Add to your Chrome experience..
It is great that the Chrome Web Store has a plethora of apps and extensions but who has the time to go searching for those that will be most beneficial when they have a business to run? It is fine to go look for something when you know exactly what type you are looking for thanks to the ability to search by keyword or pull up a category, but what if someone doesn’t have a clue what keyword or category to use? That’s where this list is going to help. We’ve compiled a list of ten very useful Chrome extensions (not listed in any particular order) that most businesses will find to be the perfect set to add to their Chrome browser.
Company Website: http://todoist.com/
One of the most important traits for productivity than any businessperson can have is good time management skills. Having a tool that keeps time managed with easy to use to-do lists is essential. Handwritten lists and planners are great but it always seems that the moment one needs to refer to them they are not right in front of them – or worse they become lost! There are plenty of programs that are also wonderful to use on the computer but again they aren’t available right where you need them to be. With Todoist all those problems are solved. Not only does it turn your Chrome browser into a fantastic to-do list and productivity manager all the information is available when offline as well. It also automatically synchronizes all information across all your devices. Changes made when offline upload automatically the next time the user is online. There are plenty of great features included in the free version but consider Todoist Premium for just $29 per year which includes adding tasks via email, setting task reminders, calendar synchronization, project templates, automatic backups, more colors for color-coded projects, productivity tracking and a task search. Users can upgrade or downgrade at any time without losing any existing task data.
2. TLDR (Too Long, Didn’t Read) Reader
Company Website: http://tldrstuff.com/#about
One dilemma that often besieges businesspeople is the need to juggle keeping up with industry news with actually running the business. It can be incredibly time consuming to read all the web articles that are so very important to examine. All too often people fall into the TLDR trap – when an article is too long they just don’t read it at all. With the TLDR Plugin which is a free Chrome extension that is no longer a problem. This plugin creates a summary of any web article in a separate popup so now businesspeople can quickly read a synopsis view and then move on to the next article much more quickly. Settings allow users to choose whether the condensation is 25%, 50% or 75% of the original article or select just part of a page to be summarized. A helpful tool is the ability to select “Find More Like This” to find even more articles on that particular topic. Business people can further increase their ability to read pertinent articles by utilizing the TLDR Reader on their mobile device thanks to apps for iOS, Android and Windows Phones.
3. Evernote Clearly
Company Website: http://evernote.com/clearly/
Most business people are aware of Evernote line of products including Evernote Business, Evernote Hello, Evernote Food and Evernote Web Clipper. The Evernote Clearly Chrome extension is every bit as useful as all their other products. With this extension users are able to instantly make web pages clean and easy to read which is helpful in itself but add to that the ability to clip and save articles to sync with other devices and one has a great tool for retrieving important information quickly and easily. Add tags to easily search and retrieve from anywhere. Other tools include highlighting specific details and with a premium subscription the user can have the text converted to speech allowing for multitasking. What a great way to utilize that commute time!
Company Website: http://soundgecko.com/
SoundGecko is another way to enable multitasking because it leaves one’s hands and eyes free to do other things rather than sit reading web pages. The free version allows listening to up to 30 web articles per day (4,000 word limit) as well as 1 custom station/RSS feed. The Pro version costs $2.95 per month and allows for unlimited listening to web articles (30,000 word limit) as well as 100 custom stations/RSS feed. The Pro version also converts PDF documents and allows multiple emails to send articles to SoundGecko. It also allows for choosing different voices. There are also free mobile apps so users can take their reading list with them while on the commute to and from work or even working out at the gym.
5. AdBlock and AdBlock Plus
Company Website: Open sourced
Reducing distractions is something the most productive business people understand needs to be done. Any business person that spends time on the Internet is blasted with distractions in the form of advertisements. Being able to get rid of these distractions is what AdBlock is all about. It works automatically in the background to remove ads yet leaves control with the user so that specific web pages can be viewed with ads if desired. Both AdBlock and AdBlock Plus are free extensions and both have the same features. AdBlock Plus performs better on YouTube and doesn’t slow down the browser as much when multiple tabs are opened.
