By default, Google Chrome displays your most visited sites when you open a new tab. Just a wild guess, but your most visited sites probably aren’t the ones that you should be visiting, at least if you’re anything like me. Every single one of my most visited sites is either a sports blog, or something work-related like “localhost”. For other people, it may get filled up with GMail and Facebook. Every time I open a new tab, I’m confronted with a new invitation to procrastinate.
Opera has for several years had a speed dial feature where you choose which sites are displayed when you create a new tab (I think Safari 4 does too). Google Chrome extension Speed Dial emulates this feature, and it works really well. It’s themable, and you can give each of your sites a logo, which looks very cool. Here’s mine:
On my Speed Dial, I put a bunch of my productivity tools and sites that help me work. Links to Google Reader and Twitter help remind me to stay updated with the news. A link to this blog reminds me to update it regularly. Work tools such as Yammer, Pivotal Tracker, Jira, and Github remind me to check those as well on a regular basis.
By hacking the new tab page, which I probably see 30 times over the course of the day, I create a micro-environment that encourages me towards productivity every time a new tab is opened. Neat!