- Grab a cup of coffee. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the sixth part of our series on Google Basics. Today we're talking about the browser Google Chrome on Dotto Tech. Steve Dotto here. How the heck you doing this fine day? At Dotto Tech we make technology easy so you can do more. Now today we are gonna be talking about Google Chrome. This is the sixth installment of our series on Google Basics. We've talked about your Google Account, we've talked about Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Photos, and now Google Chrome, Google's web browser of choice, the one that they've designed to give us a window to the Internet, and that works on both our desktop computers and on our smartphones. Now there are other browsers out there that you can use. There's Safari on the Apple system and there's Microsoft's Edge, there's Firefox, there's lots of browsers to choose from, but if you live in the Google ecosystem, if you use Gmail and Google Calendar and all of those tools, there's a lot of benefits to entrenching in using Google Chrome for most of your web browsing experience. So my goal today is to make sure you understand the nuances of what Google Chrome is, what it can do for you, how you add to its functionality, because the web browser, as you install it first on your computer, is just the beginning. We can customize the browser and add functionality to the browser to make it far more than it originally is. That is what I'm planning to walk you through today. So I've got five different topics today. I'm gonna give you a quick overview of the browser interface. Then we're gonna talk about bookmarks and navigation, being able to store information and return to it when you need it, Then I'm going to talk about extensions and web apps, the most exciting part of today's demo as far as I'm concerned, then customizing your browser and finally I'm gonna take you on a quick tour of some of my favorite extensions to spark your imagination as to the sorts of things you may be able to do with your web browser. Does that sound like a plan? I think we should dive right into it then. So let's begin with an overview of what a web browser is and what the web browser looks like. If we take a look here, here is my web browser. Now everybody's web browser is gonna look slightly different once they've used it for a little while because we customize the web browser to make it work best for us, but the main navigation areas of the browser are along the very top, obviously we have a menu bar at the very top, but then right beneath that we have a tabbed interface that allows us to have multiple tabs which basically gives us access to multiple websites all open at the same time. Now you don't want to have too many tabs open because that becomes a system resources hog, but all of the things that are top of mind that you're working on currently you can have open in multiple tabs along the top. By the way, this works for almost every web browser. All of the things that I'm gonna be talking to you about today in Chrome, you can translate easily into all of the other browser platforms. Beneath the tabbed interface is our address bar. Now, it's not called the address bar in Google Chrome. Google calls it the omnibar because it does more than just give us access to an address. When we first started with web browsers, we would type in the web address here and we would go to it, but then Google slowly layered on other capabilities within the bar such as being able to search. So if you're gonna search for content, you don't need a separate search bar. Back in the early days of our web browser, we had a separate search field and a separate address bar, now it's combined into one so you can do searches here and it's also does calculations. It's an omnibar, you can say what's 13 times 25 and it will give you the answer. So it does far more than just navigate us to addresses. Beneath that in my setup here I've got my toolbar turned on. Now you can turn on and off some of these different bars, but this is my address bar or my bookmark bar where I can quickly navigate to the common sites and resources that I use online, and I've got both individual sites listed here as well as folders of sites which are collections of different tools that I use when I'm doing different tasks that I work on, such as I do a lot of webinar publishing. Here's all of my different services for webinars. I do a lot of publishing to YouTube. Here's all of the different services for YouTube. And I'll show you how to organize your version of Chrome the same way that I've got mine organized here if you happen to like my structure. Next to that and above it are all of our extensions or web apps. Here's where we have access to additional functionality. As I said, right under the box, we don't even have boxes anymore, why do I even say right out of the box? When you first open up Google Chrome, it has a very vanilla set of capabilities that are built into Chrome. You create your own custom version of Chrome by adding extensions, by adding add-ons, and we see a lot of them reflected here such as my Evernote Web Clipper, access to my password manager, my social media tools, et cetera. They're all installed here and I will show