The better prepared you are, the more efficient you can be. When we’re efficient, we reduce stress and increase fun.
Having fun and truly enjoying what you’re doing is a reliable way to improve the quality of your lenses, as well as your overall experience on Squidoo.
With that in mind, I wanted to share 5 of my favorite Squidoo-related tools, browser extensions and services. I’m sure you’ll find something valuable you can use.
In no particular order:
Do you find yourself typing the same things over and over again? For me, it’s HTML tags – they’re a great help when you’re making lenses, but typing the same tags over and over can be tiresome. To save me time typing tags, I like PopChrom, a Chrome extension that lets you paste in text using custom shortcuts.
For example: When I type “anc” and then press Control+Space, I get this: <a href=”.
Anything that you type frequently could be set up like this – an opening greeting, email signature or a pre-formatted piece of HTML. I used to copy and paste from a text document but this method is much faster and doesn’t require multiple windows or applications to use.
An alternative for non-Chrome users is Windows-only Texter.
Have you ever been working on a long forum post, text module or email and accidentally closed your browser, had your computer freeze or clicked “Back” only to lose all of your work? Lots of users have recommended Lazarus recently and I’m an enthusiastic convert. Lazarus automatically backs up what you enter into webforms and it works on Squidoo! Never lose your work again – just click on the “Ankh” icon to restore what you’d entered.
Evernote does many things, but at it’s core it’s a multi-platform notebook service that backs up to the cloud. This means you can keep your notes up-to-date across multiple computers and devices. It’s great for saving clippings of images, websites, URLS of note and your own writing.
Since Evernote lets you sort and categorize your notes into separate notebooks, it’s a great way keep your thoughts and work organized and in one place. It’s great for creating lenses that have lots of references or cover a broad range of topics. It’s also great to be able to search all of your notes and the mobile apps are great for jotting down information while you’re on the go.
Illustrating your point is a great way to appeal to visual learners or get an abstract point across. Skitch makes taking and editing professional looking screenshots easier. It lets you add arrows, boxes, and highlights in any color or size. Text is easy as well, but my favorite feature is the “Doodle” tool - You can write directly on your captures and Skitch will smooth out your letters to make them more readable. Skitch also integrates with Evernote so you can organize screenshots with lens-specific notebooks if you so desire.
By now you’ve probably heard that Flickr is a great source of Creative Commons-licensed photos suitable for adding to your lenses, but the built-in search feature leaves a lot to be desired since it can only show a few images at a time. Compfight gives you an incredibly easy way to view lots of images at once and even creates custom HTML credits that you can paste right into your modules.
Pro-tip: Zoom out your browser window to view even more photos at once.