Come for the T-Shirt, Stay for the Product

Bugsnag.com automatically “snags” bugs and allows users to easily monitor application errors.  I would not have tried their very easy-to-use service unless they had offered me a free t-shirt… which they did.

My slick shirt featuring the Bugsnag logo

All I had to do was sign-up (no credit card required), integrate their code snippet into my site (this site, in fact) and then capture one bug.  At the time, I was aware of a tiny bug I could trigger on-demand within WordPress.  I did so, and was immediately notified of the bug and could review it from their dashboard.

Sample screenshot from Bugsnag

A day or two later, I received an email from Bugsnag and integrated partner Printfection that allowed me to painlessly order my completely free t-shirt.  Since their plans range from free to $1000 per month, it’s probably worth the $10 or so to get a user to integrate their product and experience how well it works.

My interaction left me impressed by the simplicity of the offer, the quality of my t-shirt (free swag always feels nice), and with the performance of the service itself.  Go try it for yourself if you like.

5 Useful Google Chrome Shortcuts

Google Chrome is the most popular internet browser in the world, with more than 50% market share (as much as 75% according to w3schools).  It is popular because it is easy to use, and integrates seamlessly with Google’s huge library of services.

Here are 5 shortcuts that will help you get the most out of the software:

1. New Tab

google chrome new tab button
New Tab Button

How frequently do you open a new tab from Google Chrome?  If you’re like me, you open at least 100 new tabs per day.

Shortcut: Ctrl+T

“T” for tab. Most users know they can click the New Tab button (pictured at right), but the keyboard shortcut is a great alternative that can save a lot of time.

2. Close Tab

This is extremely similar to the ‘New Tab’ shortcut above. It’s quite easy to close your current (or active) tab using your keyboard if you don’t feel like clicking the small “x” on the tab itself.

Shortcut: Ctrl+W

“W” has been used to close things in Windows for many years.  There’s not an obvious way to remember this one without repetition.  Wave goodbye?

3. Reopen Closed Tab

A feature loved by teachers and suspicious managers everywhere, Google Chrome has a speedy way to recover and reopen the last tab you closed.  In many cases, you can even recover the information that had already been entered into the recovered tab.

Shortcut: Ctrl+Shift+T

Still uses “T” for tab, but now we’ve added shift to bring the tab back from the dead.  To go even further, this shortcut can be used multiple times to recover more than one recently closed tab.

4. Paste & Search

One of the lesser-known shortcuts, this one comes in very handy if you find yourself frequently pasting links into your browser bar and hitting Enter.

Shortcut: Right-click in the Omnibar, then select Paste & Search

Rather than selecting the Omnibar (AKA search bar, or address bar), then pasting your link (using a few clicks or Ctrl+V), and then hitting enter, you can shorten this to just two quick clicks.

5. Task Manager

I have seen very little ever written about this in-built feature of Google Chrome.  Just like Windows, Chrome has a task manager that allows you to see all of your browser processes and their affect on your memory (or RAM), CPU, and your network connection.

google-chrome-task-manager
Google Chrome’s built-in Task Manager

Shortcut: Shift+Esc

If you’ve ever found the Windows Task Manager to be useful, this is the same premise.  It is possible for Chrome to be running quite a few processes, plugins, etc. so this can be very helpful when identifying what it hogging your resources.

Is That It?

Officially, Google has listed over 100 keyboard, mouse, and other shortcuts for Chrome so this post is only the tip of the iceberg.  The full list can be found here.

Refresh Your Priorities

If you work in software or Project Management like I do, you probably see various priorities all-day everyday.  I use JIRA, which is an amazing and well-built suite for software development.  It’s not perfect though.

Here are the default priorities in JIRA:

JIRA default priorities
By default, JIRA priority icons and colors are extremely simple and somewhat muted .

The default priorities icons leave a lot to be desired. Maybe these work great for some folks, but I didn’t find them easy to recognize and they started to blur a bit when looking through reports.  I thought I’d design some of my own.  Here’s what I came up with:

The most obvious change is adding some splashes of color, but I also wanted the higher priorities to carry more visual weight.  As you move from lower to higher priorities, the colors change from cool to bright, grow vertically, and are increasingly opaque.

I’ve also added another level since a sixth tier works best for our needs. To complete the update, I also recommend updating the priority colors to the following:

  • #83cecf
  • #a9d935
  • #e6ca2e
  • #e6922e
  • #f20000
  • #ff0096

Please take these as use them as you like.  Enjoy!