Apr 30, 2016

3 Ways to Optimize Chrome for Better Browsing

Sometimes when browsing the web, people get so wrapped up in work that they soon lose track of sites they've visited.  If you're like me, you often visit so many sites looking for information that is easy to  confuse one page with another when you need to go back to that one nugget of wisdom you need as a reference.  Sure, you can always go back and sift through your browser history, but there is a much simpler way to organize your research.

Now I'll be the first to admit that I wasn't always a fan of bookmarks.  Whether it was Internet Explorer, Safari, or Netscape Navigator (Whoa! That's a throwback), I just didn't like bookmarks.  But with Chrome, the Bookmarks Bar makes it easy to keep track of your pages.  

First let's talk about how to bookmark a page.  To Bookmark any page on Chrome, click the Star at the end of the Omnibox (URL address bar).  A popup box will open where you can name your bookmarked link.  

Once you've click Done, your Bookmark will appear on your Bookmarks bar.  Can't see your Bookmarks Bar?  Click on Settings>Bookmarks>Show Bookmarks Bar.

If you get too many bookmarks on your Bookmarks Bar, there are a few solutions.  

  • First, you can right click on any Bookmarked page and choose Rename.  You can change the name of any bookmark to whatever you want.  I often will use acronyms or initials so I can fit more bookmarks on the bar.  

  • Second, you can right click on the bookmarks bar and choose Add Folder to create a folder for all of you links.  I organize mine into categories such as Work, School, Church, PD, etc...
Startup Pages (Home Pages)
Do you have a number of websites that you visit every day for work or school that you access frequently?  Rather than bookmark them and open them every day, why not set them as your Startup Page.  To set a Home Page on Chrome, click on Settings.  In the On Startup section, choose Set Pages.  If you already have your preferred pages/tabs open on your browser, you can choose Use Current Pages.  Then click OK.  From there forward, Chrome will open to the tabs you have saved as Startup Pages.

Save to Google
Finally, another option for optimizing browsed sites is the Save to Google extension.  This Chrome Extension allows you to quickly and easily save pages for later viewing.  This is great if you are researching a project and need to file away a page for later.  It's also great as an alternative to Bookmarks, if you are a visual person.  The extension is available in the Chrome Web Store.  Once installed, you simply click on the extension when visiting any page you want to save.  You can also add Tags to your saved pages.  

When you're ready to view your saved pages, go to http://www.google.com/save.  Your saved pages appear as tiles.  Want to view one?  Click on it and view info on your page.  Click again to visit it.  View your pages by Tags, by clicking on the menu at the top left, and choosing a tag.