Recent statistics show that Google Chrome commands about 68% of the browser market so it is very likely that you use Chrome as your default web browser. Not only is it fast and easy to use but it also allows you to add additional features to it through installing what Google calls “extensions”. In this blog post, we’re going to share our top 5 Google Chrome Extensions that will help improve your workflow and be more productive.
In case you’re not familiar with the term, Google Chrome extensions are programs that can be installed into Chrome to change the browser’s functionality. This includes adding new features to Chrome or modifying the existing behavior of the program itself to make it more convenient. You can find a huge library of these extensions at the Chrome Web Store.
Almost all the Chrome Extensions are free although some are companions to paid applications. You can spend hours looking through the Chrome Extensions for ones that look good or will help you but here are 5 that I think are essential to get you started.
If you aren’t already using Microsoft OneNote you probably should! This free program is a digital version of a physical notebook. You can use it to capture and organize digital notes. It has a free form approach that lets you add images, diagrams, audio, video, and related content.
One thing you’ll often want to add to OneNote is content from the web. This is where the OneNote Web Clipper comes in. This extension adds a button to your Chrome Browser that lets you quickly clip all or part of a web page to OneNote, and save it for later. You can clip images, pdfs, videos, or a visual bookmark of a page. Best of all, you can access them from any computer, tablet, or phone – even when you’re offline.
If you do a lot of writing (and who doesn’t these days) you want to check out Grammarly. Grammarly is a writing app that makes sure everything you type is not only correct but also clear and easy to read.
Grammarly’s algorithms flag potential issues in your text and make context-specific suggestions to help with grammar, spelling and usage, wordiness, style, and punctuation. There is a free and premium service available. I’ve been using the free service and it has greatly improved my writing. The built-in spelling and grammar checker in Microsoft Word is great but what about when you are writing on the web? That’s where Grammarly shines!
You’ll get suggestions from Grammarly as you write on Gmail, Twitter, LinkedIn, and everywhere else you find yourself writing online. Install Grammarly’s free browser extension, and Grammarly will help you write correctly on nearly every site on the web. You will see the green Grammarly logo in the bottom right corner of every text field that is being checked by Grammarly.
When it comes to cybersecurity, passwords are a critical component. The problem is that most people use weak passwords and often reuse those same passwords on different websites. Your best solution is a password manager. A password manager is an application designed to store your online login credentials and other important information in an encrypted database or “vault”. It is locked by a master password or key that only you know.
Password managers do more than just store your passwords – they also help you generate complex, unique passwords when you sign up for new websites or services. It doesn’t matter how complex or hard to remember the password is because when you go to that website to login you can pull up your password manager and simply copy and paste your password into the login box. For more information check out our recent blog post – 5 Reasons you Should Use a Password Manager.
Two of the most popular Password Managers available are 1Password and LastPass and both come with Chrome extensions that will let you easily sign in to sites, generate passwords, and store secure information. They both offer slightly different features and premium options. 1Password does not have a free option while Lastpass does.
Would you like to have your own personal dashboard on the web with links to your favorite sites, news, and other frequently visited resources? Of course you would! Start.me is the ultimate personal start page for the web. You can sign up for a free account, customize your pages, and then install the Chrome Extension to turn your Chrome New Tab Page into a beautiful personal dashboard.
With start.me, you’ll have instant access to all your bookmarks, news feeds, notes, and web services. This will help you stay organized and save time on the internet.
It works across all your devices and other browsers (Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera), without the need to sync your data/bookmarks. Your bookmarks are not stuck on one device but can be accessed on any tablet, phone, laptop, or desktop.
We have an account we created that we share with our whole team in the office so we can all easily access the services and websites we use most frequently whether we are at our desks or out at a client site.
Are you often on an article or site on the web that you want to share with someone else? It’s way too many clicks to copy the URL of the page, go into your email program, create a new message, address it to the person you want to send it to, and then paste the URL into the message. Not to mention if I want the title of the article or page included you have to go back to the browser to copy and past that separately.
That’s why I love the Share Linke Via Email Chrome extension. I use this daily! It adds a button and a right-click context menu item to quickly send the page URL via email. When you choose the send page via email link it will automatically create a new email message with a link to the page you are on and selected text in the body of the message. It also includes the page title as the subject line. You can choose to send the message from your default mail application, Gmail, AOL mail, Outlook/Office 365, and Yahoo Mail.
These will also work in Microsoft Edge
Due to Chrome’s popularity, Microsoft recently rebuilt its Edge Browser based on Chromium which is an open-source browser project that forms the basis for the Chrome web browser. It allows other companies and developers to create their own web browser that has Chrome running under the hood.
That means Edge now supports all Chrome extensions natively while still supporting its own Edge extensions from the Microsoft Store. So all the Chrome extensions we shared in this blog post will work in both Chrome and the new Microsoft Edge Browser in case that is your browser of choice.
Customize your browser and be more productive
So there you have it – those are just 5 of the many extensions you can install in Google Chrome to improve your web browser and make yourself more productive. There are many more you can explore. So what are you waiting for? Go install some of these extensions and improve your web browsing today!
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