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Dazed And Confused

Is your browsing out of control? Here are some handy tools to get organized.

The Web is an evermore ungainly beast, with hundreds of millions of pages--and no obviously good way to store any of them, search them thoroughly or mark them with "sticky" notes. Now more specialty software creators are developing spiffy tools that make the Web both navigable and useful. Here's a roundup of the latest and greatest:

  • Webforia Organizer: Ever try to save a Web page to your hard drive? You can do it just by clicking "File," then "Save As"--but what you save will lack images and definitely won't be readily searchable. Webforia is the solution. Install it, and with a few mouse clicks, you can instantly capture and organize any part of any Web page--graphics, links and all. Webforia will also extract keywords and create readily searchable personal libraries to organize your Web research, so what you've saved from the Web actually becomes useful. A demo is free (purchase price $49.95) from http://www.webforia.com
  • ThirdVoice: It's easy enough to send a colleague a link to a Web site you think is worth checking out, but how do you also deliver your comments on specific sections? ThirdVoice software, a browser companion, is the tool. It allows you to easily create notes on any Web page, and by activating their copies of ThirdVoice, business associates can quickly observe your remarks. You can write notes so any ThirdVoice user can see them, or you can assemble private groups (say, employees or clients) who will be the only ones with access to your postings. Another big plus: ThirdVoice can be tweaked so it remembers those many forgettable passwords you've created for all manner of Web sites, from Web-based e-mail providers to your credit card companies. ThirdVoice is a freebie, from http://www.thirdvoice.com
  • Go!Zilla: The Net is packed with terrific files, but downloading them can be a big pain.

Go!Zilla--another freebie--eases that pain in multiple ways. For starters, when there are several places to download the same file, Go!Zilla quickly sorts through them, tests them and picks the one that's working the fasted at that moment. It also allows you to resume an interrupted download, and it integrates well with both Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator. Get Go!Zilla at http://www.gozilla.com

  • Urlybird: What about those e-mails you get with URLs--hyperlinks to Web sites you want to visit but not right now? You probably make a mental note to check out the site later, but of course you forget. Ditto for the URLs you read in documents, maybe even in magazine articles like this one. But with urlybird on the job, you won't forget. Just highlight the URL and store the hyperlink for later viewing; there's even space for making a note. You're reading a newspaper or a magazine and see a link you want to view later? Just manually toggle urlybird and input the address. Clever software, urlybird is free to test and $9.95 to purchase. Check it out at http://www.somewareonthe.net

To contact Robert McGarvey, e-mail him at rjm@mcgarvey.net

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This article was originally published in the January 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Dazed And Confused.

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