We tend to spend all day popping in and out of our web browsers, often to do very repetitive tasks, like searching for something on Google. While we can’t escape those tasks, there are ways to speed up or automate those things that we have to do over and over again. A common one is to create bookmarklets and shortcuts for those web sites you have to visit routinely. That approach can lead to an overwhelming number of shortcuts, however. Quix is a surprisingly simple way to speed up little tasks, while minimizing the shortcuts you have to have.
Setting Quix up is a matter of dragging a link on to your tool bar. It works with Firefox, Chrome (s goog), Internet Explorer (s msft), Opera, Safari (s aapl) and even Safari for the iPhone (instructions for individual browsers are available on the web site). Whenever you need to handle a particular task, such as searching Amazon (s amzn) or look at all nofollow links on a given page, you click the Quix button and type the appropriate shortcut.
You can easily take several actions on the page you’re currently visiting, as well as starting searches or other tasks on other sites. Typing “bitly,” for instance, will shorten the URL of the page you’re currently visiting. Other URL shorteners work with Quix, as well. You can also do things like check out the analytics of the current page or tweet the link. Quix eliminates intermediate steps, speeding up and simplifying such tasks.
It can be tough to memorize a bunch of new keyboard shortcuts, but the ones used by Quix’s developer are fairly intuitive: for example “g” starts a Google search, while “gbs” is for Google Blog Search. If you are having a hard time remembering the exact shortcut you need, typing “help” will get you a list of the different options immediately.
The list of tasks you can handle with Quix is impressive, covering al sorts of things from basic tasks like Flickr search and translating web pages, all the way through to SEO and webmaster tasks.
No matter what kind of project you’re working on, there’s likely a Quix command to help you. Furthermore, you can extend Quix if you so choose, by creating your own commands. The syntax for creating new Quix commands is available online and, while it does take a little technical know-how, the process is remarkably quick.
While it’s quite powerful out of the box, there are a few additional commands that could be useful. Off the bat, I see the opportunity to add several more social networking commands: the basics are there, but a few more can’t hurt.
One of the benefits that I’ve seen after just a few days of using Quix is that I’ve been able to get rid of several Firefox plugins and bookmarkelets, speeding up my workflow, as well as making Firefox run a little better. Quix is definitely a nice little hack that can make a big difference to your productivity.
Have you tried Quix? Let us know what you think of it below.