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TylerW

Using "Web Browser Apps" (Environments) for Convenience, Efficiency, & Productivity

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Wasn't too sure which forum to post this in, so I'll just drop this here.

Some of you might think this silly, and maybe it is, but I find it useful. So maybe someone here will too.

Backstory / Thought Process Behind The Idea

In the real world we typically have different environments (rooms, or areas of rooms) for doing different things. An office, living room, dining room, kitchen, study, workshop, etc.

I like this idea.

Different spaces for different purposes.

mancrafter.jpg.800x600_q96.png

There's something about going into your workshop, or your office, and you know it's time to do that certain thing that you do in that room. The brain/body instantly just goes into the right mode without too much effort. Same thing with plunking yourself down on the sofa in the living room for some netflix. Time to chill. Or like that place that you usually take an afternoon nap. It's just easier to nap there because you're conditioned to relax and fall asleep in that spot.

It would be cool to have something like that on the level of an operating system. Different digital environments that we could quickly open up (walk into the room), or fold away (leave and head to a different room). And without having to close everything down, put files away, close programs, or lose our place in the workflow every time we switched into a different mode/activity.

There are 2 main benefits to this whole idea:

  1. Effortlessly being in the right mode for doing whatever you're doing, because you're mind/body are conditioned to the environment.
  2. Not having to put away, then re-setup everything every time you switch modes or activities

The technology is not quite there on the OS front. (at least not that I'm aware of)

In the mean time, we can do something along these lines by using "Web Browser Apps". Especially since so much of the stuff we do is online and in the cloud now.

Web Browser Apps

What's a web browser app?

It's basically just my term for a seperate browser environment that you create for a specific use/purpose. It could be a task, project, type of work, or activity that you reguarly do.

Chrome & Firefox both give you the ability to create multiple browser profiles. Each with their own bookmarks, plugins, cookies, program configurations, etc.

Each profile is essentially its own completely seperate app.

Example 1: I have a specific browser profile for my finances & banking. When I open it up, everything is already open and ready to go. I don't have to click any bookmarks or open any websites. All of the main sites that I use to do anything finance & banking related are open and ready to go instantly, with 1 click. My personal banking, business banking, paypal, credit card, freshbooks, financial tracking, book keeping. Everything is ready to go. Anything else is quickly accessible with 1 click from a not-too-over-crowded bookmarks bar.

*security note: do not save your passwords in your browser if you do this with your finances and banking ;) I use a local encrypted password database that is read by the browser. I unlock it with a single master pasword. Then as soon as my computer goes to sleep everything locks up, until I unlock it again the next day. Very handy.

Example 2: I have a specific browser instance that I use only for casual browsing & entertainment. It's like being on my digital couch in my digital living room. It has all the right entertainment related bookmarks quickly accessible in the bookmarks bar, and the browser is configured just right for the purpose.

Example 3: I have a specific browser profile that I use just for web development purposes. It has all the addons/extensions, bookmarks to different online tools quickly accessible, specific keyboard shortcuts etc. And no fluff/junk in the way.

This approach also helps to keep me focused when I'm working. If the Browsing & Entertainment profile isn't open, then I'm not distracted and I'm effortlessly in focused work mode. Conversely if I open that browser, then I'm very aware that I'm nolonger focused and in work mode!

I like to keep things clean and clearly separated like this. I find it useful.

I also have separate browser environments for:

  • Email & Communication
  • Project Management
  • Learning & Education
  • Project Specific Profiles
  • and quite a few more.

Anyone else doing something like this? Or am I just a weird nerd?

Either way, hope someone out there might find this useful.

Cheers All.

Tyler.

Edited by TylerW
  • Upvote 1

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