Extensions can turn Google Chrome from a simple browser into a productivity powerhouse. Sure, you have to be careful to make sure they don’t slow down your experience or compromise your security, but if used correctly they can save you time, energy, and clicks.
There are tens of thousands of extensions available in the Chrome Web Store. We’ve all heard of some of the most popular (such as Google Drive, Google Translate, and Save to Pocket) but what about some of the lesser-known ones? How do you find them? Which are the best?
We have the answers; here are ten Chrome extensions you need to try right now.
If you do a lot of copying and pasting, this is a great extension.
We all know how frustrating it can be when you think you’ve got something saved on your clipboard, only to find you overwrote it with something else.
This solves the problem; it keeps all of your clipboard’s history for a pre-set number of days, allowing you to rollback to any item on the list.
The StayFocusd extension tries to eliminate these distractions by limiting the amount of time that you can spend on the thousands of time-sucking websites. You set yourself a predetermined amount of time that you can spend on Facebook, Twitter, and any of site of your choosing, and once it’s been used up, the extension will prevent access.
Supposedly, there is no way to circumnavigate the block once it’s activated. Most people wouldn’t find it easy, anyway.
Whether you love it or hate it, Gmail has now offered the ability to manage multiple email accounts through one inbox for a long time.
The truth is, it could be a lot better.
Checker Plus introduces some of the features you probably wish Gmail had natively. It can provide desktop notifications, lets you read and delete emails without opening Gmail, and provides a slicker way to easily manage multiple accounts. It even works with Google Inbox.
4. GIF Delayer
GIFs are a common occurrence on the Internet (though how a file-type that’s one year away from its 30th birthday has not been replaced with something more modern is a discussion for another day!).
You can lose hours of time watching GIFs on sites like Reddit, but they’re not without problems. For example, one of the most common issues is GIFs that failed to load promptly.
GIF Delayer will stop any site from playing GIFs until they are fully buffered; it’s a sure-fire frustration-reliever.
Everyone loves a bargain, and this is an extension that excels in bargain-finding.
Honey works by automatically applying money-saving coupons to your cart whenever you’re in the checkout of an online store.
At the moment, it’s only available in the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and India.
6. timeStats [No longer available]
Ever wonder where all those hours in front of your computer are spent? Try out timeStats.
It monitors the amount of time you spend on each site and presents it all in a variety of different graphs and charts. You can view results by day, week, or month, as well as by category, and you can delete certain days or exclude particular sites from your results.
Use it in conjunction with StayFocusd and you’ll be onto a productivity winner.
If you’re currently a student or at high-school, this extension is a dream come true; it will automatically create either a PA, MLA, Chicago, or Harvard style reference for any site you’re visiting.
It also lets your build up a bibliography and syncs beautifully with their website, citethisforme.com.
You can generate your reference by clicking the button, then copy and paste it into your desired document.
Instead of using extensions to limit your time on social media, perhaps you feel like you want to spend even more time on sites like Facebook? If that describes you, install Social Fixer for Facebook.
The extension’s premise is to “fix annoyances, adds features, and enhance existing functionality to make Facebook more fun and efficient”. It does a good job – for example, it offers tabbed news feeds, advanced feed filters, comment trackers, and better “quick links”.
It’s important to understand this isn’t an official Instagram product, but it certainly fills a gap in the market.
As any seasoned Instagram users will know, the desktop support for the popular photo-sharing service is, frankly, awful. This extension gives you the full mobile offering from the comfort of your browser; nothing is blocked, locked, or unavailable.
It already has more than a million users, making it somewhat surprising that Instagram themselves haven’t provided an official offering.
10. Refresh Monkey
How many times do you visit a site and find yourself constantly clicking refresh? Perhaps it’s because you’re waiting for tickets for an in-demand concert, maybe your monitoring an online auction, or you’re trying to follow the score of your favorite sports team.
This extension will enable you to sit back and relax by automatically refreshing the screen at set intervals. It includes a countdown timer in the toolbar and will alert you of any changes on the page after each refresh. The latter of those two features is great, it means you can carry on working in another tab and not miss anything important.
What Are Your Favorite Little-Known Extensions?
These ten Chrome extensions are enough to get you started, but with a bit of exploring you’ll be able to find loads more cool extensions.
Naturally, we’d love to hear about the extensions you really love. Whether they improve your productivity, save you time, or make your Internet usage more fun, we are certain some of your fellow readers would benefit from knowing about them.
You can leave all your tips and opinions in the comments section below.
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