I’m still primarily using Internet Explorer. and one of the tools I seem to use a lot that others may not is the links toolbar. If you’ve never customized your links toolbar, it is probably hidden and/or you have the default sites of Customize links, Free Hotmail, Windows Media and so forth. Just go to a favorite site, grab the IE icon in front of the URL in the address bar and drop it onto the Links to customize. Couldn’t be easier. Right click on the name if it is long to rename it something shorter.

I shortened a few names and now have the TinyURL applet on it. I blogged about that applet here and so won’t repeat that. But one thing I am doing a lot more with it being more visible now is answering e-mails questions by doing a search that find the answer and then hitting TinyURL to create a link that reflects the same search engine, query and results as I presently view. I figure the person who receives it benefits because when they click on it, they see how I got the answer and also have a lot of related search results there as well.

Another site I have on my links toolbar is one I have called Time that goes to here: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/ When I have a conference call, I don’t have to figure out whether the watch, computer or phone display is the absolutely correct time. I just click on that link. It also has a nice feature to help with picking a time for conference calls in several different time zones.  My premise is that most of us have a relatively few sites we frequently visit.  By using short names I have 13 visible on my links bar and can get to those sites very quickly. Try customizing your links toolbar and see if it works for you.

I am told that when I switch over to FireFox, I’ll love the tabbed browsing feature as a better way of doing this. Maybe I should take FireFox Hacks home for the holidays.