These days, more work than ever takes place within the confines of a Web browser.
This opens the door to useful extensions that make a big impact on your productivity.
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However, with the huge number of extensions on the market, it is difficult to know which ones are worth using.
To that end, here are a few tried-and-true options that can help you get things done more efficiently. Add on these extensions to your Chrome and watch your productivity fly!
It’s easy to get distracted while working on the Web. Social media sites like Twitter and Facebook are only a click away, and it can be difficult to resist the temptation. If you find yourself constantly checking for updates from your friends when you should be focused on work, this extension will help.
Google’s StayFocusd allows you to limit the amount of time you can spend on certain websites each day. You can choose which websites to track and how much time to allow. Once you’ve used up your allotted time, the websites will be blocked for the rest of the day. You can also block the sites immediately and set the block to be lifted after a certain number of hours.
If you do a large amount of research, Diigo will streamline that process. It allows you to highlight and annotate Web pages, then bookmark the page to come back later.
When you return, the notes you made will still be there. You can also share your annotated pages with others through social media, or create a group to share the pages you’ve bookmarked automatically.
3. Scrollbar of Contents
Another resource to help streamline online research, Scrollbar of Contents aims to make it easier to skim through long articles. When activated, Scrollbar of Contents scans the page, looking for headings and subheadings.
When it finds one, it displays the text beside the relevant point on your scrollbar. Clicking on the text will jump you to that heading. In effect, this creates a table of contents for the article you’re reading, making it easy to find the section that might contain the information you need.
4. Project Naptha
Perhaps the most technically impressive extension on this list, Project Naptha allows you to select and copy text from images and PDFs. Whenever you view an image, the extension’s algorithm analyzes it to see if it can locate any text within that image.
It will then attempt to translate the text in the image into regular text and allow you to copy that text or translate it to another language. Obviously, it’s not perfect, and it can have a hard time with thin or small letters, odd fonts and text that doesn’t contrast with the background.
However, the ability to copy text directly from scanned and uploaded documents makes this extension worth trying.
5. Simple = Select + Search
Google Chrome has a default feature that allows you to highlight a piece of text, then right-click and search for that text on Google. This extension adds to that functionality by allowing you to search for the highlighted text on other websites, such as Wikipedia, Gmail and Amazon. In fact, any custom search engine you create in Google Chrome can be used with this extension.
Instead of copying the text, opening up the page you want to search and pasting the text into that search box, you can now do it all with a simple click.
6. Session Buddy
If you find yourself opening up the same few websites each time you begin a particular task, Session Buddy is the extension for you. You can save a set of open tabs as a session and restore them at any time.
This allows you to open up a set of any number of tabs with a single click. You can also use this functionality to close a set of tabs and come back to them later without the hassle of making bookmarks for each one. Session Buddy can also restore the tabs you had open after a crash.