Tag Archives: Google Chrome

My Internet Is Advertisement-Free Since 2009

I often hear people complain about the advertisements they see on the Internet. They opine at having these horrific ads on the sides of articles they read that have nothing to do with things they want to see. Some people just want to read the article that they’ve clicked on, not see a huge box telling them to buy this product or that product. Whenever someone tells me about this, I have to stop and remember that most people haven’t thought to figure out a way to fix this.

Almost six years ago, the most popular internet browser today was born — Google Chrome. Actually, its ‘birthday’ is only 2 days away (September 2nd). I remember when it first came out and I downloaded it to begin using as my primary internet browser. It was so faster than Internet Explorer and Firefox. This was nothing against those two browsers, but Google Chrome was like a stripped down version of both of them. I remember that it seemed the norm that you’d have these toolbars that would ceaselessly need to be uninstalled. There were also these menus that took up a lot of screen real estate. I simply wanted to “surf the net” with as much screen space as possible.

So, when Chrome came out, it was like perfect.

A little over a year after Chrome came out, they launched something called Extensions. I don’t really remember what was being said about it at the time, but I do remember that there was this ‘golden’ extensions called “AdBlock.” This particular extension did exactly what it sounds like it does — blocked advertisements. Of course, certain types of ads would still make their way through the AdBlock, but that was because they were still working out the kinks. Over time, the number of ads that would make it through dwindled.

It’s been almost 5 years and it has to be one of my most favorite features of Chrome. The ability to limit the barrage of advertisements makes my internet experience much more enjoyable. So, if you weren’t using Chrome, I strongly recommend you use Chrome. Some folks might feel an aversion to using AdBlock (many sites make their money from the advertisements), so I won’t necessarily give a full-throated endorsement of AdBlock. However, I’d at least recommend trying it out and seeing if you like that experience.

If for some reason you don’t want to give up your Firefox experience, there is a version of AdBlock for Firefox, too.

Close Your Email — Right Now!

If you’ve read anything about productivity, the appeal in the title of this post will not be new. While this is something that I’ve known for years, it’s not something that I usually practiced. I’ve had my own computer for more than a decade and in that time, I’ve probably almost always had my email open — while at the same time, trying to get work done.

Of course, there would be times when I would be under some sort of deadline, so I’d close everything, but the report I was working on. Aside from those times, I’ve almost always had a tab open in my browser with my email. The ironic part is that when Google Chrome added extensions, I immediately picked up one of those extensions that would let me know when I had email with a chiming sound. Like Pavlov’s dog, I would immediately flip to my inbox.

I’ve read lots and lots about how to be productive. I know that being a slave to your inbox is not an effective way to get anything done (other than keeping our inbox empty, but that’s debatable).

Recently, I’ve had some trouble with the extension in Google Chrome that chimes  when I get a new email. As a result, I experimented with some other extensions, but none of them seemed to work as well as the one I had. I finally came to an extension that was by Google, so I thought that one would probably work really well and forever be compatible with Google Chrome. Before I go on, I should say that the extension I was using had worked for… well, as long as I can remember. So, the new extension. This new extension by Google doesn’t chime the way the old one did.

At first, this was kind of maddening because I was so used to hearing the chime and then going to my Inbox. Mind you, the extension still has a small indicator directly next to the address bar, so I could see if there was a new message or not.

Why am I telling you all this?

Well — because I’m converted.

I no longer have my email open. After 10+ years of having my inbox open all the time, I’ve realized (by accident?) just how much more effective and efficient it is to not have your Inbox open all the time. So, if you were a long-time hold out like me, I implore you — try it — test it out — you may like it!

Note: If you need another reason to close your Inbox… you should know that having Gmail open will slow down your computer — as it takes up quite a bit of RAM.