you the ones that I use most commonly at the very end of today's demo, if you're interested in that. Now as far as organizing and maintaining and administering your browser, you can do that in two places. They move it around a bit. There's a little dropdown menu here that'll brings us into the More menu, and here we can go into More Tools and we can go in and manage all of our extensions and all of our different aspects of the browser here, and you can also get to most of the same tools by going over here under the main menu into Google Preferences, and there you can go in and you can set all of the different settings that are within Google Chrome for you to manage. So that's the basic kind of overview of the main tools, the main areas within Google Chrome. The next thing that I wanted to talk to you about is talk about bookmarks and navigation, how we go about organizing Google Chrome so that we have access to all of the content that we want. Now bookmarks are a little bit of a touchy subject for many of us because back in the day, before search was as good as it is today, we used to actually save a gazillion bookmarks, and I believe that's probably a very conservative estimate. I don't know about you but I saved thousands and thousands of bookmarks because when you found a really cool site on the web, there was no guarantee you'd ever find it again because search wasn't what it is today, so we would save them all as bookmarks and as a result a lot of people ended up with a massive collection of bookmarks. Typically speaking we were, with our web browsers we've imported those bookmarks and they have stayed with us and we have this legacy of all of these old bookmarks still in our browser. Nod if you agree with me. Yes, you know exactly what I'm talking about. So today bookmarks are far less important as far as those kind of cool sites that you find because you can always find them again through search where it's easy to find content that you found before online now. Now bookmarks are far more of a productivity tool where there's sites that you go to on a regular basis or tools that you use on a regular basis and we use bookmarks to quickly navigate back to those. It's almost like launching an application on your desktop for many of us and that's how I use my bookmark bar right here. All of the main bookmarks that I work with are listed out here in all of these, in the bookmark bar. I still have access to the menu here, for the dropdown for all of the bookmarks, but I almost never go into this anymore. In fact I'm not even sure, I haven't looked in this for ages. I'm looking here under the Tools menu, I'm looking, I'm going, "Holy cow I haven't looked in this menu for years probably," so it's just kind of, it's the closet that I never clean out now. This is what's important right here, the bookmark bar, these are top of mind tools that I use on a constant basis. Now you might notice that a lot of them are just icons. How you go about populating the bookmark bar, let me just get rid of this one. I'll delete this one here and I'll show you how you go about adding bookmarks quickly to your bookmark bar, because obviously you can save a bookmark under the menu but if I was at Dotto Tech, let's just go to my website, and if I said, "Oh you know this is a site "that I wanna go to on a regular basis," and you probably should, all I have to do is grab here from the omnibar and drag down, you see how I've got little plus icon there. I can choose where I wanna drop that and I drop it, and now it's been put in my bookmark bar so I have quick access to it. This is a really easy and natural way to add navigation to Google Chrome. Now one thing that I do, kind of getting into the customization side of Google Chrome, is you only have so much room if you have the favicon and the text. The favicon is the little icon that you see there. What I do is I right-click on the bookmark, I go Edit, and then I delete the text, the description, which comes from the website, because I recognize the icons of all of the main tools that I use, and that really compresses the amount of space that it takes on my bar so that means that I have everything available to me at all times. It's a really nice efficient way of doing things. There are other times where I've got families of sites that I use in order to do different tasks I do. In that case there what I do is I create folders here in the menu bar, and you can create a folder just by right-clicking, you can create a new folder right there, add a folder, name the folder, and then I drag the tools that I want into that folder and so that I've got them all collected together there in the address bar. It's a really efficient way of using Google Chrome. I think that if you embrace it, you'll probably like it and find that it speeds up your day and makes you more productive. Next up let's talk about extensions and web apps and how we add functionality to the browser. Now browsers are constantly evolving and a while back we began to be able to add things called extensions which would allow us to add some simple functionality to our web browser, to add some basic tools, and we see a lot of my extensions installed here. So for example LastPass is my password manager. It's