<firstimage=”//static.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/search-bar-plugins.png”>The 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. 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.
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?!).
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:
These sections are listed in the right-hand panel. Clicking on any will scroll your eLog down to the corresponding section:
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:
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.
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!