One of the most important productivity features on any computer is your browser's home page. Set it to something useful, and you'll get your web-browsing session finished (or started!) much more quickly and efficiently.
When you're deciding what to use as a home page, Google or Bing, or another search engine, is a good place to start. But you probably have a collection of bookmarked sites that you frequently refer to, so wouldn't it be good to include those on the home page alongside the search box, instead of relegating them to a separate toolbar or menu? And while we're about it, wouldn't it be good if that carefully-crafted collection of links was available from all your devices and computers?
I solved the problem for myself a couple of years ago. I decided to store all the bookmarks for my favourite sites in an html file. Then I added a Google search box to the top of that file, just by extracting the relevant code from Google's own home page. Then I stored that html file in my Dropbox, and configured all the browsers on all my PCs to use that file as their home page. So now, whether I'm at home or the office, I have all my important websites and a search engine available instantly.
If you want to do the same, you don't have to go to the trouble that I did. Check out a great web site called StartMe (www.startme.com) for the same set of features. When you first vist the site, you get a search engine (you can choose which one) textbox at the top, and then lots of useful links. You can, of course, customise those links to be whatever you want, and thus create your own personalised web portal.
Such a facility is nothing new, of course, but this one looks easy to use, is free, doesn't have adverts, and looks good. Just remember, as with any cloud-based bookmark service, not to store any passwords within the URLs that you bookmark.
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