Save time: customize your Internet Explorer bookmarks

internetexplorer81When you do many of the same tasks from day to day, it makes sense to find ways to increase efficiency. With computer-based tasks, it’s all about reducing keystrokes. That may not sound like much, but it’s surprising how these small changes can add up.

Since most of us access the Internet regularly for a variety of tasks, let’s look at how using bookmarks with your toolbar can save time. What we want to do is make your favorite sites accessible in a single click, so you don’t have to retype the address every time.

This will only take a few minutes to set up (I promise!), but it will save time every day, especially if you (like me) don’t necessarily remember the exact address for each site you regularly visit, which means you have to search for it each time.

These instructions assume you have Internet Explorer 8, which looks like this:

ie8-sample

Even if you use a different browser, you can set up bookmarks on your toolbar, but the instructions are a little different. If the tips below aren’t enough you can look up the instructions using the help feature.

So, let’s start saving time! The first step is to figure out which 5-10 sites you visit most frequently. For each one, click the “plus star” button (top left) to bookmark it so you have them saved. If the “name” is really long or confusing, take a moment to change it to something better – this is what will show up on your toolbar, so you want a name that’s short and sweet. (In other browsers you’ll generally find a bookmarking option somewhere on the menus.)

Once you’ve got your list, click the “star” button to show everything you’ve bookmarked. Drag your favorites up to the “links” folder, where you can order them any way you like. I ordered the sites based on how often I use them, left to right.

Finally, add your links list to your toolbar: look for the tools button on the top right, select toolbars from the drop-down menu, then select links from the next menu that shows up (it should be checked when you are done). You will see a new line show up at the top of your screen that lists your favorites. (In other browsers, you’ll probably find this on the View menu.)

See the toolbar added in below, just below the address bar? Now my favorite sites are all one click away.

ie8-with-toolbar2

Need more help? If you’ve never done this before, you’ll probably find a link already in the Links folder: Customize Links. This will take you to a Microsoft page that has more detailed instructions.

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