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Ah, the new tab page. Such a great opportunity for productivity that so often goes to waste. It’s not that there’s a lack of great browser start screens out there — we’ve already told you about several good start pages for Chrome 9 Ways to Customise the New Tab Page in Chrome 9 Ways to Customise the New Tab Page in Chrome Chrome's new tab page is serviceable, but a bit boring. Whether you're looking for a nice background for your new tab page or want to easily create your own visual bookmarks, add custom widgets, and... Read More and some excellent start pages for Firefox Make New Firefox Tabs More Useful With These Add-Ons Make New Firefox Tabs More Useful With These Add-Ons We all like to customize our things – it’s nice when they feel really ours. This is true for many aspects in life, and naturally, doesn’t skip computers, phones and software. If it’s possible to... Read More — but sometimes it’s that abundance that makes it hard to find the perfect one.

If you’re still on the lookout for the perfect way to start your browsing sessions, here are two more options you’ve probably never heard about. One of these is cross platform, so you can use it regularly even if you switch browsers often. Let’s dive in!

Build Your Own: Start.me

I want to say that Start.me is a beautiful new tab page you should check out, but the truth of the matter is, it’s not that good looking. What it lacks in looks, however, it makes up in options and features.

startme-1

The screenshot above should give you a general idea of what a Start.me start screen looks like. Pretty bland, right? But if you’re looking for a new tab page that can show you everything from your favorite bookmarks and RSS feeds to your unread emails, Google calendar and tasks, you’ve found it. Start.me does it all, and it doesn’t even require any sort of installation to do this.

startme-2

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To start using Start.me, sign in using one of your social accounts, or create a dedicated Start.me account. If you want, you can download the Start.me browser add-on to make sure Start.me is automatically set as your new tab (available for Chrome and Firefox).

If you choose not to download the add-on, you can easily set Start.me as your home page and set your browser to automatically show your home page each time you open a new tab. This way, you can enjoy Start.me without cluttering your browser with more add-ons, and you can also use the tool on additional browsers such as Internet Explorer or Safari.

set-new-tab-page

Now that you’re all set, it’s time to configure your Start.me start screen. Don’t be alarmed if it looks complicated at first, it’s actually very simple. Your Start.me screen can have multiple pages, which you can browse through from the top toolbar. Each page can contain any of the available Start.me widgets. To get started, create a new page and start adding widgets to it.

startme-widgets

You can give each widget a custom name, and configure it to show exactly what you want. For example, you can add different RSS feeds as widgets, or import your entire RSS list from a different reader. You can set the weather widget to show your local weather, and set the world clock to show you several different cities around the world. You can move each widget around to place it where you want it on the screen.

startme

While most widgets are straightforward, some are apparently third-party widgets that come with built-in ads. The currency converted and Twitter are such examples. The analog clock widget goes as far as trying to download the widget onto your computer. This is pretty harmless, but it also doesn’t work, so I don’t recommend trying it.

Each page contains a search widget by default, which lets you perform a Google search quickly. You can also change this to search other websites such as Bing, YouTube, Wikipedia, etc.

search-startme

As mentioned already, Start.me is not the best-looking start screen you’ll ever use. In fact, some areas still require some work to be perfect. But the mere number of different options available makes this a great option for practical users who simply wants quick access to their stuff, or for those who often switch browsers and want to keep the same start screen.

Yummy Out Of The Jar: Momentum (Chrome)

For some people, a new tab page shouldn’t be much more than inspiration to keep going. Momentum helps you get on with whatever your goal is for the day.

momentum-1

There are only a few elements to Momentum, most of which are not even customizable. It’s as low effort as these things get, but has everything needed to hit the spot.

After installation, Momentum will want to know your name, and what your focus for today is.

momentum-2

Once that’s set, your new tab page will show you the local time and your focus for the day. On the top right corner you’ll find the local weather, and on the bottom right, you can add a to-do list which you mark off as you advance through your day.

momentum-todo

The whole thing is set on top of a beautiful photograph which changes daily. You can’t control the background, it’s just what it is. Every day, you’ll also find a new quote at the bottom of the page, for that little extra inspiration. And the best thing? Momentum even works offline.

All in all, this is a new tab page that comes ready out of the box, and gives you a pleasant push every time you open a new tab. Sometimes, you need nothing more.

If neither of these hit your fancy, and you’re still looking for more, here are some more recommended new-tab pages Bring Some Life Into Your Browser With These 5 Brilliant Start-Page Extensions [Chrome] Bring Some Life Into Your Browser With These 5 Brilliant Start-Page Extensions [Chrome] Chrome’s default start page has nothing to be ashamed of. With its neat appearance and quick access to apps, most visited pages and recently closed tabs, it’s fast becoming a great option for a default... Read More for you to check out. You should also take a look at Limitless for Chrome Limitless For Chrome: The Ultimate Productivity Companion Limitless For Chrome: The Ultimate Productivity Companion Where did the time go? You got on your computer and suddenly it's been 3 hours and you're in some vast part of the Interwebs. This is where Limitless comes in. Read More if you liked Momentum, but wanted something slightly different. If you have your own favorite you’d like to share, make sure to do so in the comments below!

Image credit: PlaceIt

  1. Ritwick
    January 11, 2015 at 8:29 am

    Hi. I found these two browser start screens quite useful. However i use and recommend a site called centpage .com to everyone. Use it as an internet startpage or homepage. It has all the best websites organized into different categories which you can even customize. I'm sure you'll like it. Trust me, you'll love it :-)

  2. NickGLewis
    October 15, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    @Decterral I also use papaly.com/

  3. Decterral
    October 2, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    I've used a number of start page websites and found two to be the top favorites. papaly.com because it has a customizable user profile that I'm able to share my boards or make them private. protopage.com because it has a RSS reader included within the start page.

  4. jan davis
    May 28, 2014 at 1:57 am

    Thanks, thed! I found it, with your help. I appreciate it!

  5. jan davis
    May 22, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    Is there any way to make Start.me open it's link in another tab? I like it, but it's annoying to have to keep clicking back to the site.

    • thed
      May 28, 2014 at 12:59 am

      You can select that in the settings (person img in the superior right corner)

  6. Ashok k
    May 22, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    I use symbaloo.com because I generally visit almost same websites like muo, lifehacker, facebook, twitter etc. on daily and symbaloo makes it easy.

  7. normalnew
    May 22, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    Netvibes.com

    I have used it for years and couldn't be happier

  8. DopePhizh
    May 22, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    I tried some different start pages but ended up writing my own, customized for what i need, and i keep adding to it as i go.

  9. Manny
    May 22, 2014 at 8:57 am

    thanks for sharing - start.me is a very complete solution and I love it so far.

    I disagree about your comment that "it's not that good looking". start.me does allow you to select a beautiful picture as background.

    Personally I really like the clean style and the minimal distractions will hopefully help me to be more productive.

  10. Bassey
    May 22, 2014 at 8:38 am

    I've been using Speed Dial (now SpeedDial 2) for a few years now. I love the fact that it syncs my start page and bookmarks across all of my devices via chrome.

  11. Daniel J
    May 22, 2014 at 3:07 am

    Momentum FTW :)

  12. Db
    May 22, 2014 at 2:44 am

    trying out start.me as we speak

  13. Keith K
    May 22, 2014 at 2:39 am

    myfav.es > *

  14. Martin
    May 22, 2014 at 1:25 am

    Like momentum - simple, beautiful and focused

  15. Jasonology
    May 22, 2014 at 12:50 am

    I still use Protopage at http://www.protopage.com

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