Life Hacks for Lawyers: Are You Taking Advantage of Your Browser's Productivity Features? - Zero

Every lawyer spends some portion of his or her day engaging with a browser like Google Chrome or Safari, whether for research or to engage with web-based applications. But while many of us are accustomed to having a dual monitor set-up in our offices that allows us to easily navigate between different windows, we may not have this same set-up available in our homes—which is where most of us are working from for the indefinite future. And when working from a laptop, with a single screen, distractions like banner ads can make it difficult to focus, and navigating between a browsing and note-taking pane can be challenging when you’re trying to do research 

Below, we’ve provided some tips to help you stay focused when using your browser, even if you’re missing your dual monitor set-up. 

  • Take advantage of your browser’s Reader Mode (available in Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari). Reader Mode strips down the webpage to its essential text, removing ads, clutter, and other distractions. This will help you focus on the content that you need rather than clicking on the ad for your abandoned Amazon cart. 
  • Take notes more efficiently (available in Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari).It can be challenging and frustrating to constantly go back and forth between a research window and a note-taking one. Using the text annotating and highlighting feature within Reader Mode will allow you to interact directly with the web page you are on in real-time. You will be able to highlight key phrases and take notes without switching windows, preventing distraction and saving you time.  
  • Use the text-to-speech function if you need to give your eyes a break (available in Google ChromeMozilla Firefox, and Safari).It’s easy to find yourself staring at a screen all day when you’re working from home, whether on your computer or mobile device. The texttospeech function can be a great way for you to receive all the content you need while giving your eyes a break. It will read out all the words on a page so you can lower your screen usage while still consuming the information. 

To enable reader mode using different browsers, follow the instructions below.

Safari: Click Preferences > Websites > Reader > Select the On option in the bottom right dropdown menu

Chrome: Type (chrome://flags/#enable-reader-modeinto the browser > Click on the dropdown box and click on Enable.

Firefox: Reader mode is built into the Firefox browser. You will see an icon that looks like a piece of paper at the end of the address bar. Click this icon to enable it.