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A bookmarklet is a piece of code saved as a bookmark. When you click it, instead of just taking you to a bookmarked website, it performs an action (which may include taking you to another website, but does not have to do that). Here are 5 recommended bookmarklets to boost your productivity by helping you instantly subscribe to, read, tweet, share and translate webpages.

[To use the bookmarklets, simply add them to your bookmarks bar. Right click them and choose “Bookmark This Link” or just drag and drop it to the bookmarks bar]

1. Subscribe to a website with Google Reader

Add or drag to your bookmarks bar ——> Subscribe

Here is a known scenario – you visit a cool blog and want to subscribe to it. Now you need to find and click its RSS icon, get to the Feedburner site, choose ‘Google Reader’ as your RSS reader, get to the ‘Add to Google’ page and choose ‘Add to Google Reader’. Easy, right? Well, why not make the process much easier – use the ‘Subscribe’ bookmarklet. Just click it, and you’ll immediately get into Google reader, one click away from subscribing to the site. Life’s good, isn’t it?

2. Speed read online content

Add or drag to your bookmarks bar ——> ZAP read

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The ZAP reader bookmarklet opens a new window where it flashes text at high speed (text which you  previously marked in a website). Not only that it makes you read much faster, but it also improves your speed reading abilities (I can personally testify).

It’s a good idea to use a speed that you can read relatively easily when the text is important and you have to completely understand it. Use higher speed when the text is of less importance, in order to gradually increase your reading speed.

3. Tweet a link and monitor it

Add or drag to your bookmarks bar ——> Bit.ly

The Bit.ly bookmarklet is the most useful way I know to share links through Twitter. The bookmarklet pops-up a sidebar within the site you are in, shortens its URL and lets you tweet it without leaving the page. Moreover, it tells you how many people have got to the site through a Bit.ly shortened URL and how many got there through your link.

If you think about it, Bit.ly lets you measure the effectiveness of your tweets. By telling you how many people you’ve reached, you can know if people are reading your tweets and what is the content they like the most. I make sure to check out my Bit.ly stats once in a while to better understand what are my best tweets and how I can reach more people.

4. Share sites via email

Add or drag to your bookmarks bar ——> Email this

If you feel like sending a website via email rather then tweeting it – ‘Email this’ is the bookmarklet that I recommend. ‘Email this’ opens a new email in your default email client (including web based ones) with the site’s title as the subject and the link to the page in the body. All that is left for you to do is add recipients and click send.

‘Email this’ is suitable for work settings, where you would usually share content via email. It’s also better to use it when you need more then 140 characters or you just don’t want to share something publicly.

5. Read any language

Add or drag to your bookmarks bar  ——> Translate
‘Translate’ uses “Google Translate” to display the content of the page in English. More or less, it means you can instantly read sites in any language. Really useful

If you think that there is enough content in English – try to think of situations where local content is better. For example, if you’re going on a trip to another country – reading about it on local websites will get you better results. That is where this bookmarklet will come in handy.

Don’t forget to check out the other bookmarklets that MakeUseOf has written about! What are your top productivity bookmarklets? Share them with us in the comments!

Image credit: vramak

  1. dess
    July 30, 2015 at 10:27 pm

    Thanks, especially for the fourth one. Effectively replaces Google's extension for Chrome "Send from Gmail (by Google)", which do exactly the same, but use about 27 MB of RAM (even when not used).

    I just changed the marklet to open in new window/tab (and named "Gmail this" to clarify =) :

    javascript:window.open('https://mail.google.com/mail/?view=cm&fs=1&tf=1&to=&su='+document.title+'&body='+escape(location.href)).focus();

    Thanks again!

    (By the way, I've replaced all of my extensions with corresponding marklets, except the ABP of course. Several months already, it's definitely worth. =)

    • dess
      July 30, 2015 at 10:31 pm

      Hmm... It was trimmed somehow. Again:

      javascript:window.open('https://mail.google.com/mail/?view=cm&fs=1&tf=1&to=&su='+document.title+'&body='+escape(location.href)).focus();

  2. youthworker
    August 26, 2009 at 4:59 am

    These are great. I've added a line to my 'email this' bookmarklets at work, with my home email address. I often stumble across fun stuff at work that shouldn't be using up work time. I do the same at home- these both help me keep on track and helps to delineate the two worlds.

  3. Richard Salogub
    July 21, 2009 at 7:56 am

    Thanks for sharing those bookmarklets! I am sure to use them daily. Another one of my favorites is bookmaplet.com
    Just highlight an address and up pops a google map

  4. Rosie
    July 14, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    Couldn't get email this to work :( I dragged it to my shortcut bar, but nothing happens when I click on it. Any ideas?

    • Eyal Sela
      July 16, 2009 at 1:06 am

      Hi There Rosie -
      Could you write some more details?
      what browser are you using (try another one and see if it works there), do you have a pop-up blocker (disable it for this application)...

      There could be several reasons for it not to work, try again with the above changes and report back...

      • Rosie
        July 16, 2009 at 3:46 am

        Thanks for your help Eval, I found in end that it worked (in Firefox and IE) if I added it to the links bar by right-clicking on the link - but not if I dragged it.
        This will be very handy! :)

  5. JONCG8
    July 13, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    I like zapreader, kind of takes the 'reading' out of speedreading. But im glad i just learned to speed read. I speed read everything now lol. "Rev it up reading" was really helpful revitupreading.com/

  6. Nitesh patel
    July 13, 2009 at 2:46 am

    very informative post and even i was unaware of some of these.
    thanks for sharing

  7. Eyal Sela
    July 12, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    Hi Harsh,
    I'm glad you liked the post,
    and thanks for the tip!

  8. BobCFC
    July 12, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Excellent post.

    The two bookmarklets that I use are Evernote CLIP THIS selected text/images to new note, and the Google Bookmarks ADD NEW bookmark.

    Both let me use tags with autocomplete using the TAB button, and both let me add extra notes.

  9. Harsh Agrawal [SML]
    July 12, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    Hey man very useful post. Bookmarked and stumbled.
    Just wanted to tell you, if you are using Tweetmeme wordpress plugin, you can change the default @tweetmeme to your Twitter profile ID. So that you will get notified when someone Tweet your post using it. :)

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