I use Chrome as my internet browser. Chrome was built by Google to be faster and more efficient, and I think it is. Also it doesn’t close all Chrome windows just because one has a problem, which I really appreciate.
One of the things I like best about Chrome is the address bar at the top. As well as typing an address into it, you can type a word or phrase into it as though it was a Google search and it will find what you’re looking for. It will guess, based on what you use most often. Only if it can’t guess or you reject what it comes up with will it give you a normal list of search results like a normal Google search. I really appreciate the time this saves.
I used to have a long list of favourites/bookmarks, organised into folders. I’ve carried and added to this list over the years, copying it from one computer to another and one browser to another. I started a new list in iGoogle, the Google homepage that you can customise yourself.
Now that Chrome and I have got to know each other better I don’t need bookmarks. I type the first letter or two of the website I want in the address bar and Chrome figures it out for me. Instead of clicking on my bookmarks, opening a succession of folders, and then finding the website I want (yes, it had got to that level of complexity), I only need one or two keystrokes.
When I type in a p, for example, it looks like this:
The symbol next to each choice reflects where Chrome got the result from, I assume. A star is one of my favourites. If it was Google+ that I wanted (and it usually is) I just need to hit Enter and it loads automatically. Easy!
Here’s a list of my most commonly-used websites and what I type into Chrome to get them:
A = ANZ anz.com.au or Ancestry depending on whichever I have used most recently (ANZ is a bank)
ANC = Ancestry www.ancestry.com/, I use a world subscription so it goes to the American site
B = Birth and death index search for the NSW Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages bdm.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/Index/IndexingOrder.cgi/search?event=births
C = Carole’s Canvas caroleriley.id.au which is my own personal website. My family tree is here, so I can check people in it without having to open my family tree software. I can also select http://www.cityrail.info/ a bit further down the list to check train timetables.
D = Dropbox https://www.dropbox.com/. I rely on Dropbox for sharing files instantly between computers and to other people.
E = Wikipedia en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia, the English version. W takes me to wikipedia.org, which makes me select a language.
FI = Fiji Genealogy http://fijigenealogy.com/.
FIN = FindMyPast http://www.findmypast.co.uk/.
G = Google, Gould Genealogy or Yahoo Groups groups.yahoo.com/mygroups, where I approve new members to the TMG Sydney User Group. Google usually opens at the Australian site for me, but may not for you.
H = Heritage Genealogy, heritagegenealogy.com.au, my business website, to which this blog belongs.
I = Internet Movie Database imdb.com or PIXEL http://images.maps.nsw.gov.au (NSW Lands Department maps) or http://investigator.records.nsw.gov.au/Search.aspx State Records NSW Archives Investigator, the catalogue search, depending on what I’ve used most recently.
J =Jetstar jetstar.com.au, but only because I’ve been flying a lot lately. There are not many sites with J in them.
K = Ku-Ring-Gai Orchid Society http://kuringaiorchidsociety.org.au/ which I help look after on behalf of the society.
L = LibraryThing http://www.librarything.com/home/caroleriley or LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/ or LPMA http://www.lpma.nsw.gov.au/ which doesn’t work any more because the NSW Lands Department has changed their name again.
O = Optus http://optusnet.com.au/ my internet service provider.
Q = Qantas http://www.qantas.com.au/, again because I’ve been doing a lot of flying lately, or Quicken http://www.quicken.com.au/ which is the accounting software I use. Not many sites with Q in them.
R = State Records NSW online indexes http://www.records.nsw.gov.au/state-archives/indexes-online/indexes-online.
S = Society of Australian Genealogists http://sag.org.au/.
SL = State Library of NSW http://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/.
T = Twitter https://twitter.com/.
TR = Trove http://trove.nla.gov.au/ is the National Library of Australia’s catalogue of just about everything, including digitised newspapers.
U = Unlock The Past http://www.unlockthepast.com.au/.
V = Vodafone http://vodafone.com.au my mobile phone company.
WE = Westpac http://www.westpac.com.au/ my bank.
WI = Wikipedia http://www.wikipedia.org/ Wikipedia. I then have to pick a language.
X = I never use, but when I type it it guesses http://www.records.nsw.gov.au/state-archives/indexes-online/indexes-online State Records NSW online indexes.
Y = YouTube http://www.youtube.com/.
Z = it guesses ANZ (my bank) unless I’m not quick enough to accept, in which case it guesses Zara, which I’ve never heard of.
You can perhaps see from this list that the letter I type is not necessarily the first initial of the name of the website. It’s more likely to be the first letter of the address after the http:// as in R gives me http://www.records.nsw.gov.au/state-archives/indexes-online/indexes-online. If I want to be more specific I have to type more, as in FAM to distinguish between Facebook and FamilySearch.
If I’ve already made that site a ‘favourite’ it will be higher on the list, and if I’ve used it a lot recently it will select it automatically. The only confusion is where there are multiple sites for the same letter, as in F for Facebook or FindMyPast.
If you use Chrome already, give this a try for yourself. If you don’t, download it for yourself and see if you think it is faster.