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My favorite Firefox plug-ins for productivity

August 23, 2009

For those of you who aren’t already Firefox junkies here are some recommendations:

Lastpass – The last password you’ll ever need. This program installs a plugin on Firefox and Interweb Explorer. It will remember your passwords (it keeps them encrypted and secure), generate secure passwords (like ‘#Ld$qE7CenDQjI$^’), fill in forms for you (this is incredibly useful when you’re filling in a lot of online applications if you set a profile for the address/phone number of your previous employers) and allow you to access your passwords online.

ReadItLater – This is great for bookmarking pages you want to visit later without losing them in your bookmarks folder. Just click read it later and it will save it so you can read it later. You can also access your list (including items you’ve read) online.

Zotero – This plug-in is awesome for research. When you’re cruising through journals online, or wikipedia or even Youtube this item can import the details of the item and save them for when you need to cite that item in a paper. It will also save PDFs so you can access an article without the internet.

Web of Trust – This one is essential for safe browsing. It displays a little circle on your tool bar that will be either green, yellow,  orange or red. If it’s red, you’d better turn back! It works using user ratings of a websites reliability, trust-worthiness and child-safety (it will show a breakdown of a page’s results when you click on it). If you disagree with a rating, you can submit your own rating. (For more on why I believe user rating systems are often great, see The Wisdom of Crowds.)

These are the four plug-ins that I use most. I have others, but I usually have them disabled to keep Firefox from getting bogged down. If you use a netbook, I like the add-ons to minimize the menu and navigation bars.

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