Many people use Twitter as a one-stop shop for staying up to date on all the news and information they are interested in. However, the constant switching between windows or tabs to refresh your feed can be distracting.
Luckily, for Apple users, there is a productivity hack that can anchor your Twitter feed to the left sidebar of your Safari window, remaining open while you browse the web and get work done.
Through the "Shared Links" feature on the sidebar in Safari, users can add a host of social media updates to be displayed. For the sake of simplicity, I'm only going to walk you through adding your Twitter account to update. These steps are specific to OS X Yosemite, but this hack can be accomplished on earlier OS versions.
To get started, you first have to add your Twitter account to your internet accounts list for Safari. Begin by clicking on the "System Preferences" icon in your dock.
Within System preferences, you should be viewing a grid of icons. On the third row down, click the "Internet Accounts" icon that looks like a white "@" symbol on a blue background.
When you click on Internet Accounts, your window should display a vertical list of common social media site accounts, mail client accounts, and a button for your iCloud account. Click on the "Twitter" account.
After clicking the Twitter account button, you'll be prompted to enter your Twitter username and password. After filling in the respective fields, click the "Next" button to the bottom right of the credentials' field.
Once you have entered your Twitter credentials and clicked next, you'll be prompted to finish the sign in process. Signing in will allow you to post to Twitter, show links from Twitter in Safari, and let other apps work with Twitter — with your permission, of course.
If you want to continue, click the blue "Sign In" button at the bottom.
Twitter should now appear in the left-hand column of the Internet Accounts window. From here, back out of System Preferences and open a new Safari window by clicking the Safari icon in your dock. If you are new to Apple, the Safari icon is the blue compass icon.
There are a couple different ways to open the sidebar on the left of your Safari window. The first is through the "View" option in the toolbar. Under View, click "Show Sidebar" to open the sidebar. Note that it also displays the hotkey combination to open the sidebar from the keyboard: Shift+Command+L.
The other option to open the sidebar is to simply click the show sidebar button at the top of the Safari window next to the forward and back arrows. The button looks like a outline of what your Safari window will look like when the sidebar is open.
Once the sidebar is shown, you will notice three tabs at the top of the sidebar. The first tab, an open book, is for your favorites. The second tab, a pair of glasses, is for your reading list. The third tab, an @ symbol, is your shared links, where your Twitter feed will show up. Click the @ tab to display your feed if it isn't already displayed.
At the bottom of the sidebar is a button labeled "Subscriptions." Clicking that button will allow you to add another social media account to your shared links by clicking + Add Account, or to add a subscribed feed by clicking + Add Feed.
Once you have the sidebar shown, it should stay open on the left as you browse the web. Having the sidebar open may shift the webpage you're viewing, so be sure to resize your Safari window so things don't get scrunched up. It should look something like this:
With Twitter added to the sidebar, you have a couple options on how you can retweet through Safari. If you click a link in a tweet, that link will open in your window. At the top of the page, you will see a clickable retweet symbol next to the name of the Twitter account that posted the tweet. You can click that link to retweet the post.
Or, if you want to retweet a post without opening a link, you can right click (Control+click for Mac) on a tweet and you will be given the option to retweet from there.
Hopefully adding Twitter to your Safari sidebar will help you stay on top of important news without killing your productivity at work.
Conner Forrest has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.