A laptop is to a college student what oxygen is to a human. A laptop is quite possibly the most useful of all tools with which a student can quip himself. Upon this portable gadget one can write papers, send messages, accept projects, perform research, and more. As useful as a it is, a laptop cannot, however, be used to create time, the most precious of all commodities. Luckily, anyone using Mozilla Firefox can streamline their online tasks via a series of plug-ins, often called ‘add-ons’, thus reducing the overall amount of time spent flipping between tabs and typing in addresses. All of the Firefox add-ons listed below are free to download and use, and will make your college life a little less complicated.
1. Read it Later
As the name implies, ‘Read it Later’ is a Firefox add-on that allows users to save a page for viewing at a later date. Not only does this add-on allow college students to mark web pages while doing research, but it also allows them to view the webpage offline. If you want to work on your paper in that quiet courtyard but find the WiFi less than desirable, use ‘Read it Later’ to make your life a little bit easier.
2. Similar Web
Similar web is a Firefox add-on that instantly displays websites similar to the one you’re browsing. This feature can be used by college students to research faster. Imagine that you’re researching ‘Pompeii’. Instead of finding websites one-by-one, you can use ‘Similar Web’ to get a list of websites on Pompeii similar to the one you are currently viewing.
3. Unread Gmail Favicon
Gmail is one of the most popular email applications available, and is used by tens of thousands of college students across the United States. It is tempting to open a new tab every few minutes to see if that email you’ve been waiting for has arrived, but that ultimately is a time-waster. More efficient is the Firefox Unread Gmail Favicon, an add-on that places a tiny Gmail tab under your Firefox’s navigation buttons. When an unread message arrives, a little flag is added to the simple, letting you know that, finally, your message has arrived.
Webpedia is a nifty Firefox add-on that allows college students to view a small one-paragraph blurb about their search query. For example, if you search for “Mount St. Helens”, Webpedia will display a small box next to your search results that explains what Mount St. Helens is and provides links to additional information that you may be interested in.
5. Remember Fox
No, this isn’t some X-Files-esque add-on. Instead, ‘Remember Fox’ is a college student’s best friend. Enter your current to-do list, your appointments and classes schedule, and Remember Fox will alert you whenever an appointment nears. College students everywhere can enjoy the convenience of not having to remember anything while bemoaning the fact that they now remember when to leave for class.
How much time do you waste paging back and forth in your browser? If you’re like most college students, too much is likely the correct answer. AutoPager for Firefox solves this problem by automatically loading the next page when you reach the end of the current one. For example, if you’re reading a rather large journal article, AutoPager will automatically switch to the next page for you when you reach the bottom of the current page.
There’s nothing worse than needing a bunch of screenshots. A paper that might have taken you 30 minutes to write ends up taking you an hour just in snapping screenshots, then pasting the image into Photoshop or GIMP for editing purpose. To streamline this process, FireShot (a screenshot add-on) offers users the ability to snap shots of only certain sections of a web page, as well as a basic set of editing tools to make your life a little easier.
8. Google Assistant
Let’s face it – the Internet is full of a lot of junk. When you, the college student with more to do than food to eat, are forced to waste precious minutes searching through the spam domains to find the meaty content underneath, nobody wins. That’s where Google Assistant comes in. This nifty Firefox plugin searches the web far and wide for all the content most relevant to your needs, then puts it smack on the front page for your convenience. Whether you’re searching for the atomic weight of a burrito or high school pictures of your professor, Google Assistant is there to help.
You’ve probably already strained your RAM to the max with all those tabs you keep open, and now you’re looking at opening another one? What to do, what to do…Interclue! Okay, that was cheesy, I admit it. Still, give this Firefox add-on a good look before deciding whether to pass or not. Interclue allows you to view everything you need to know about a website before you click on it. It’s so detailed, it can practically tell you your future (not really, but you get my point).
10. Dictionary Tooltip
Admit it – you’ve used Google on more than one occasion to look up the meaning for a word you probably missed on the SAT years ago and still haven’t found a reason for learning. Everyone’s done it. Luckily, there’s Dictionary Tooltip, a Firefox add-on especially useful to college students, who will (presumably) come across many unfamiliar words in the course of their studies. Just double-click on the unfamiliar word, and up pops its definition.