Browser extensions to supercharge your productivity

 Five google chrome extensions which will make your work that much easier

Updated - November 16, 2022 01:05 pm IST

Published - November 15, 2022 10:49 pm IST

In today’s day and age, the internet is the main source of all information with browsers providing easy and convenient access to it. It does not matter what profession one is engaged in, everyone must have interacted with the internet to exchange information one way or the other.

Google chrome is one such browser which is vastly used and is globally popular. You might know that all modern browsers come with their own marketplace (just like the App store for Apple or the Play Store for Android), where you can find a bunch of extensions that enhance your browsing experience. They help you increase productivity and daily work by enhancing reusability and automation. This article will list out five very useful extensions which can be used through the Google chrome browser. In case you use a different browser, you might find similar extensions with different names.

The Chrome web store

The Chrome web store

Chrome extensions

A chrome extension is a type of plug-in that adds new features to Google Chrome. Chrome extensions are written in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. They can modify the behavior of the browser and add new features to it. These extensions are typically hosted on the Chrome Web Store and downloaded by users to their local machine from there.

 The extension shortcuts are at the right-hand side corner of chrome

 The extension shortcuts are at the right-hand side corner of chrome

To access these extensions, just go to chrome.google.com/webstore. This will open the chrome web store where you can search and access the below mentioned (or any other) extensions. Let us now look at five google chrome extensions which are bound to increase productivity.

Text Blaze

The Text Blaze extension helps you create shortcuts and avoid repetitive writing. Bloggers, journalists, and professionals involved in copywriting can use it quite actively.

Through this extension, you can set up some one word tags for a set of texts that you use regularly.

For example, let us say that someone is asking you for “The brand guidelines” in a chat or an email that is opened on Google Chrome. With this extension, all you need to do is type: /brand-guide-lines, and it will immediately replace the text from your setup. You can have multiple such tags and thus, automate your tasks.

Workona

If you are a researcher or a student who has a deadline, you might just have almost 40-50 tabs open at the same time which results in general confusion and chaos. You wouldn’t know which tab had something that you wanted to quickly refer to.

The Workona extension helps in managing these tabs for you by creating different workspaces. Workspaces are a new way of organising your tabs to help you focus on the task at hand. You can create a workspace for each project, and only the current workspace tabs will be visible. You can create various workspaces like “School”, “Assignments”, “Learning” etc and quickly spread your tabs accordingly. It also gives you the flexibility to quickly move a tab from one workspace to another.

How Workona looks after setting up

How Workona looks after setting up

It also gives you the option to bookmark a few pages and keep them in your respective workspaces for better accessibility.

Audioread

This is yet another useful extension which can help you utilise time lost due to traffic or waiting for the bus.

Using this extension, one can read something important (an interesting news article or journal page) off a webpage, with just one click. If one adds the particular webpage to Audioread, it converts the entire web page into a podcast-content form and reads it back to us. One can access them through the podcast app that comes with Android or Apple. Also, this is not just another screenreader. Audioread adds an AI voice reader, which uses proper punctuations to make the audio more realistic. It also helps one to not strain the eyes by constantly looking at a screen.

Wordtune

The Wordtune extension helps one to quickly re-word a section of an email or a social media post

Whenever we feel that one sentence can be better worded, all we have to do is select the text and click Wordtune’s icon. The AI is then able to come up with another line that sounds more interesting. It also gives you options from where you can choose which one sounds better. It is both productive and time efficient.

Wordtune in action

Wordtune in action

Forest

Have you heard about the Pomodoro technique to increase focus? The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method developed in the late 1980s by Francesco Cirillo. It uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. These intervals are known as “pomodoros,” the plural of the Italian word pomodoro for “tomato.” The forest extension takes this method to the next level.

First it gives one a customised time limit instead of the traditional 25 minutes. Next it gives you a nice gaming experience. Let’s say that you set aside 10 minutes in Forest for working on a specific task on one specific chrome tab. Forest gives you a virtual tree and your job is to keep it alive

The plant at the beginning

The plant at the beginning

You can keep it alive by focusing for the next 10 mins on what you are actually doing on that specific site. If you go to any other tabs, you get a pop up saying “Your tree is still growing ”, and it also blocks you from using another tab in case you get distracted.

At the end of every interval you will see that the small plant has grown to a tree. Each tree you saved by focusing on your work will grow to be part of a forest. One can link this extension to their iOS or Android app and see the Forest they built.

The grown up tree on successful completion of the task

The grown up tree on successful completion of the task

The app on your phone can also be used in a similar way if you tend to work more on your phone.

To sum up, all these extensions can immensely help you stay focused and use intelligent automation to cut down on time spent doing repetitive work.

(All these extensions might ask for your permission to access data in the websites you visit. Please be mindful and careful)

Jaydeep is the Head of Communities at Thoughtworks, India. He can be reached at jaydeepc@thoughtworks.com via email and @jchakrabarty on twitter and LinkedIn

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