When you spend all day working at your computer and the majority of that time is browser based then it makes sense to be as efficient as possible.
The good news is that there are web extensions available that can help streamline your online experience so that you get more done.
For example, you can improve your writing so you can get a point across accurately, save information to read offline at a later stage, and even speed up your social media activities.
Sounds good, right? Time to discover which Google Chrome extensions can improve your productivity!
What are Google Chrome extensions?
I’ve been using the Google Chrome web browser for a long time now.
Gone are the days when everyone was almost forced to use Microsoft Explorer by default. Even when I started using a Mac I pushed Safari aside in favour of Google Chrome. I tried Firefox a few times, but never seriously. Familiarity with Chrome meant I stayed with it.
Not only is Google Chrome a fantastic browser, it also has a wealth of extensions available too.
Extensions are small software programs that can modify and enhance the functionality of the Chrome browser. Extensions have little to no user interface.
You can download extensions from the Chrome Web Store – most are free, but some are paid.
Once installed, most extensions are located in the browser bar:
Whilst others are accessible by right-clicking your mouse:
There are thousands of extensions available each performing different functions.
Here are my favourite Google Chrome Extensions – listed alphabetically – that I use on a daily basis to save me time.
Buffer is the best way to share great content to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn from anywhere on the web, with just one click.
Buffer is a great tool for scheduling your social media posts and this extension is a super time-saver.
When you’ve read some web content that you’d like to share on social media then you have a couple of options.
- You can use the share buttons available on the web page and click several times to share to each platform
- You can click the Buffer icon once and share to the different platforms
I prefer the second option as it gives me the ability to both share and schedule the content with on click. Neat!
An eye-dropper & color-picker tool that allows you to select color values from web pages.
The ColorPick Eyedropper extension is a little gem. It’s great for checking what color has been used on a web page for text, images or logos.
I use it for checking a brand color when creating my featured images.
Evernote Web Clipper
Use the Evernote extension to save things you see on the web into your Evernote account.
If you have an Evernote account then, again, then the Evernote Web Clipper is an excellent tool to extend its power. Just click the Web Clipper icon and it brings up a menu with options of how you may wish to save the web page.
Watch the short demo video below to see for yourself:
My favourite is the Simplified Article, which eliminates all the adverts and sidebar stuff to give you a simple document.
The easiest way to add content to your Feedly.
If you’re using Feedly to keep up-to-date with your favourite websites then you’ll want the Feedly Mini Chrome Extension. The extension places a small icon in the bottom right of your screen.
Click on it to open the options above it. You can add to your Feedly plus a few other places such as Email, Twitter and Facebook.
Spell check and grammar check as you type online. Boost your credibility everywhere you write!
The Grammarly Chrome Extension enables you to check all web content as you write: Facebook, Twitter, Blog Posts, etc.
With Grammarly, you can always be sure that your words are mistake-free and say what you mean.
Learn more in our Grammarly Review.
The MozBar SEO Toolbar for Chrome lets you create custom searches, compare link metrics, highlight links and keywords, quickly expose page elements, and access other powerful SEO tools – all in-line with your browser.
I find it useful for checking the title and meta description of pages when I’m researching content, like the example above from Rob Wormley.
Engaging social images in 30 seconds
If you’re using Buffer chances are you’re familiar with its sidekick Pablo. The Extension allows you to grab a piece of text and import it into Pablo to start creating an image with text to share.
Here’s a quick example I created with a piece of text from Evernote overlaid on a standard image in Pablo.
Try it yourself. It’s quick and easy.
Pin It Button
Pin the things you find on the web
The best time to Pin an image to Pinterest is when you see it. With the Pin It Button you’re only ever one-click away from pinning to your chosen board(s). Pinning this way builds a library of saved pins with links back to the original articles. Content curation at its best.
Print Friendly & PDF
Print Friendly and PDF any Webpage
PrintFriendly cleans and formats web pages for the perfect print experience. PrintFriendly removes Ads, Navigation and web page junk, so you save paper and ink when you print.
You could argue there is no need for this tool if you’re saving everything to Evernote. However, with Evernote you are only allocated a specific amount of monthly storage, depending on your plan, so sometimes this works just as well.
Ana Hoffmann from Traffic Generation Cafe recommended this app as a way of creating a ready-made PDF of your blog posts to repurpose for Slideshare.
Save to Pocket
Pocket Extension for Chrome – The best way to save articles, videos and more.
Probably my all-time favourite app and it works a treat with this chrome extension. It’s as simple as clicking the Pocket icon and the current web page is saved. You can add tags as you save, or add them later, for easy searching of your articles.
Much like the Evernote Simplified Article it strips away all superfluous trimmings to leave a clean page in your Pocket. It’s great for offline reading – synced to my iPhone – and researching content.
TinEye Reverse Image Search
Find out where an image came from, how it’s used, or find higher resolution versions.
If you’re planning to use an image, perhaps a stock photo, you can use this tool to see exactly if and where it was used on the web.
For example, I know the featured image on this post has been used elsewhere because I’ve seen it since! And the results from Tin Eye tell you it has been used 166 times so far.
To use the extension, just right-click on any web image and select “Search Image on TinEye” from the context menu. Results are displayed for you at tineye.com.
Social Jukebox Loader
The Social Jukebox Chrome Extension makes loading your jukeboxes easier than ever.
The Social Jukebox Loader is only applicable if you’re using Social Jukebox.
Want to load some photos from one of your favourite sites? The Social Jukebox browser extension will handle that with ease.
When you have your cursor over the selection you’ll see the Social Jukebox logo appear. Simply click on it and it’ll prepare your selection, including the title, a shortened URL, as well as the photo – all ready to put directly into a jukebox >>
WiseStamp – Email Signatures for Gmail
Empower Gmail, Google Apps Mail, Yahoo Mail with dynamic email signatures. Add Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest & more.
I recently started using the WiseStamp Email Signature app and by having the Chrome Extension installed it automatically appends my chosen signature as soon as I start composing a new email. If I don’t wish to have the signature included in my email then there is a simple option to remove it.
No more manually adding in links to your social media profiles, plus you can have your latest blog post included as well:
That’s my top 13 Google Chrome extensions to boost productivity, all of which I’m using on a daily basis! Having a selection of apps available as browser extension helps make me more productive.