Some people wear multitasking as a badge of honor. But at this point, we definitively know that it does not serve you well. However, when you’re running a business as a solopreneur, or even with a small team, it is inevitable that you’ll have to wear many hats and shift your focus from one thing to another many times throughout the day.
To avoid falling into that stressful and exhausting multitasking trap, which can easily lead to burnout, I rely on a set of tools to make my life easier. I recently highlighted a few apps that keep me productive and focused. Today, I’m focusing squarely on one app where I spend a lot of my time: Google Chrome.
I’ve been pretty loyal to Chrome since it was introduced, due in large part to its vast selection of extensions, which enable me to customize the browser to my exact needs. I’ve experimented with lots of extensions over the years, but there are a solid few that save me a substantial amount of time and mental energy. Here’s my top 7.
This one assumes that you use 1password for password management, of course. So if you don’t have an app for that purpose yet, I’d suggest checking it out. And if you’re already using 1password but don’t have the browser extension installed, you’re missing out on some serious productivity improvements.
The obvious benefit is the ability to fill in a password with one click, but I also love that it provides quick access to a password generator. That comes in super-handy when signing up for new accounts of any kind. You can always be sure that you’re choosing a bulletproof password without needing to use any mental real estate getting it in place.
This one’s for those of us who often juggle many tabs all at once. I’m constantly thinking of something I want to research or checking on an account or working in WordPress, and so on, so I couldn’t even tell you how many tabs I tend to have open at one time.
Admittedly, this habit might be one to kick in order to truly maximize productivity. But in the meantime, OneTab helps me manage. With one click, you can save all of your open tabs into one, simplified list. I find this especially helpful if I want to save a category of links for later, like if I want to save some articles to read while on the go or if I’m simply trying to lighten the load on my system.
The Great Suspender
This is a relatively new discovery for me. But as an admitted tab hoarder, I can safely say that The Great Suspender has quickly become indispensable. This extension automatically suspends unused tabs to free up system resources. Leave your tabs unattended, so to speak, and The Great Suspender automatically unloads their content. This way, the page is no longer active, but leaves you with enough information so that you can still see what’s there when you’re ready to pick up where you left off.
It allows me to keep all my tabs open so I can revisit them later without constantly consuming precious memory. And when you’re ready to re-engage, the page reloads with just a quick click. This functionality has been super-helpful, especially at times when I’ve had to deal with less-than-stellar internet quality.
It’s also a huge help when reloading a page that already has multiple tabs open. Keeping tabs suspended prevents the lag that comes with trying to load all of them at once, making Chrome load much much faster.
Grammarly is probably the extension that I use most often in a single day. If you write anything, it is absolutely essential. And I don’t just mean articles or longform posts. It’s also incredibly helpful for social media posts, emails, literally anything you do on the web that includes writing of some sort.
Grammarly will detect spelling errors in real time, which is amazing in and of itself, but what’s even more amazing is its ability to recognize and correct grammatical errors. (Hence the name.) As someone for whom writing doesn’t exactly come easily, having Grammarly handy to suggest comma placement or sentence structure both saves me time and provides valuable reassurance that I’m on the right track.
FontFace Ninja allows you to identify any font on any website with a click of a button. This one is mostly for designers, but it could also come in handy if you’re ever doing any of your own brand updates or building your own site. You’ll immediately get an overview of all fonts used on the page, and clicking into any example will give you even more information, like the size, spacing, and color.
Additionally, you’ll have quick access to a link to download or purchase each font, and a quick type tool to preview text. It. Is. Amazing.
If you use Google Chrome, chances are you are also a Google Calendar user. This extension makes interacting with your schedule and appointments so much easier, providing a quick link to view what’s coming up next.
The extension’s dropdown menu reveals your color-coded events with dates and times, and lets you scroll through everything for the next week. It saves the time you’d spend clicking back and forth into the actual app when you just need to check on something quickly, and it eliminates the need for leaving a tab constantly open, saving more memory in the process.
A good URL shortener is essential if you ever have the need to share links with anyone. The difference between a long link, which is essentially gibberish, and a URL that is more easily scannable, can mean more clicks and more engagement. It’s a small detail that has the potential of great rewards.
There are plenty of URL shorteners out there, but I still find myself going back to the old standby of Bitly. I love the quick and easy access to its tools right within the browser, but I especially find the customization access to be extremely valuable. According to Bitly, branded and customized links lead to 34 percent more clicks, so it’s extremely helpful to be able to create a custom link without having to do any heavy lifting.
That covers the Chrome Extensions that are currently keeping me on task in a big way. I’m sure my overall list will grow and change over time, but I see these 7 sticking around for awhile.
P.S. I know not everyone is a Chrome user, but there is a chance that these extensions may be available for other browsers. It’s worth a check!