installed in the browser where it's most often used so that I can use it to save all the passwords for all of my websites. The Evernote Web Clipper which I've shown you often in the past is a tool that allows me to clip content from the Internet and save it in my Evernote account. So all of those are available here, but browsers are ever-evolving things and now we have more functionality than you can just describe as an extension being and they've started to create and release things called web apps, which are full applications that run right within your browser, and we access them here under the Apps Menu. So for example Gmail would be considered a web app where we actually have our full email client running within the web browser. So you've got this kind of hierarchy of capabilities, of extensions that happen within the browser, from simple extensions that might add one or two little tasks to full blown applications that can run right within your browser, and it gets very exciting when you realize all of the capabilities that you have. Now I fully expect you to occasionally get confused between extensions and web apps. Don't worry, I find it a little bit confusing as well, but let me show you what's really important about this and that is where do we go to manage and find extensions, and for that we could go under either the dropdown menu over here in Chrome, under the Preferences, we go under the Settings menu, click on the hamburger, and there you can find the Extensions. You can also find all of this information over in the right hand side of the menu by going under the More Tools menu in the dropdown menu over here. They give us multiple ways to get to the same result. Now these are all of the extensions that I have added in the past to Chrome, or most of them. Now this is a bewildering list. Don't worry about having this many. I have way too many Chrome apps and Chrome extensions setup on my particular installation of Chrome, but that's because I'm constantly testing them out so that I can do demos on them. They aren't all turned on. You can see here I only have a few of them turned on. The ones that have the little blue bar, ball to the right hand side, those are enabled, and you see them reflected here in the menu bar for the most part. Those are the ones that I have installed but these are all of the ones that I've tested. I'll return to this shortly and show you the ones that I really like the most, but if you want to add new ones, if you want to go and discover new extensions, you can find them by going under the Extensions menu, going to the Chrome Web Store. This is where you go to find all of the different extensions and web apps that are available for the browser that you're using, and so the same kind of idea works in Safari, it works in Firefox, it works in Microsoft Edge. There's always going to be an app store or an extension store where you can go and download and discover additional functionality, plus you'll find a lot of different extensions based on what services you're already using. So if you were say starting to use LastPass as a password manager, they would quickly tell you as you start to install and use LastPass, do you want to install the Chrome browser extension, or do you want to install the Safari browser extension? So the software manufacturer will often tell you if they have an extension that adds to the functionality of the browser reflected on the application that they've created. I think that makes sense to everybody. So that's how you go about extending the functionality, and all you do, install any of these, is you just click on it, it'll ask if you want to install in Chrome, you give it permission in Chrome, and then if you ever wanna turn it off all you do is you go into this Extensions Manager right here and you say turn off, or you can remove them and you can also turn them on. So you can have ones that you just use occasionally and turn them on and off in here. It's no big deal and then you have instant access to them as soon as you turn them on. Watch this, I've got, let's find one here, let's find LastPass, you see how I've got it here, let me find LastPass. I gotta go alphabetically down to LastPass, L-M-N-O-P-Q-R, so it's up here. There it is. LastPass, there's the password manager. You see it's there turned on. Watch what happens when I turn it off. Boop, disappears. Let's turn it back on. Oops, it's back again. You're able to turn them on and off that easily right through this, the Extensions Manager. So that's something that you're going to want to play around with, and don't worry that you're going to break your browser by trying out different extensions that you think might add some value to your life. You can always uninstall them if they don't work for you, so poke around, have some fun, and extend what you're able to do with your browser through the use of extensions. I've already talked to you a little bit about how we customize the browser but you now see the different ways. You can customize your own personal interface by managing the bookmarks and organizing the resources that are available to you, and then you can customize the actual application itself by adding extensions and web apps that extend the functionality. Now