and services at work is through a Firefox extension called Speed Dial. It allows me to assign a keyboard shortcut to websites of my choice for faster access. Speed Dial uses this combination of keys as shorthand for the website’s URL, in a similar way to the speed dial on my phone, which conveniently stores my emergency contacts (the patient people I call when Melbourne’s public transport system breaks down) in keys 1 to 9.

I’ve put Speed Dial in charge of my homepage, so that in essence I have twelve homepages instead of one. When I open a new browser window or tab, Speed Dial displays thumbnail images of my chosen pages; I can click one of these to be swiftly directed to the site. Otherwise, I type a URL in the address bar as usual.

I use the following commands to navigate at work (this should give you some idea of how I spend my time):

Ctrl+1: Swinburne Research Bank
Ctrl+2: Swinburne Library staff wiki (authorised users only)
Ctrl+3: Google Scholar
Ctrl+4: Scopus
Ctrl+5: Index of Swinburne Library subscription journals
Ctrl+6: Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory
Ctrl+7: Swinburne Library
Ctrl+8: Google Reader
Ctrl+9: Swinburne 23 Things Blog
Ctrl+1+0: Libraries Australia
Ctrl+1+1: This blog
Ctrl+1+2: Test website (not publicly available)

Further links: