15 Can’t-Miss Chrome Extensions for Productivity

Akshata Shanbhag 23-05-2015

More Google gold for you! You listed some of your favorite Chrome extensions in one of our recent polls and Dave turned them into a handy list Google Gold: 15 Essential Chrome Extensions The standard Chrome experience can be made so much better with a handful of extensions. Read More . Today we bring you a few more essential extensions geared toward helping you work better online.


For Keeping To-do Lists

Install: Dayboard

When you first sit down to work, use Dayboard to list your 5 Most Important Tasks or MITs for the day. Dayboard displays this to-do list every time you open a new tab. Nothing like a constant visual reminder to keep you focused on work!


Momentum is another start screen Revamp Chrome's Default Tab Page With One Of These 4 Start Screens A good start screen can transform the way you browse and work. It's time you got one. Use one of these alternatives for the New Tab page, to ensure that you're browsing effectively. Read More that doubles up as a to-do list.

For Blocking Distractions

Install: StayFocusd


With StayFocusd, you can get online distractions out of your system by indulging in them for a bit. Put sites like Facebook and Twitter on the extension’s Blocked Sites list. If you spend more than a certain duration of time on any of the sites on this list, StayFocusd will block your access to all of them for the rest of the day. You have the option of setting up the days and hours when you need StayFocusd to be active.

Who’s to stop you from tweaking the time limits or disabling StayFocusd whenever you feel like it? You could add chrome://extensions to your blocked sites and/or hide the settings section behind a text-based challenge. This will make cheating that much more difficult and annoying.

For Saving Keystrokes

Install: Auto Text Expander for Google Chrome


Work faster Browse Faster and Better With These 5 Simple Solutions I have found various easy ways that give me the opportunity to rest my hands. These methods allow me to browse super fast, which is crucial for a web worker, and are efficient overall. Read More  and give your hands some rest by using a text expansion and replacement software. Auto Text Expander is a good Chrome-based choice, especially if you’re a Chromebook user.

There’s not much to the extension. You add shortcuts for text snippets that you use often. Every time you type that shortcut, it’s replaced by the expanded version. Do back up your snippets to a text file for emergencies.


For Reading Things Later

Install: Save to Pocket


Pocket is a fantastic bookmarking service. It’s useful when you’re distracted by online content in the middle of work. Just save the Web page with the one-click Save to Pocket Chrome extension.

Use the toolbar button, a keyboard shortcut, or the context menu for quick bookmarking. Add tags to make your bookmarks easy to search later. The pages appear in your Pocket account, which gets synced across all your devices.


For Decluttering Tabs

Install: OneTab


If your work depends on Web-based tools and information, you’re likely to have a crazy number of tabs open when you’re working. But those tabs turn into one big memory drain.

A simple way to ease tab clutter and save on memory is by using OneTab. Any time you click on the OneTab icon, it organizes all your open tabs into a list. You can then recall tabs as and when you need them.


For Decluttering Web Pages

Install: Clearly [No Longer Available]

Say you’re doing some research. You don’t want your attention to stray to unimportant Web page elements like those clickable buttons in the sidebar. Then you can hide them with Evernote’s Clearly extension. It cleans up Web pages and presents their main content in a minimalist, easy-to-read format.


Install the extension and whenever you want a decluttered Web page, click on Clearly’s toolbar button when you’re on that page. You can also choose from a few themes, highlight content, and even connect Clearly to your Evernote account.

For Organizing Your Ideas

Install: Note Board

A cork board on your computer screen—that’s what Note Board is. Use it to keep track of your ideas in the form of digital sticky notes. Pin them to the board and move them around as your thought process evolves.

There are five boards organized side by side. Notes can be in the form of text and images. It’s also possible to draw your ideas right onto a note. Note Board includes both local and cloud storage options.


You can open the extension as a tab or as a popup. The popup option did not work for me, but that comes across as a minor glitch. If the popup isn’t working for you either, keep the extension open as a pinned tab for quick access to your ideas.

For Organizing Your Research

Install: Diigo Web Collector – Capture and Annotate [No Longer Available]/strong>

Social bookmarking website Diigo has some powerful features to help you conduct any kind of online research. Its Chrome extension makes it easy to organize your research as you go along. Bookmark pages for later, group them, annotate them, and share them. You can even add in-page highlights as reminders.

You will need a Diigo account to use the extension. If you have a Google account, you can connect the extension to that instead.

