A good start screen can transform the way you browse and work. It’s time you got one.
As soon as you open a new tab in Chrome, you’re likely to get carried away by the endless information, not to mention the sneaky opportunities for time wasting, that the Web offers. While it’s nice to lose yourself in the complexities of the Web once in a while, doing so on a daily basis can get counterproductive and stressful real quick.
Tough as it may sound, you need to steer clear of online distractions to get more out of the Web. That’s where the following start screens can come to your rescue. Use one of these alternatives for the New Tab page, to ensure that you’re browsing effectively.
Are you a Web worker chasing a deadline? If yes, a no-nonsense start screen like Dayboard can work wonders to keep you on the right track. It puts the focus on your to-do list, or rather the five most important items you have to accomplish for the day. In the extension’s Focus Mode, you can go through the tasks one by one, finishing them and marking them done as you go along.
As of now, Dayboard is a simple extension that reminds you of your tasks for the day every time you open up a new tab. Future iterations of the extension promise additional features. If you would like to have the to-do list functionality in a more eye-catching format, the yummy Momentum extension showcased in Yaara’s post on two super-useful start screens is the way to go.
If your browsing often begins with a Web search, turn Dream Afar into your start screen. It’s visually much more appealing than the bland Omni box, and adds useful info like the local time and weather, and links to your most visited websites. Unfortunately, the choice of search engines is limited.
The extension also includes discreet links to your browsing history, apps, and bookmarks. All these key digital elements are set against a rich wallpaper that changes daily. The resulting interface is simple and stunning. Want to tweak an element or two? You do have a few options for that. All in all, Dream Afar is an interesting way to open a new tab.
Neither too simple, nor too complex, Lightning Speed Dial offers just enough options to help you craft an inviting start screen for yourself. Create multiple categories to organize your favorite websites in the speed dial format, and have them accessible with minimal effort. Add a beautiful background image to spice things up visually. Back up the settings to a local file, which makes for easy recovery if the need arises. The extension provides easy access to the extension manager as well as a handful of options to control tab behavior.
Spots [No Longer Available]
The feature-rich and highly customizable Spots extension turns your start page into a centralized dashboard to give you maximum control over your browsing and online life.
Opening a new tab presents you with a colorful gallery view of links or spots, including the recent and most visited ones. This arrangement is a godsend if your browsing habits border on the superbusy. You can add new links, organize them into categories, open multiple ones with a single click, and even customize their icons. Chatting from your desktop and getting call notifications are two top features of this extension.
The Settings page is a tinkerer’s delight. It’s filled with options for theme presets, backgrounds, colors, search, notifications, tab behavior, content discovery, etc. Sync your settings to your Google or Facebook account, and you don’t have to worry about losing them. Spots is also available for Android.
Ready For A New Tab?
For many of us, Chrome is the go-to app for work as well as play, and opening up a new tab sets the stage for navigating all of the Web. A well-chosen start screen is just what you need to go from aimless to effective browsing in a minute.
Which Chrome extension brings your start screen alive? Let us know in the comments.