5 time-saving Chrome extensions to increase your productivity
With these powerfully productive Chrome extensions, you can read faster, annotate the web, eliminate the mouse, and much more.
We only have so many hours in the day to get things done. So any opportunity to shorten that time by doing things more efficiently is welcomed. And if you spend the majority of your day in a web browser, you’re likely passing up valuable time-saving opportunities that, over time, can add up to a significant amount of time saved.
In that spirit, these five Chrome extensions—which also work on Chrome-based browsers like Microsoft Edge—can do wonders for saving valuable minutes throughout the day.
SWIFTREAD READ FOR SPEED
The SwiftRead extension, which flashes short snippets of text to subdue your brain’s efforts to sound out each word individually, allows you to read long articles in half the time.
It may sound strange, but it works. You become so preoccupied with catching every detail that you absorb the message much more thoroughly and quickly. Try it: I’m not doing it justice here, but you could have finished this entire article by now and gone about your business.
The extension is free to use for reading web-based articles, but a paid version is available for reading PDFs, Kindle books, and other formats.
STICKY-NOTE THE INTERNET WITH A NOTE BOARD
There are so many exciting sites to annotate, but so little time.
When you find something interesting, you can use the Note Board extension to leave a trail of permanent sticky notes across the internet. You can also upload actual website content like images and screenshots, which are then displayed on virtual bulletin boards where you can move items around, add notes, and share with others.
Note Board is available in two versions: a free, ad-supported version with up to seven boards and 50 MB of storage, and a $36-per-year version with unlimited boards, more storage, Kanban boards, and additional features.
CHECKER PLUS GMAIL AT A GLANCE
If you’ve had Gmail open in a tab all day, you’re doing it wrong. Instead, install the Checker Plus Gmail extension.
It allows you to view your inbox, read individual messages, reply, and compose new messages without having to leave your browser or open Gmail. This is the extension for you if you spend a lot of time dealing with email.
It’s free and very feature-rich, with the option to make a one-time or monthly donation to the developer.
TAB SNOOZE WILL HELP YOU DEAL WITH IT LATER
You’re deep down a rabbit hole of true-crime conspiracy theory websites when that little voice inside your head tells you, “I should be working.” I should be at work. “I should be at work.”
There’s the Tab Snooze extension for that, which freezes whatever’s open in a tab and then resurfaces it for you later.
The free version restricts the number of times you can snooze tabs and the number of tabs you can snooze at once, whereas the $3-per-month Pro version allows you to snooze groups of tabs and more.
DON’T USE YOUR MOUSE WITH VIMIUM C
Anyone who has mastered keyboard shortcuts will tell you that your mouse is holding you back. With the Vimium C extension, you can navigate your entire web browser—including on-page elements—using only your keyboard. Once you’ve mastered the fundamental shortcut keys, you can bind multiple key mappings together and even sync your settings between computers.
Because Vimium C is a free, open-source project, you’ll have everything you need right away.