6. Finance Toolbar
Company Website: http://www.stefanvd.net/project/financetoolbar.htm
This is a must-have extension for those business people that want to keep watch on the stock market as well as specific stocks. The extension adds a toolbar below the URL bar of the browser window that has a real time stock ticker scrolling across the toolbar when turned on. It initially loads with GOOG, MSFT, YHOO, AAPL, DOW Gold, Oil, QQQX, EURO/USD, ^BFX and S&P500 but users can add or remove to customize. Besides changing stocks it can be further customized to change the speed and direction of scrolling and the font and size of the font. Another feature is that each stock that is in the bar has a direct link to the finance website to see details. Users can also add a 4-favorite-stock mini graph.
Even the best businesspeople can fall victim to time-wasting websites and have what should have been a quick visit turn into an hour or more often at a time when a deadline looms and the time cannot be spared. For those that this happens a bit more often than they wished, StayFocusd is a great tool for increasing productivity by locking yourself out of those particular websites for a given period of time. This can also be used as a tool to block certain websites from employee use during work day hours yet allow access during lunch breaks. It is not a perfect solution as it is fairly easy to circumvent but it will help the person that just needs that little nudge to stay off Facebook for awhile to get a project completed. One trick offered by a reviewer says to use the Nuclear Option and actually include chrome://extensions/ to the blocked list at the same time as adding the site to be blocked to keep from being able to turn off the extension and thus gain access back to the blocked site. Smart thinking!
8. Awesome Screenshot
Company Website: http://awesomescreenshot.com/
Awesome Screenshot is a tool for capturing web pages, either the entire page or just the screen view. Once captured the image can be annotated and edited. Once finished the user can copy the revised screenshot and paste it where needed. Furthermore users can upload the screenshot with one click to awesomescreenshot.com and get a sharable link. There are a number of ways this tool can be used for business. A great way to save something off a web page and have it clearly marked as to why you saved it. A couple more suggestions are to use it to put together a training piece for employees or to put together information for a presentation. The extension is being used by over a million users and enjoys a 5 star rating.
9. PageRank Status
Company Website: http://pagerank.chromefans.org/
While this may only be an occasionally used tool for some business people it might be an everyday tool for others. This extension allows users to pull up valuable information about the web pages they visit including Google PageRank, Alexa Rank, Complete Rank, Quantcast Rank, backlinks, cached pages, indexed pages, Geo IP location and more. This information can be used to validate a website or used to see how much traffic is going to a competitor’s website. The SEO related Meta elements and other tags can be useful as well. It also can help business to find out just how much traffic is going to one’s own website and how they are finding it.
Company Website: http://powerinbox.com/
PowerInbox is for business people that use various social media and other sites in the course of business and get overwhelmed with keeping up with them all. This extension brings updates right into one’s email inbox so now everything can be handled in one place. Live-stream social feeds and preview content from a number of favorite websites. Anyone that uses more than a couple of the following list should consider getting this very useful tool: ABC News, Amazon, Boloco, CNN, ESPN, Facebook, Flickr, Follup.cc, Foursquare, Grooveshark, Hulu, Instagram, Justin.tv, Kickstarter, LinkedIn, MSNBC, NewsLetter, Picasa, Pivotal Tracker, Scribd, SlideShare, SociableNow Dialer, Spotify, The White House, TimeTrade, Tumblr, Twitter, Ustream, Vimeo and Vsnap. PowerInbox works with Gmail, Yahoo! Mail and Outlook.com.
These ten are those that are generic enough to help any type of business person or small business with productivity and other important issues that when used will improve the company. Once they have a handle on using these extensions the next step is looking for those that are more specific to their industry. For example a website developer or a blogger can find tools that aid them specifically. It is amazing how adding a few tools to Chrome can make such a big difference.