Do you find yourself constantly flipping back and forth between Facebook and whatever it is you're supposed to be doing? In about as much time as it takes to say, "There has got to be a better way," you can download and install Facebook Toolbar from MSBit. This free Firefox add-on places a new toolbar in your browser that contains everything you need right at the top of whatever browser window you're in.
We installed the Facebook Toolbar and restarted Firefox, and then opened the add-on manager to view Facebook Toolbar's options. These involve selecting which Facebook happenings prompt a pop-up from an extensive list; by default, all items are selected. We could also turn off pop-up notifications entirely and choose Facebook Toolbar notification windows or Firefox's built-in capability. We closed the add-on's properties and turned our attention to the toolbar. Since we weren't logged in to begin with, the first order of business was to log in to Facebook and associate the Facebook Toolbar with our features for the first time. Facebook Toolbar asked us for permission to access our basic information on Facebook as well as the ability to access our data at any time. We assented, and the log-in button became a log-out button. Clicking our ID opened our main Facebook page. The toolbar is well designed; clicking the Friends Sidebar button opened our friend list in a left-hand panel, including thumbnails and status updates. Next is a search field, and next to that a Quick Links drop-down list. This handy menu let us quickly access our profile, inbox, photos, groups, and much more, including our account and privacy settings and the Facebook Toolbar's settings. A small Home icon that took us directly to our Facebook page separates the Quick Links from the notification area, which displays new messages, friend requests, and other notifications, as specified in the toolbar's settings. A Share button and one to upload photos finished off the toolbar, with plenty of real estate left over for new features.
Facebook Toolbar seems like an ideal way to stay connected and still get something else done.