Using the Computer

You likely already used a series of bookmarks and RSS feeds to keep tabs on the sites that you frequent the most, but the bookmarks toolbar in your preferred web browser can be so much more powerful. Bookmarklets may look like regular old bookmarks, but they boast special features and functions that are unleashed with a simple click of the mouse.

Basically, a bookmarklet is a JavaScript snippet that’s coded to perform a specific function. For example, there’s a Facebook bookmarklet where it will automatically bring up the share URL dialog when you click on it, allowing you to share the current webpage that you are viewing without having to hop over to Facebook and copy/paste the URL directly. Just as Chrome extensions can improve your productivity, so can bookmarklets.

Better still, bookmarklets are generally browser agnostic, so they will work on Firefox, just as easily as they work in Safari or Internet Explorer. All you have to do is drag and drop the bookmarklet link into your bookmarks toolbar. When you want to unleash the function, just click on it.

Screenshots and Readability

Windows already has that handy Snipping Tool and you may find similar utilities elsewhere too, but there are also useful bookmarklets that serve this function and provide more options.

  • Kwout — By default, this bookmarklet will capture a medium screenshot of the entire webpage you are currently viewing. This is particularly handy for longer documents if you want to capture them as single images.
  • Printwhatyoulike — Want to print a webpage, but don’t want all of it to be printed? This lets you custom edit the elements of the page, isolating parts and changing font sizes and colors before sending the document to your printer.

Social Media

Hootlet Bookmarklet for HootSuite

Hootlet Bookmarklet for HootSuite

Social networking is everywhere, but it doesn’t have to consume the entirety of your online existence. It doesn’t have to be a big waste of your time either. Be more efficient with your pinning, tagging and sharing by using these handy bookmarklets.

  • Hootlet — One of my favorite social media dashboards is HootSuite and while there are plugins/extensions for Chrome and Firefox, the bookmarklet can be useful too. When you click on it, it will bring up the sharing dialog so you can customize your status update, choose which networks to use, and share that URL with your friends and followers.
  • Pin It — Pinterest has really exploded on the scene. One of the Pinterest Goodies is the Pin It bookmarklet. When you’re on a page where you have something you want to pin, you simply click on it and you’ll be able to select the image/video you want to pin and then choose the board where you want to pin it. Simple!
  • Share on Facebook — You don’t have to copy a URL, open a new tab, go to Facebook, paste the URL, and wait for the preview to show up. With this social bookmarklet, the sharing process is made fare easier. Just click, share, and wait for those “likes” and comments to come pouring in.

More Useful Bookmarklets

Bookmarklets can serve all sorts of different functions. Here are a few more that can be useful in improving your efficiency and productivity…as long as you don’t get distracted by the bottomless pit of the Internet.

  • Amazon Wish List — Do you maintain a wish list on Amazon? While it’s easy enough to add Amazon products to that list, adding products from other sites isn’t as straightforward. That is, until you use this handy bookmarklet. You can adjust the price and description too.
  • Google Translate — Is your French tres mal? Have you encountered a Japanese site and you haven’t the darndest what it’s about? This bookmarklet will automatically translate the current webpage into English. If you want to translate webpages into other languages, there are a host of Google Translate buttons at your disposal too.
  • Add to Pocket — Formerly known as Read It Later, Pocket is a great way to save webpage content to read later. Just click on the bookmarklet and you’ll save those pages to your Pocket account for later perusal and enjoyment.

Image credit: Frederick Dennstedt / Flickr