Like many, Google Chrome is my web browser of choice. I use it for 90% of my work and research online. Though I do use Safari, Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Opera, I do so in connection with website design and development. I use over 70 different extensions, but today I thought I would highlight my top 5 essential Chrome extensions.
Simple Extension Manager
Without a doubt, my most useful extension is Simple Extension Manager. Without this extension, managing the more than 70 others would be a nightmare. The biggest single benefit to Simple Extension Manager is the ability to ‘group’ extensions into functional categories and then to activate/deactivate those groups with just a click of the mouse. For example, I have categories for coding and design, writing, general web browsing, etc. Simple Extension Manager makes switching between extensions an absolute breeze.
One Tab is another invaluable extension. It gives you the ability to consolidate all or select tabs you have open into a single tab. This is particularly useful when you’re doing research and find yourself moving rapidly from article to article and accumulating a lot of open tabs. It quickly gets all those open tabs under control and cleans up your browser space — saving your up to 95% in memory compared to keeping those tabs open.
Once consolidated you can organize tabs into groups. With a single click, you can restore a complete group of tabs or open them individually as needed. Like Simple Extension Manager is for extensions, One Tab is very useful if you have a select group sites you like to have active for a particular task or activity.
I just discovered Tab Snooze recently. It has one purpose — to close a tab temporarily — in other words to put it to sleep. You set the time when you want it to wake up, and it will do so automatically. At first I didn’t see that much value in it. But for those times when you come across an interesting article or site and need to maintain your focus on your real task at hand, just put it to sleep. I find more useful every day.
Evernote Web Clipper
If you use Evernote, this Evernote Web Clipper is critical to a productive workflow. Clip whole pages, articles, selections, bookmarks or screenshots and file them away in your Evernote account for later reference.
Readability is my “go-to” for distraction-free reading online. I love the clean interface and ability to save articles into my Readability account. Evernote also has a distraction-free reading extension call “Clearly,” which is separate from the Clip to Evernote extension. I find that Readability extension does a much better job of ‘cleaning up’ the page. Readability also has the added benefit of syncing well with my curation workflow.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your online efficiency take a look at these Chrome extensions. The best part — they’re all free!