You're in your browser constantly. So why not make your browser as productive as possible?
Google Chrome offers tens of thousands of extensions. Some are just plain fun (your own personal motivational Shia LaBeouf? A filter that hides all mention of the Kardashians?). Others are like booster packs for your productivity.
Good use of a Chrome extension can take an app from interesting to essential. Everyone at Zapier has their personal favorite stash of Chrome extensions, but here are 12 of our collective favorites to help you be more productive online.
Editor's Note: This article was updated in 2017 to reflect app availability, as well as some of our new favorite extensions.
Manage Your Tabs with Toby
There are a lot of great tools and Chrome extensions for managing your tabs, but one of the best we've come across is Toby. With Toby, you can save collections of tabs by theme or by date, then easily access them by opening a new tab. Instead of stacking up tabs in your browser for your various projects, keep them organized and easily at hand with Toby.
Save Tabs for Later with Tab Snooze
Have you ever found yourself needing to reference a tab—but only an hour, a day, a week from now? Maybe you bookmark it, but maybe the tab ends up lost in your browser history. Tab Snooze was created to make sure that you can save your tabs for when you're actually able to give them attention.
Save Articles to Read Later with Pocket
During the course of the day, I often come across articles that I find interesting and would definitely like to read. Over time, I noticed that I'd read a bunch of those articles right away and get distracted from important activity at hand. The Pocket Chrome extension solves that issue. With one click, I can save the article to read later when I've actually set aside some time to read. Instant productivity win!
Schedule Social Media in Two Clicks with Buffer
The Buffer Chrome extension makes this social media sharing tool extra valuable for me. If I'm reading an article I like and think it would be of interest to my followers, the extension lets me quickly click to share the content on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook. It also allows me to schedule it to be shared later so I don't share too many items with my followers at once.
Protect Yourself from Inbox Overload with Inbox When Ready
For most of us, our inboxes are a productivity black hole; a necessary evil. At Zapier, we're a big fan of inbox workflows and tricks to help you reach inbox zero, but sometimes, you just need to put a buffer between you and your inbox.
That's Inbox When Ready. Inbox When Ready hides your inbox while leaving you free to search through your email and compose new messages. This app frees you to use your email productively without being sucked into a vortex of guilt and unread messages.
Focus on Your Priorities with Momentum
Momentum may seem like a novelty at first, but if you're like many of the people here at Zapier, you'll quickly find it's one of your favorite Chrome extensions. Momentum replaces your default new tab page in Chrome with a daily nature photo and asks you one question: "What is your main focus today?"
It's effective simply because it reminds you constantly throughout the day to remember your main focus. You also start to realize just how often you look at that new Chrome tab. It's pretty valuable real estate and Momentum helps you do something very useful with it.
Trigger Any Workflow with Zapier
The Zapier Chrome extension lets you kick off automated workflows from anywhere on the web. The extension works with the thousands of apps that are connected to Zapier, like MailChimp, Google Sheets, and Trello. And you can program it to send info to and from your favorite apps.
Set up your own Zapier Chrome extension workflow or get started with one of the examples below. Click Use this Zap to get started.
Manage Passwords Securely with LastPass
LastPass solves the password problem. Whether it's for an account just for me or an account for one of the hundreds of services we use at Zapier, LastPass makes sure that I can always log in to the service and not have to chase down credentials. Anyone on the Zapier team can access our shared credentials for key apps, without the risk of, say, a master spreadsheet for our passwords. On top of that, it helps make sure we use strong passwords for all our logins. This is one extension no one should be without.
Quickly Find the Stats You Need with Google Analytics
Tell me if this awkward situation sounds familiar: your boss asks about the unique pageviews or landing page sessions on a key landing page or article… and you didn't prepare the answer. Don't worry about digging through Google Analytics—just pull up the page in question and use the Page Analytics Chrome extension to view key stats.
Avoid Ads with AdBlock
Ads take up valuable time, attention, and screen real estate that could be used by something more important. AdBlock makes sure ads get out of my way and lets me focus on the content that matters. The Adblock Chrome extension blocks ads on all websites, including Facebook and YouTube (yes—it even blocks those irritating video ads).
Send the Perfect Reaction with Giphy
As a remote team, it's not often that we get to see each other in-person. So one of the best ways to have fun virtually is through GIFs. But finding the perfect GIF quickly is often more time consuming than it should be. In those cases, Giphy has your back.
The Giphy Chrome extension lets you search Giphy from your Chrome toolbar, so when you need that reaction GIF right away, you're all set.
Manage Texts Efficiently with Pushbullet
Let's face it—we all text, all day. Some of us even need to text specifically for work. Regardless of why you're texting during work hours, I think we can all agree that texting is terribly inefficient. It takes more type to type with your thumbs than with a full-sized keyboard. Pushbullet connects your computer to your phone, so you can manage texts from your desktop or browser, through your phone.
What are your favorite Chrome extensions? Let us know in the comments!
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