These days many of us work more in web browsers than in desktop apps. For years Google Chrome has been the most popular web browser, accounting for over two thirds of global usage. If you’re reading this article then chances are that you’re doing so using Google Chrome!
With it’s speed, efficiency and plethora of in-built features, it’s not hard to see why Chrome has become the market leader. Despite this, many people aren’t taking advantage of everything Chrome has to offer, like the myriad of add-ons and plug-ins designed to improve your browsing experience. From blocking distractions to promoting healthier work habits, Google Chrome extensions can improve your focus and motivation, whether you’re in the office or working remotely.
Here are our recommendations for Google Chrome extensions that will help boost your productivity!
One of the most popular task management applications right now is Todoist. Todoist includes a number of features that help you keep on top of your workload and streamline your workflow, such as; colour-coding tasks, creating sub-groups and sub-projects, and full integration into your work email account. You can also sync Todoist across all of your devices, giving you instant access to your daily agenda no matter where you’re working from! The Todoist chrome extension compiles all of your items into a drop-down menu, meaning you don’t have to open the app in a new window to access them. Manage tasks, set goals and check in on your other team members as well – all from the Chrome extension!
2. Adblock Plus
If your work requires you to do any web browsing, then you know how easy it is to get sidetracked! Pop-up ads are a particular nuisance, as they slow down your browsing experience and can be annoyingly difficult to get rid of. That’s where Adblock Plus comes in. This Chrome extensions gives you full control over your internet browsing experience, by giving you the power to choose what websites and types of ads you want to use it on. Once it’s set up, it’ll continue to automatically run in the background – so you can sit back and enjoy your ad-free content! Adblock is also good for more than just staying focused, it also helps protect you from cyber threats by recognising (and blocking) malware and malicious websites from gaining access to your device.
Looking to improve your written communication? Grammarly is the most popular spelling and grammar checking software on the market. Beyond just pointing out your typos, Grammarly also recommendations to improve the clarity and effectiveness of your writing. The Chrome extension gives you writing guidance across most websites with text fields and will automatically start running as soon as you begin typing. So whether you’re editing a Google Doc, crafting a social media post or replying to emails – Grammarly has got your back! While the free version gives you access to Grammarly’s excellent spelling and grammar checking functions, the paid version is better suited for those requiring advanced editing capabilities.
ClickUp is the ultimate productivity tool. This all-in-one platform is designed to manage everything, eliminating the need to switch between multiple apps and windows. With the ClickUp Chrome extension, you can utilise some of the platform’s most dynamic features from within your web browser. Create tasks, bookmark websites, track time, capture and mark-up screenshots, attach emails to tasks, and take unlimited notes directly in your Chrome browser and save them using ClickUp’s Notepad. From keeping track of your daily to-do’s to managing complex projects, ClickUp can help you optimise your time, keep up-to-date with team members and optimise your productivity – all from within Google Chrome!
5. Evernote Web Clipper
If you’re guilty of leaving a hundred million tabs open in your web browser, or struggle to sort through the infinite amount of content on the internet, don’t worry – Evernote Web Clipper is here to rescue you. Evernote is already a useful tool, helping users collect resources, notes and important information, and keep it organised and easily accessible for future reference. With the Evernote Web Clipper Chrome extensions you’ll be able to organise your tabs in the same way! By simply clicking on the Evernote elephant icon in your Chrome browser, you can save links, reader-friendly versions of web pages, screenshots and more directly into your notebooks for later reading.
Do you struggle to stay focused on your work? Are you missing important deadlines? Do you start new tasks before fully completing the last one? If you answered yes, then we recommend you try using Forest. Part productivity app, part mobile game, this Chrome extension helps combat procrastination and focus your energy into specific tasks by eliminating distractions. The premise is simple, you plant a tree when you begin a task and the longer you remain focused without visiting websites on your blocklist the more it grows. Once you’ve completed the task the tree will be added to your forest. Losing your motivation and getting off-task will cause your forest to wither and die.
If you find yourself aimlessly scrolling social media, watching YouTube videos or surfing the net – StayFocused is the Chrome extensions for you. StayFocused helps you fight procrastination by regulating which websites you can visit and for how long. Just add your desired sites to the extension’s blocklist and set a daily restricted time limit. Once you’ve reached that limit, you’ll no longer be able to access that site for the rest of the day. For those of us lacking in willpower, this extension is a foolproof way to eliminate online distractions and channel our energy into work-related tasks.
If you aren’t already using a password manager (you really should be!), then consider giving LastPass a shot. LastPass helps you generate highly-secure passwords and consolidates them all into one place. In addition to keeping track of all of your online passwords, LastPass can also be used to save other sensitive data, such as financial credentials and personal identification information. All of this can be managed with a single master password, making it the last password you’ll ever need to remember. If you’re at all concerned about cyber security (and once again, you really should be!), then you can rest easy knowing that your data is being monitored, secured and protected from malware. If your saved information is at risk to any third parties then LastPass will notify you immediately.
Do you find it easier to demonstrate something than explain it? Then you should try using Loom. This Chrome extension allows you to screen record a specific window, browser tab or entire desktop! Loom also gives you the options to record audio narration or a talking-head video (captured via webcam). Loom is the perfect screen capturing tool, allowing you to show rather than tell your colleagues, while still maintaining a personal connection. It’s the ideal web browser extension for fast-paced and virtual teams.
If there’s one thing remote working has taught us, it’s the impact background noise can have on your productivity and focus. Too much can be overwhelming, but too little can be equally as distracting (especially if you’re used to working in a busy office!). That’s why we recommend the Nosili Chrome extension. Noisili allows you to choose from a range of different background noises including; falling rain, fire crackling, crickets, ocean waves, white noise and coffee shop chatter (just to name a few). The library of sounds is extensive and includes different noise combinations for reading, writing, focusing and more.
Are you a remote worker struggling to find the right work/home life balance? Clockify is a time-tracking app that can help you set clear boundaries for your work day and personal time. The Chrome extension allows you to track your activity throughout the day. Simply start your work day by clicking on the timer in Chrome’s extension bar and Clockify will keep a log of your activities throughout the day. Aside from tracking time, Clockify also lets you organize time entries, input descriptions, sort time entries by projects/tasks, analyse your day and export the results in PDF. In addition to this, Clockify also includes a number of features that can help with productivity, such as setting intervals for work breaks, idle detection and alerts for specific tasks. Self-employed professionals and freelancer consultants can also use Clockify to generate timesheets for free, which comes in handy when trying to figure out how many hours to bill a client for!
This last Chrome extension is for all the multitaskers out there! Speechify can help you get through your reading list in no time…by reading it to you! Catch up on your emails, the latest news articles and industry reports, all while getting your daily work done. What makes Speechify so unique is its large range of customisation options, allowing you to choose from over 15 languages and 30 different accents. Speechify also gives you the power to set your desired audio speed. All you have to do is put on your earphones, click on the Speechify extension and hit “Play.”