I'm gonna take you through my favorite extensions right here to give you an idea of the ones that I use the most. Obviously, LastPass is one that I use all the time. It stores all of my passwords for all of my different online accounts. It allows me to access them and gives me very secure versions of those passwords, a tremendously valuable tool. The Evernote Web Clipper is absolutely one of my favorite tools. Let me just go to dottotech.com. If you are on the web, you find a phenomenal article such as the one that we stored on Google Basics a couple of weeks ago here at Dotto Tech, and you wanna save that for all time, you click on the Evernote Web Clipper, and then the Evernote Web Clipper will copy either the full page or the article and store it in your Evernote account automatically for you. The next one that I have is Agorapulse. This allows me to take anything that I find online that I wanna share in one of my social platforms, in Facebook, in Instagram, in Twitter, it allows me to take it and share it out to one of my social accounts. The next one that I have installed is my Grammarly extension which is now an extension for Chrome. Grammarly does spell and grammar and even plagiarism checking for me on the fly. So it works any time I'm in my web browser now. It's spell checking for me even when I'm in a dialog box or I'm entering information in a field in somebody's website, it's spell checking for me which I gotta tell you I find incredibly useful. My next extension that I have installed here is Asana which is my task manager. It allows me to quickly add a task. And then TubeBuddy which is one of the tools that I use for optimizing my YouTube account. That's only gonna be active if I'm in YouTube itself. Dayboard is a very cool tool which I use all the time. It is a start page manager and a distraction blocker. What Dayboard does is it allows us to focus on work by taking away all distractions. It'll actually shut down distracting sites while we're in work mode allowing us to focus more intently, but the thing that I like best about it is I set up my five most important tasks every morning and then every time I open a new tab in Chrome, is it brings those tasks up and it shows me and reminds me of what tasks I have to do. So if I'm feeling things are getting a little bit hard and I say, "I'm gonna go check out Facebook right now," and I go to open a new tab with Facebook in it, the first thing that I see before I see Facebook is I see oh these are all the tasks that you hoped to accomplish today Steve, maybe you should concentrate on them instead. It's a very cool additional little utility. Then I've got the next ones are WebinarJam Screen Sharing which allows me to share my screen in WebinarJam when I'm delivering because we deliver our webinar Directly through our browser as far as WebinarJam goes. And finally one of my favorite little extensions is, this attaches to my Bitmoji account, which is on my smartphone, which allows me to quickly grab one of my very cool bitmojis and use them on the web as I would on my smartphone. I just get a kick out of that one, and that's a fun extra extension. That's an overview of Google Chrome. One final thing I want to say before we leave the world of browsers is because of the nature of browsers and the way extensions and web apps work, not all web apps are created equal for all browsers. Some of them don't work as well in certain browsers as others. We often find this with our webinar software. It works in one person's computer really well on one browser, and not on another person's computer, even if it's in the same browser. That's because of all of the unique different extensions that are added to everybody's browser. So it's okay for you to try out different browsers and to use whichever extensions or tools or sites you prefer in different browsers. We don't have to be monogamous with our browsers. We can play the field a little bit. I always have Firefox and Google Chrome open on my computer and I use them differently for different tasks and different applications. So get comfortable with your browser, make sure you're using all of the different functionality in it, but don't worry if a tool doesn't work particularly well in one browser, try it in a different browser. Chances are it's going to work well for you. I hope you found our video today to be really helpful. I'm looking forward to your comments and suggestions. If you have not yet subscribed to Dotto Tech, I've got a big favor. Please subscribe to our channel and make sure you ring the notification bell so you hear when we upload any new videos. Until next time I am Steve Dotto. Have fun storming a castle.
Part 6 of our Google Basics series is Google Chrome!
If you use the rest of the Google ecosystem then there are lots of benefits to using Google’s browser, Chrome.
Although, calling it a browser might be a misnomer because modern browsers do so much more than simply allow you to browse the internet. They can be important and irreplaceable tools for social media management, and improve your productivity!
Bookmarks and Navigation
Extensions and Web Apps
My Favorite Extensions
Until next time,
Have fun storming the castle!
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