Over the last few years we’ve had the privilege of releasing exclusive applications, scripts, and extensions that have hopefully boosted your productivity. We’ve gathered up your favorites here.
Earlier this week we asked you to choose your favorite homegrown Lifehacker tool. After reviewing the fruits of our in-house coders’ labor, you nominated your favorites. We’ve compiled the top five contenders here.
Texter is a robust text replacement tool. At its most basic Texter allows you to assign abbreviations for longer snippets of text you normally use. You can easily set up Texter to turn
sig1, sig2, and sig3 into various email signatures or any other block of text that you use with frequency. You can also assign a trigger key, so that the replacement only occurs after you hit the tab key, for example. That way if your trigger for your email signature is
sig, it will only activate after you type sig+TAB, but not when you start typing the word significant. Additionally Texter has support for scripting beyond basic text replacement, allowing you assign keyboard commands to your trigger, like tabbing to another cell in a form. For a detailed tutorial on setting up Texter, including scripting, check out the Texter homepage.
Better GReader (Firefox)
If the outpouring of votes for it during our Hive Five Best RSS Newsreaders is any indication, Lifehacker readers love Google Reader. Better GReader is a collection of scripts compiled into a Firefox extension that make life with Google Reader even sweeter. The improvements are numerous, including: maximizing the article display pane, automatically adding new feeds to Google Reader (instead of asking if you’d like iGoogle or Reader); colorization of item headers; the ability to remove unread counts; mark all entries up to the current one as read; enhanced preview, and more. If you love using Google Reader but have a few gripes, make sure to check out the full list of tools in Better GReader to see if it solves your RSS woes.
Belvedere is an automated file-management tool. Using Belvedere, you can assign sets of rules to monitored folders for handling the files found there. You can assign rules to move, copy, delete, rename, or even open files based on their name, extension, size, and creation date and more. If you find yourself doing repetitive things on your computer that don’t really require your input beyond being the one steering the mouse, it might be time to turn over the house keeping to Belvedere. Everything from cleaning out temporary directories and keeping your download folder from bloating up to organizing your incoming files by type can be accomplished with a few simple rules that will free up a big chunk of your time. Automation is your friend!
Better GMail 2 (Firefox)
Like Better GReader, Better Gmail 2 takes an already awesome service and adds even more features to it. Supercharge your Gmail experience with the Better Gmail 2 Firefox extension and add these handy features: forced encryption (https), modified keyboard macros, inbox count beside favicon, better integration of Google Calendar and Reader with the Gmail interface, attachment icons that represent the actual file type, assistant for easy filter creation, folder style hierarchy on the sidebar, and more. Like all of our “Better XYZ” extensions the large list of features can be toggled on and off on a feature by feature basis so you get only the tweaks you need.
Better YouTube (Firefox)
Better YouTube is a Firefox extension that combines several great YouTube Greasemonkey scripts into one package. With Better YouTube you can enlarge videos, hide user comments, declutter the YouTube viewing page, disable autoplay, and quickly download video itself. Add it to your installation of Firefox to take control of your viewing at the mega-popular video sharing site.
Now that you’ve see the top five Lifehacker tools that have brought a touch of productivity to the lives of you fellow readers, it’s time to vote on which one is the must-have-tool from the Lifehacker stable.
Sound off in the comments below about everything from your unholy love of Belevedere—the automation tool and the charming butler!—to what kind of tool you’d like to see us tackle in the future.