I have become a big fan of opening some of my most used web services/applications in my browser sidebar after starting to use a widescreen monitor. It gives me good use of the extra space I have in the browser with most sites I frequent being fixed width and don’t really have to be as wide as the monitor.
Here are a few things I open in a sidebar right now:
- Open Google Calendar in browser sidebar
- Open Google Docs in browser sidebar
- Open Remember the Milk in browser sidebar
Open Google Talk Gadget in Sidebar
I have been using the Gchat within Gmail for a while now. I have the Faviconize tab Firefox Extension and the Gmail Favicon Alerts Greasemonkey script to get the Firefox tab flashing when there is activity in Gchat. But, I would have to either keep my eye on the tabs (I tend to have a dozen open) or miss someone’s IM for a while until I go back into Gmail.
I recently came across a cool bookmarklet for Google Talk gadget and figured I could use that to open the gadget in my browser sidebar. I love this as the Google Talk gadget offers a few more options than the Gchat in Gmail. You get a ‘Call’, ‘Group Chat’ & offline message (Gchat goes to compose window when a contact is offline) with Google Talk gadget. Plus, chat sessions with different contacts appear in neat tabs. When you get a new message, it creates an easy to notice yellow message blurb even if you are on a different tab.
Also, you get to see your contact’s profile picture in the gadget if they have one.
Here is how you do it:
- Drag this link to your browser bookmark bar GoogleTalk! OR right click and copy the location and save it as a bookmark
- Right click on the saved bookmark and open Properties
- Choose ‘open in sidebar’ option (Firefox & smiliar browsers.. not sure if it’ll work in IE)
That’s it! In Firefox, you can use F4 to toggle the GTalk gadget sidebar window. (Update: This is true only if you are using All-In One Sidebar Firefox extension as that gives you a hotkey to toggle sidebar)
I realize this post isn’t for everyone but with wide-screen monitors replacing the regular ones, I figured you might find it useful.
I love to find new things and would love to hear how you go about using Gchat/GTalk. I am sure this is not the only way and I am always open to new ideas.