Simple Online Productivity Tool: LeechBlock

Since the school year is beginning (or has begun) for so many of us, I thought I would share a handy online productivity tool discovered a while back thanks to Angie over at Real Life at Home. It is called LeechBlock.

leechblock

LeechBlock is a Firefox add-on that allows you to block certain sites for a specified amount of time. This can help you stay focused on the the work you should be doing online instead of wasting time on sites that suck up your time and productivity.

For example: If you are anything like me and “mildly” addicted to Twitter and/or Facebook { πŸ˜› }, it can be so easy to think that you’re just going to “check-in for a minute” and still be there 30 minutes or more later. With LeechBlock, you can block yourself from having access to those sites when you should be working.

Once you’ve installed the plug-in, it’s very easy to create different block sets (tools->LeechBlock->options) of the sites you want to block and to control the days and times you want them blocked.

Personally, I have been using LeechBlock for a few years now and I love it. It is also good for children. Andrew is 10 now and has just received a new-to-him computer (Michael’s old computer) which he will use for school. I plan to use it, in conjuction with parental controls, to hopefully help him stay focused and productive with his school work.

If you are using (or have used) LeechBlock, I’d love to hear your thoughts. What do you like/dislike about it? Does it or has it helped you stay productive online?

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Tweetable: Simple Online Productivity Tool

Top 7 Writing Resources for Bloggers

Okay, this is one of those “self-indulgent” posts. I’ve been wanting to put together some of the writing resources that I’ve found in one place and decided to take advantage of this week’s 7 Quick Takes to do so. I hope you find these resources as helpful as I have. πŸ™‚

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Grammar Girl. Good grammar is important. When you write well, then your readers will have an easier time understanding what you are trying to say! Grammar girl offers quick tutorials and tips about every grammar question under the sun.

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Writing from Your Soul. Dawn offers everything from extensive writing programs, to workshops to coaching. I have been a long-time subscriber to her fantastic monthly newsletter and have purchased her complete Writing from Your Soul Intensive Toolkit. It is amazing.

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Mystery Writing is Murder. Doesn’t seem a likely blog that would help bloggers write, but Elizabeth Spann Craig has a great post called “Resources for Bloggers” that offers links to help you come up with blog ideas and how to beat ‘blogging burnout’.

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Hubpages. Looking to do a little freelance blogging? Hubpages has “25 Writing Resources for Online Freelance Writers and Bloggers“.

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Blogging With Amy. Amy’s blog deals with blogging tips and tools rather than writing; but, she does have some posts about writing. For example, she has a great tutorial on “How to Write an Ebook” and a great article on how to find (or re-find) your passion.

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Aliventures. Ali is a writer out of the UK. She writes terrific blog articles that are applicable to all types of writers, including bloggers. She also offers writing coaching and several blogging guides.

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Internet Marketing Ninjas. This is a internet marketing site mostly for bigger companies, butΒ they have a great post called “Six Kickass Writing Resources for Bloggers“.

These are just a few resources among many. What are your favorite writing resources? Share them in the comments.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Ten Must-Have Firefox Add-ons

If you spend any length of time online, like most of us do, you probably want a a reliable, safe and enjoyable browsing experience.Β  That’s why I use Mozilla Firefox. It’s safe, secure and almost never goes down or freezes. It also offers a ton of add-ons that brings greater function and fun to browsing to the web.Β  Here are ten favorites of the ones I use:

1. Stop Autoplay. This is one of my favorite add-ons. πŸ™‚ I can’t stand it when I go to a website only to find videos or music playing without warning. It’s worse when I have to search the website just to find the autoplayer so I can pause it or shut if off. This add-on prevents that. πŸ™‚ If you do want to watch the video or listen to the music, all you have to do is click the little play arrow.

2. Extended Copy Menu. This add-on adds more functionality to the pop-up menu when you do a right click. It enables you to copy as plain text, or HTML.Β  This is very helpful when you want to just copy the text of something from a webpage or something without all the added formatting.

3. Read it Later. This add-on allows you to save webpages to read later with just one click. It saves the pages in a reading list that you can read online, offline or even on your phone.

4. Reminder Fox. This allows you to add reminders and to-dos right in your browser. This works really well for me because I always forget to open yahoo or Gmail calendar and I don’t like the extra email reminders. πŸ™‚ With this add-on you can easily set dates and reminders and they discretely show up on the corner of your browser.

5. Aviary Talon. This is yet another snipping tool that allows you to take screen captures and and edit images right in your browser. This is fast and easy and allows you to save the images to your computer, host online and/or edit in a basic image editor.

6. Xmarks Sync. If you own more than computer, this add-on is a definite must-have! This add-on backs up and synchronizes bookmarks, passwords and even your history across browsers and computers. Whenever you close the browser, and you’ve made changed your bookmarks in any way, Xmarks pops up and asks you if you want to synchronize them.

7. LastPass. This add-on is a free, secure password manager and form-filler. You can import your passwords from almost any source, and with a master password, you only have to login once, and than it will automatically fill in your forms and passwords.

8. TwitterBar. If you are active on Twitter you will love this add-on. I used to use it all the time; but, alas, I haven’t been posting on Twitter in a while (do hope to get active on it again, soon, though!). In any case, this add-on allows you to post updates to twitter right from your Firefox address bar. You can even post to multiple Twitter accounts if you have them.

9. ColorfulTabs. This is a fun but useful add-on. Each time you open a new tab, ColorfulTabs opens it in a new color. It helps each tab to stand out more clearly and looks nice, too. πŸ™‚

10. Update Notifier. Once you’ve installed all these wonderful add-ons, you are going to want to keep them updated. That’s where this add-on comes in. As its name says, it will notify you whenever your add-ons has updates available.

Your turn! What’s your favorite add-on for Firefox? Do share in the comments!

(Linked to Top Ten Tuesday and Works for me Wednesday.)