For Writing

Install: Quick Write Text Editor

Quick Write is a pleasant, clutter-free text editor with a minimal feature set. You can change the font, background color, and text direction. That’s about it. Quick Write auto-saves text and displays line and character count. It works offline and is ideal for quick note-taking. Again, a great choice for Chromebook users.


For Capturing and Annotating Screenshots

Install: Awesome Screenshot: Screen Capture, Annotate [No Longer Available]

Awesome Screenshot is a popular, versatile tool for capturing images and tweaking them to include your notes. You can blur sensitive info on images, add annotations, and share them in a single click. Save captured screenshots to Google Drive, your Awesome Screenshot account, or to local storage.


For Working in Bursts of Time

Install: Simple Pomodoro [No Longer Available]

Often, it’s the tools that do “just one thing well” that help you get your work done. Simple Pomodoro, based on the efficient Pomodoro technique, is one such tool. There are other interesting timers Need More Time? Try These 7 Remarkable Chrome Timer Extensions Whether you are timing a task, counting down to stop an activity, or you're just interested in how much time you are spending on a website, there is a Chrome timer extension for you. Read More on the Chrome Web Store, but we think Simple Pomodoro’s no-frills approach is just what you need for a productive work session.

All you can do via the toolbar button is set the timer (in intervals of 5′, 10′, 15′, and 25′) or reset it. The extension uses an audio cue and a text pop-up to notify you when your time’s up.


For Making Pages Ready to Print

Install: PrintFriendly and PDF

If you’re printing out Web pages or saving them as PDFs, you’ll want to clean them up a bit first. Do that with PrintFriendly and PDF, which removes ads and other unwanted Web page elements.

When you click the extension’s toolbar button, it presents the current Web page in a print-ready format. You can then print it, save it as a PDF, or share it via email. The extension allows you to remove individual page elements before printing. It also comes in a bookmarklet format.

For Managing Your Inbox

Install: Sortd Smart Skin for Gmail

Email is a necessary evil in these times, but you don’t have to lose your productivity to it. Get Sortd Smart Skin for Gmail. It turns your Gmail inbox into a Trello-like task board Turn Gmail Into A Trello-Like Task Board With Sortd In the modern workforce, your email often turns into your task list. Well, now you can get Trello-style organisation right in Gmail with a new Chrome extension, Sortd. Read More .

Your emails appear in the left pane. In the right pane you’ll find a set of lists that you can drag and drop emails to, based on how you want to process them. Group emails, snooze them, highlight them, and add notes to them to keep things organized and scannable.

Sortd is not perfect, but it does a pretty good job of taming your inbox.

For All-in-one Productivity

Install: Limitless [No Longer Available]

Limitless turns the New Tab page into a powerful dashboard. To-do list feature? Check. Time tracking for websites? Check. Setting up reminders and countdowns? Check. Bookmarks? Check. Encouraging quotes? Check. If you had to install just one extension from this list to boost your productivity, we recommend Limitless.

For Managing Extensions

Install: SimpleExtManager

Extensions can speed up your workflow 3 Smart Chrome Extensions to Speed Up Your Workflow Chrome's minimalist and user-friendly interface is a big reason for its popularity, along with the excellent extensions available in the Web store. Here are three that will make browsing easier for you. Read More a great deal. But, if you have too many of them installed, Chrome is bound to slow down. The extensions also create visual clutter by hogging space on the toolbar. Before such annoyances force you to ditch Chrome Don't Give Up on Chrome Until You've Done This First If you're contemplating ditching Chrome and switching to Internet Explorer or Firefox, I can relate. Some solutions did help improve Chrome a little, but there was only one thing that fixed the problem. Read More , learn to manage extensions the smart way. Install SimpleExtManager. It gives you a handy dropdown menu to enable/disable your extensions, apps, and themes.


A Little Restraint With Extensions

Extensions are the best feature of Chrome. No matter how many you have installed, you’re always ready to try more. But it would be ironic if you got nothing done because you were busy fiddling with productivity extensions. Please, add only a select few that can have a powerful impact on the way you work.

Which are your favorite Chrome extensions for productivity? Which of them have transformed your workflow? Do share them in the comments. We’d like to know.

Related topics: Browser Extensions, Google Chrome.

