The Best Chrome Extensions to Boost Productivity
18 July 2016 • 5 min.
The internet is a huge part of getting work done, but it can also be a huge distraction. Finding the right balance isn’t always easy, especially when your attention span is about the size of a teaspoon like mine!
I have spent the last few weeks putting productivity extensions on Chrome to the test and this list includes the one that I’ve decided to keep. But don’t take my word for it, try them out to see if you agree!
OneTab is a great solution for anyone who frequently looks up and discovers 20+ tabs open from the course of your daily work. Not only does having so many tabs open make it difficult to find the tab that you’re looking for, it is a HUGE drain on your memory.
OneTab neatly collapses all of your open tabs into one, freeing up precious memory and making it possible to easily find the site you’re looking for. You can restore all of your tabs at once, reorganize them, close them, or restore just the ones you need.
If you need to share or save the tabs you have open, OneTab makes it easy to export and import the list of URLs. You can even generate a web page for your list of tabs with it’s own unique address and QR code!
When browsing tons of different sites at once is a regular part of your day, OneTab is one extension you can’t live without.
If you are one of the many people whose productivity gets sapped by social media, or who occasionally falls down the wikipedia rabbit hole, or some other form of internet distraction (for me, it’s news aggregators) then you will want to download the StayFocused extension.
It’s perfectly healthy to give yourself a little time to browse the way you want to break up the day. StayFocused allows you to set time caps for your favorite websites so you can hold yourself accountable and ensure that they aren’t where you spend the majority of your day.
This extension also gives you plenty of options to completely block sites, block sites that we’re navigated to from a blocked site (even my news aggregators aren’t safe), or simply block all sites except a whitelist of the sites you need for work.
While this extension can save you hours, beware of the nuclear option - once activated there is no going back and you could find yourself completely blocked out of the sites you need to do your job.
One of my personal favorites, Dayboard is a to-do list that actually helps you accomplish what’s important. This extension replaces your new tab page with a daily to-do list so that you are reminded of what’s important each time you open a new tab.
It limits the list to five items so that you can prioritize what your most important tasks are for the day. The creator of the app explained in a reddit post that “our list of to-dos can be 20-30 items long and not only is this overwhelming, we often feel guilty because we'll end up with a long list of items we keep putting off. Instead, this app ensures daily planning and positive habits with smart constraints.”
This minimalist approach to daily planning has really helped me to stay focused on what is most important. If you’ve been looking for a great to-do list solution, Dayboard is the extension for you.
This extension is by far my personal favorite. Both in my personal and professional life, I spend a lot of time browsing the web and there is nothing more frustrating that finding a great resource only to forget about it before the next time you need it. Enter Pocket.
This extension combines features of a bookmark extension with an offline reader that allows you to save a webpage for later viewing with the click of a button. You can also quickly add tags to keep things organized. While Google’s Bookmark Manager is also an excellent tool for Chrome, the best part of Pocket is that it works across multiple devices, browsers, and is even integrated into tons of sites and apps like Twitter.
No matter what the device, no matter where you are, Pocket keeps all of your saved pages and articles accessible and easy to relocate.
Remember, having a few extensions can be great to boost your productivity, but don’t get too carried away because having too many extensions can also become a distraction in and of itself!
What are your favorite extensions for productivity? Tell me what I missed in the comments below!