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firefox search bar pluginThe Firefox search bar is by far my favorite tool inside the browser. While it seems to have rather basic functionality (all it is supposed to do is to give you quick access to your favorite search engines), it opens up endless opportunities for creative minds.

We have already listed some fun ways to play with the search bar, such as how to enjoy as-you-type suggest functionality 10 Firefox Search Plugins That Support Search Suggestions 10 Firefox Search Plugins That Support Search Suggestions Read More . Today I am listing two more tools showing that you can use the feature not just for search.

The best thing about the following Firefox search bar plugins is that they are really fast to install (you don’t even need to restart your browser to give them a test run) and they in no way change the usual behavior or interface of your browser. The new functionality is added quietly and can only be accessed when you need it.

1. Make Quick Notes (Maintain A To-Do List)

More often than not, the most powerful tools have very basic and simplistic functionality. I have tried various note-taking and to-do-list building utilities, yet my little notepad is the one I am using most of the time. This is why I was very happy to discover the following tool.

eLog is a fun quick web-based application that adds some fun functionality to your Firefox search bar. eLog is the easiest way to take quick notes while you are browsing. It looks like a simple .txt file with no formatting – just plain text and the exact time you left that note at.

All your notes are stored on one webpage – which means you can use Firefox’s CTRL+F “Find” option to quickly find any note. You can also easily search the web for any word in your note – just highlight any phrase in your eLog and click the “Web” tab.

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There are a few ways to quickly add notes to your eLog – one of which is simply typing your note into your search bar box and clicking “Enter” (what can be faster than that?!).

firefox search bar plugin

The best thing about the tool is that with its very simple functionality you can use it very creatively. You can break your eLog into sections and organize your notes using these sections. To create a section just use the @name format, for example:

  • @today
  • @todo
  • @websites
  • @searches
  • @before-vacation
  • @expecting

These sections are listed in the right-hand panel. Clicking on any will scroll your eLog down to the corresponding section:

firefox search bar

To add a section (or to add a note to an existing section) using the search bar box, simply start your note with the @section-name part:

firefox search bar

2. Compose A New Message In Gmail

(G)mailto: is a fun Firefox addon that lets you quickly compose an email to any person. Before, to write an email you had to open the Gmail interface, click the “Compose Mail” link, type an email address and write your message.

Now you just need to type an email address into your search bar box and click “Enter“.

  • Install the search plugin;
  • Type your email address in the search box;
  • Click Enter and the new tab will load the “Compose mail” Gmail interface.

firefox search bar plugin

It is an awesome time saver provided you know (or can copy-paste) an email address (the plugin won’t suggest possible recipients to you, like the Gmail interface does).

Do you have any other searchbar-related tricks to share? What do you think of the tools listed above? Please share your thoughts!

  1. Prakash Gourav
    May 30, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    F1 is an aadon by mozilla labs that makes that mailto addon redundant. Its great. Try it.

  2. Pokemon
    May 1, 2011 at 3:58 am

    how to delete the note on elog???

    • littlearth
      May 1, 2011 at 4:18 am

      Go http://elog.com and you will see your whole elog text there (after logging in).
      You can then edit it in any way that you need to, including deletions.

  3. Aibek
    April 20, 2011 at 10:20 am

    Ann, thanks for sharing these. Both of them are really cool, especially the notes one

  4. Recycle_toner
    April 20, 2011 at 1:57 am

    I am now using those awesome plug ins. They're so cool.

  5. matantisi
    April 18, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Is there anyway to get help for elog (I know that's asking for a lot with a simple, free app)? When I click on the "e" icon in my location bar, I get page information, and it doesn't set the search bar plugin. Any ideas?

    • littlearth
      April 19, 2011 at 9:01 pm

      matantisi,
      try clicking the "e" on Step 2 on the webpage

  6. Starchet
    April 18, 2011 at 7:35 am

    Hi Ann,

    Once again you keep coming up with some of the most useful addons... I appreciate your informative posts all the time. Keep them coming!

    • Ann Smarty
      April 18, 2011 at 4:00 pm

      Thanks for stopping by and following our reviews!

  7. Hildy
    April 17, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    For notes I'd recommend looking at Quick Fox Notes. Rather than using the Search Bar it stores the notes as Bookmarks which means that if you use a bookmark sync add-on your notes will be synced across all your computers. It offers more options as well including encryption.

    http://inbasic.mozdev.org/root/ext3/home/index.html

  8. DG
    April 17, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    Nice to see an article on this. I personally think the search bar is an over-looked piece of prime real-estate on the browser that is so easy for any website owner to target. It just takes a very small bit of Javascript to invite users to add your "search". But as you have shown, it doesn't have to be a search.

    For example, both http://imgops.com/ and http://deturl.com/ have links at the top right hand corner of their home pages to add them to the search bar. With ImgOps you can past any image URL into the search bar and instantly get a large menu of options for saving, sharing, and editing images (plus other tools). With Deturl, just past the URL of YouTube or many other video sites and get links to download the videos.

  9. DG
    April 17, 2011 at 11:24 am

    Nice to see an article on this. I personally think the search bar is an over-looked piece of prime real-estate on the browser that is so easy for any website owner to target. It just takes a very small bit of Javascript to invite users to add your "search". But as you have shown, it doesn't have to be a search.

    For example, both http://imgops.com/ and http://deturl.com/ have links at the top right hand corner of their home pages to add them to the search bar. With ImgOps you can past any image URL into the search bar and instantly get a large menu of options for saving, sharing, and editing images (plus other tools). With Deturl, just past the URL of YouTube or many other video sites and get links to download the videos.

    • Ann Smarty
      April 18, 2011 at 3:59 pm

      Absolutely, I do believe the search box deserves much more attention!

  10. Friday
    April 17, 2011 at 3:53 am

    gmailto doesn't seem to exist.

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