Google Chrome has changed a lot since 2011, which is when we last created a list of five timesaving Chrome extensions. It's now 2017 and those original five extensions may not be as handy as they used to be, if they're even supported anymore.
More than 50 percent of internet users browse the web with Chrome, and if you're one of them you've probably been to the Chrome Web Store at least a few times. The Chrome store is no different from any other, meaning It can be tough to find the best of what's available in it.
If you want to maximize productivity and save time, stop digging around the Web Store looking for extensions: Here are five that will make your productivity skyrocket.
I am a browser tab minimalist: The moment I can't read the tab title is the moment I start closing them left and right. I can't stand a cluttered browser but I also hate having to dig through my history for things I should have left open. Here's where Session Buddy swoops in to the rescue.
This add-on saves all your tabs so you can easily recover them later on. It even sorts them into different days and browsing sessions and allows you to save certain configurations as loadable multi-tab windows.
See: How to use 'Pin Tab' to organize your work in Google Chrome (TechRepublic)
Session Buddy is great for anyone who uses multiple sets of tabs or finds their browser overflowing, which is pretty much everyone who uses a computer nowadays.
Opening up a new tab in Chrome traditionally takes you to a Google search window and a list of recently closed tabs. While convenient, it could be replaced with something a bit more functional, like Dayboard, for example.
Dayboard presents you with a to-do list each time you open a new tab, and it also comes with a distraction blocker as well: Every time you open a new tab and navigate away from the Dayboard page it greys it out and asks if you're sure you want to waste time.
If being guilted into productivity works for you then Dayboard should definitely be added to your browser.
In our previous version of this article we featured an easy sharing extension called Shareaholic, which has since ceased development. Easy link sharing is still important, especially if you need to do it a lot. I recommend AddToAny to replace Shareaholic.
AddToAny gives a few options at the click of a button, and unlike many sharing extensions it has dozens of additional options beyond the big few of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
One of the neat features of Dayboard is its site blocker, but if the guilt of getting distracted isn't a strong enough deterrent it probably won't work for you. That's where StayFocusd comes in.
StayFocusd allows you to create a whitelist, block sites for a chosen duration, and schedule breaks, and it even comes with a "nuclear option" that essentially kills your ability to visit distracting websites that aren't already in your whitelist.
Auto Text Expander
iOS and Android both allow you to set up text shortcuts that turn "brb" into "be right back," "omw" into "on my way," and "btw" into "by the way," among other things. Auto Text Expander is the same idea, but for Chrome.
See: How to set site-by-site permissions in Google Chrome (TechRepublic)
You can use this extension to auto fill forms, simplify social media posts, or do anything else you can think of that would benefit from a text shortcut. I can think of dozens of things I'd rather nottype all the time—like my last name.
What are your favorites?
Have some favorite Chrome extensions that save you time and maximize your productivity? Share them down below in the comments for the benefit of your fellow readers!
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- How to recreate the Chrome Apps Launcher (TechRepublic)
- Make Google Chrome faster, reduce how much RAM it uses, and be more productive (ZDNET)
- Google kills support for Gmail in these Chrome versions: Check if you're affected (TechRepublic)
- Google Chrome gets Wayback Machine extension: End to the pain of 404 errors? (ZDNET)
- The 5 stages of Chromebook acceptance (CNET)
Brandon Vigliarolo has nothing to disclose. He does not hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Brandon writes about apps and software for TechRepublic. He's an award-winning feature writer who previously worked as an IT professional and served as an MP in the US Army.