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  1. lofik
    August 3, 2017 at 9:44 am

    check out "Import from Jira to Trello" extension in chrome web store

    November 22, 2016 at 6:22 am

    At those scrolling slavery times this one is my favorite -

  3. Alan King
    August 4, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    I love, love Pushbullet. It's promoted as being able to push files and web pages between devices, which sells the extension and app short. I use Pushbullet to push PDFs to the cloud and hyperlink to them from our newsletters. This is great if an organization asks us to help them promote an event and they send us the flyer.

    Clipboard History is another one that boosts my productivity. Anything I've copied is just a click away.

    Other extensions I enjoy are Evernote and Onenote's webclipper, MightyText (I can respond to the daily photos of my daughter that my mother-in-law sends), Pocket, Save to Inbox and Email Hunter (which takes the work out of finding unlisted emails for reporters and potential business partners.

    • Akshata Shanbhag
      August 5, 2016 at 2:55 am

      All great extensions, Alan. I loved Evernote's web clipper back when I used Evernote and Chrome. And I wish MightyText had an iOS equivalent :)

      Thank you for sharing your list!

  4. Ciprian
    May 17, 2016 at 7:57 am

    For saving links, taking notes and setting priority tasks... right in New Tab or by using the WebApp check [Broken URL Removed](

  5. Squalle
    November 29, 2015 at 6:10 am

    I've been using OneTab for quite a while. Love it. And I use Momentum for a new tab for the to-do list feature.

    I've used Pocket in the past, but I just wasn't very impressed with it. It seemed to buggy. Plus, you never knew how many items you had. You just had to scroll and archive and scoll until you reached the end.

    • Akshata Shanbhag
      November 30, 2015 at 4:06 am

      Thanks for sharing those, Squalle. I think Pocket on Chrome is less smoother than it's on Firefox or Safari. Switching from the extension to the bookmarklet may help.

      • Squalle
        December 2, 2015 at 6:59 pm

        Nah, I probably won't go back any time soon. I read a comment somewhere, someone mentioned using email instead. So I set up an email account readitlater@ and have everything go there. Then I can sort, filter, apply tags, etc. Pretty easy for now. But just in case I do go back, I'll keep that in mind.

        • Akshata Shanbhag
          December 3, 2015 at 6:01 am

          I think I might try the email thing myself :)

  6. Gary Dauphin
    May 26, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    All good stuff, nice article. I advise being wary of extensions' permissions. Did you know for example, that some extensions can 'read and change any data you enter onto a website'? If so, they can read your bank account information, credit card info, etc. even while you are not using the extension. These 'permissions' are stated by the extension when you load them, so be sure to check the fine print before installing. Buyer beware.

  7. Steve Leach
    May 26, 2015 at 11:04 am

    Awesome Screenshot seems to be having some issues with the Chrome Store at the moment, but looks very interesting!

  8. Akshata
    May 25, 2015 at 11:39 am

    Hadn't heard of Noosfeer. Thanks for sharing that one, Alex!

  9. Alex
    May 25, 2015 at 8:39 am

    Great list Akshata. I use most of them already.

    But for reading later, decluttering and related content, I use Noosfeer.

    The decluttering is a lot better (often in pocket/clearly stuff form the article is missing, even the main videos or images or tweets, like in this article for example) and the suggestions keep me informed on what I'm reading.

  10. Doug
    May 25, 2015 at 3:40 am

    Good article Akshata...grabbed 2 ideas from it, going to try them out. The main one is the auto text expander. I currently do not use one. Tried a desktop app previously and I was not impressed. Going to try the extension you suggested as well as look at a few others. Thank you.

    • Akshata
      May 25, 2015 at 3:59 am

      Thank you, Doug. Auto Text Expander is really a time-saver. I wish there was something similar for Firefox also.

  11. mickey
    May 23, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    you want productivity?

    1 - quit chrome
    2 - disconnect computer from internet
    3 - switch phone off
    4 - do stuff

    • teacherlady
      May 24, 2015 at 4:19 am

      marry me :-)

    • Slashee the Cow
      May 24, 2015 at 5:20 am

      Not a bad idea, however many peoples' jobs these days require doing stuff online, so it can be hard to avoid.

    • Jonathan
      September 9, 2016 at 11:16 pm

      @Mickey, Checkout the GlobalMobile extension - it displays the mobile version of any webpage, so those 'most popular' and 'you won't believe..' sidebars disappear, along with many of the other addictive hooks publishers include to keep you from leaving their site. It's a good compromise if you need to use the internet, but don't want to end up with ADD.