8 chrome extensions that will save your life
Ever had one of those days where your work leads you down a rabbit hole and before you know it, your browser looks a little like this?
Well, after my recent meltdown regarding this same issue, I decided to take action. A while back, Wil Reynolds set a challenge on Twitter:
After failing miserably with a whopping 38 tabs open, it was time for an intervention. I reached out to Wil for help, and he informed me of this amazing Chrome extension that allows you to limit the number of tabs you can have open at one time. #AhaMoment
This led me to ponder: what other extensions could help with productivity? (And save me from a migraine - always an added bonus!) So I did some research, which ultimately led me to open 30 more tabs (don’t judge me; I’m working on it), and came up with a list of 8 Chrome plugins that I simply cannot live without.
1. Controlled multi-tab browsing
As I mentioned, this extension allows you to set the maximum number of tabs that can be opened at one time and allows you to stay focused on the project at hand. While I claim to be good at multi-tasking, trying to focus on too many things can lead to unnecessary stress. Wil recommends five tabs, but I’m starting with 10 and seeing if I can wean myself off slowly.
If you do have too many tabs open and feel you’re on the verge of a breakdown, install the PanicButton. This will instantly hide all tabs and save them as bookmarks so you can restore them later when your blood pressure returns to normal.
This one isn’t mind blowing, but I’m in marketing and it’s super helpful. When I’m browsing one of my 10 opened tabs and find something that I think the world needs to know about, I can easily click on the Hootsuite icon and share the link directly to my social networks. Plus, I don’t have to waste one of my precious tabs on keeping Hootsuite open at all times. It’s a little victory for me.
With great power comes great responsibility, so I hesitate to share this gem with everyone, but IT.IS.AWESOME. It allows you to find company email addresses as long as you have a person’s first and last name, and company name.
It doesn’t always work, but when it does, it’s gold. If anyone that I’ve stalked recently is reading this, you now know how I found you. (I swear, I’m not as creepy as I sound.)
I know I’m not the only one that lost a few nights of sleep after Google announced the end of Google Reader. However, Feedly quickly become my new best friend. It’s an RSS reader that allows you to easily organize your RSS subscriptions into categories and view content shared on your favorite sites all in one place.
5. Save to Pocket
When you’re scanning your RSS feeds, Twitter, CNN, etc. and you come across an article you want to read, but you have a meeting in 10 minutes, save it to Pocket so you don’t forget about it! You can easily revisit Pocket when you have a few extra minutes to read through the articles. It syncs with your phone, tablet and computer, allows you to share via social media, and even allows you to access the information offline.
6. Stay Focusd
This one may be a hot topic for debate, but it allows you to limit the amount of time you can spend on “time wasting” sites (their words, not mine). The description shared on the app sums it up best:
"You sit down at the computer, and you swear you'll be productive. Next thing you know, it's twelve hours later. You've checked your email, updated your Facebook status, browsed the trending topics on Twitter, read your RSS feeds, looked up your favorite band on Wikipedia, vanity googled yourself, cyber-stalked your ex, looked at all your high-school crushes' Facebook photos, and lost a week's pay playing online poker.
What you haven't done is WORK."
While that might be a bit of an exaggeration, I know we’re all guilty of procrastinating every once in awhile and turning to Facebook, Reddit - you name it - for a little work relief. This productivity extension is highly customizable, so set realistic goals for yourself. For example, as an online marketer, I may spend more time on social media than the average person (for work of course).
Now for the scary part: once your allotted time is up, the site will be inaccessible for the rest of the day.
7. Boomerang for Gmail
If you have a Gmail account, this extension allows you to schedule emails in advance, and set reminder emails. When you send an email to a coworker, you can set a reminder to let you know within 2 days (or whatever time frame you wish) if that person hasn’t replied back yet, or hasn’t opened your email. It makes nagging (I mean, following up) much more efficient!
Remember that little tab addiction problem I mentioned earlier on? Well, it manifested in the form of extension overload after researching this blog article. This is where Extensity comes in handy. It allows you to quickly enable or disable all your extensions with one easy click so you’re only using the ones you need at that particular time. It also prevents your computer from running slowly due to all the programs you have running.
This is just the tip of the iceberg I’m sure when it comes to productivity extensions. If you have any favorites, I’d love for you to share them below!