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The internet has drastically changed the way we work. When it comes to working with a computer, people spend the vast majority of their time in a web browser. For many years Microsoft Explorer was the king of the browsers, but recently the Google Chrome browser has stolen that crown.

One of the big advantages that Chrome brings to the table is the ability to add extensions, which are effectively little pieces of software that embed themselves in your browser and enable the user to perform certain tasks without ever having to leave the browser. This brings with it efficiency, speed, and perhaps most importantly of all, convenience. There are thousands of extensions available to be downloaded for free, but this article is focused on the top five for increasing your productivity.

 

1. StayFocusd  

It is to easy to become distracted by spending too much time on certain social media sites, that are excellent sources of entertainment but provide no noticeable benefits to your workday. StayFocusd allows you to self-police yourself, by effectively limiting how much time you are able to spend on any given website. Whether you are an employee, or self-employed, restricting your access to specific sites will prevent you from wasting valuable time and as a consequence will make you far more productive.

 

2. PopChrom

We all remember Blackberry phones. These cell phones had a tiny little keyboard that was surprisingly effective when working on the go. One of the big advantages was the ability to create shortcuts, such as ‘BA’, which when you typed certain letter combinations replaced those letters with your entire business address or whatever phrase you had programmed into the device. PopChrom provides the same functionality within the Chrome browser. This means if you are persistently entering the same phrases every day, you can create user-defined shortcuts, which when typed will populate that field with the phrase or content of choice. Dependent on your industry, this could save you hours of repetitive typing weekly and has the potential to drive your productivity through the roof!

 

3. LastPass

Passwords are the bane of our online existence. We have accounts with so many sites, and we all know and understand the importance of using a different password on each site to make sure your accounts are secure. The reality is that this is virtually impossible, and many people default to their partner’s name or some other equally simple password. LastPass is a password manager that securely remembers all your passwords for you. All that is required from you is to remember one simple password for their software and you are all setup. This software can be setup to automatically fill in usernames and passwords for all of the sites you visit, saving you a lot of time and effort. It has recently been offered for free, so there is no excuse not to give it a try!

 

4. Pocket

Pocket will take a snapshot of any page you are currently viewing in your browser, and save it in your Pocket folder for future reference. Imagine you are just on the way to a sales pitch, and you want to spend the train journey checking out your potential client’s portfolio. Visit their site and read a few relevant articles just before you leave the office, send it to pocket, and then you can read that information at any time on any device.

 

5. Grammarly

Even as a Senior Executive, you still may question when to use a semicolon, comma, or full stop. That’s where Grammarly comes in; it’s like having your high school English teacher sitting on your shoulder as you type. It is constantly there highlighting errors, and giving suggestions and advice on how to improve your writing. This extension will not only make you more productive but will also improve the quality of the content (whether it be emails or blog posts!) you are producing.

 

There are thousands of extensions available for the Google Chrome browser, many of which will improve your productivity. If you’re looking for more tips on productivity, read our recent blog post on how eating healthy increases your productivity and focus.