We’ve all been there. We’re supposed to be “working from home,” but instead get caught up in a whirlwind of memes, GIFs and Facebook banter. When you’re on a computer, the world is almost literally at your fingertips. So staying productive and on-task is as important as ever. Sure, the iPhone and tablet spaces are no strangers to apps meant to make your life easier. But shouldn’t your web browser get some love too? Well that’s what Google Chrome’s famed extensions are for. And at an arguably lower learning curve for developers, there is no shortage of ways that hackers are making really spectacular tools to help you customize Chrome.
Here are the six best Google chrome extensions:
This extension is painfully simple, and as a result, it’s probably the best one on the list. The basic concept is much like your real pocket on your clothes. You find something important so you want to save it for later. This is just the virtual version. It’s a lot like a bookmark (you can pocket links, file paths, etc.), but it can be accessed anywhere you access your Chrome account (extending also to mobile). It offers some basic categorization options but is really meant for quick, one-time “hey I should remember that later when I have time to look at it” situations. How does this make you more productive? Simple— just save that awesome Buzzfeed article in your pocket for later and stay on-task now. Genius.
Now we’re entering into some pretty familiar territory. Anyone familiar with Windows or OSX knows that screenshots are invaluable tools for your day-to-day (and equally simple to use). But, if you want something a little more robust that speaks nicely with your browser, then look no further than the Awesome Screenshot extension. It lets you capture the whole webpage, just the visible part, or even a click-and-drag region. So much like your Pocket extension, you can snag that screenshot, save it to your computer and come back to it later when you have time.
3.) Send from Gmail
When Google incorporated the pop-up “compose” feature in Gmail, it came with an almost universal sigh of relief from most users. After all, why should you have to open a whole new page to send an email when you’re already looking at your Gmail inbox? Well, this extension takes things a step further and lets you open up a quick-compose screen when you’re on any other website. It’s super quick, and super useful.
Hubstaff’s time-tracking software ensures you work the hours that you log with it’s productivity tracking features. The Chrome time tracker also makes a log of the websites you visit, time spent on each one and takes random screenshots of your work station at regular intervals so you can’t cheat the system. You’ll work the hours you put in, guaranteed, and it will make sure your employees do the same. It currently works with Asana, Basecamp Classic, Basecamp 2, Basecamp 3, JIRA, Teamwork Projects & Trello.
5.) Print Friendly
Now we’re getting somewhere. You’ve been to websites that aren’t exactly printer friendly. Sure the concert pass sites and train ticket services have your printing habits in mind when sending you confirmations., but what if you want to print out a really astute article on your friend’s blog. It’s formatted for web, but not necessarily your printer. This extension takes all unnecessary info out of the equation and serves up an essentially noise-free page to print out. Your ink cartridges will thank you.
Let’s get a little social shall we. Say you’re answering some emails in the morning right when you get into work. But wait, what about all of those morsels of wisdom you had over your breakfast cereal? That’s at least 3 tweets and a Facebook post that need to go up. But when will you have time in your day for that? And you don’t exactly want to post all of them back to back at 10:00AM. Enter: Buffer. Much like a standard social media management program, this extension queues up social updates and schedules them for later, so they’re spaced out without you actually logging into your account. It’s a good way to seem like you’re posting throughout the day without actually doing so.
7.) Password Box
Our last extension rec isn’t for the cyber-security faint of heart. This extension allows you to store all of your passwords in one place for easy access and categorization. Not only that, but the extension takes things even further by allowing you the option to auto sign in to a bunch of accounts by only entering one set of credentials. This does, of course, raise some security concerns so make sure you only feed passwords into the extension that you aren’t concerned with having to change if a breach occurs. We’d recommend leaving your bank account info out of it.
So that’s our list of Chrome extensions—a veritable arsenal of one-click gems for your everyday surfing and working. But don’t let it stop there. These are just a few of the simpler, more often used ones. Your daily activities might lend themselves to much more specific hacks. If you’re looking for tracking time on your tasks, we have created a handy guide of chrome time tracking extensions.
Browse the web store and keep and eye out for what you need. Who knows; you might find a simple way to access that contractor software you just downloaded for your deck-building business. It’s all in the power of Chrome.
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