10 Chrome extensions for streamlined, sped-up productivity

12 Mar 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

10 Chrome extensions for streamlined, sped-up productivity.

While there are plenty of web-based tools and productivity tricks to help you power through tasks in your browser, you can step up and speed up your capabilities even more by grabbing some smart Chrome extensions. The Google Art Project add-on comes courtesy of the Google Cultural Institute, the Google arm that has been working with a number of art and cultural institutions over the past few years to help digitize offline exhibits — this includes documenting the history of cinema, the fall of the Iron Curtain, and more.If you spend your day using Chrome like I do, you’ve probably become a little tired of the dull pages that open when you click on the “New Tab” button. These add-ons add more functionality to Chrome for Windows and Chromebook users alike, enabling you to quickly save items to Google Drive, clip articles, or keep tabs on all your social media shares.

I made a comment to her about all her gadgets, and she sighed deeply and said, “Why can’t everything just be on all the gadgets, all the time?” A totally synchronized life is what we were promised when this idea of the “cloud” came along. As Chrome is a Google invention, and Google has access to the vast majority of the collected artworks of humankind, there’s a solution: install a Chrome extension that replaces the plain white of every new tab opened with famous (and not so famous) works of art. Sometimes the page is functional in the sense that you can always use it, like to display news or the weather, but sometimes some people choose to leave it blank because they don’t know what to fill it with. When we delete emails, they’re gone across all devices, and we can access webmail accounts from just about any machine, just about anywhere in the world. Don’t worry about losing your access to your frequently visited sites either, they’re just a click away using the icon in the bottom right hand corner.

If you’ve gone a step further and enabled services like Google Docs, you can store documents, spreadsheets, photos and videos in the cloud and open them on any computer. This is similar to what Google did for its Earth View extension, although in this case instead of viewing satellite imagery, we can enjoy some famous paintings right in our browser instead. In my brief time with it, I’ve seen Seaweed Gatherer by Paul Serusier, The Canal Morning Effect by Richard Buckner Gruelle and The Grand Canal, Venice, with the Palazzo Bembo by Francesco Guardi.

For example, if you see an event online you want to attend, just highlight the text and right-click—you’ll then get a popup to add it straight to your Google Calendar. It’s a fun extension and if you want something pretty to look at instead of a blank white space, then head on over to the Chrome Web Store to get your hands on it free of charge and save yourself a couple of trips to the museum in the process! Continuity lets you share information like directions, browser windows and email drafts on multiple devices, as long as all those devices are from Apple and are running the latest software. Side columns, blinking ads, “Read this next!” suggestions—it’s enough to make you go mad, especially when you’re trying to focus on getting something done. While other extensions (like Readability) do the same, this extension adds in the ability to mark up and highlight the article for easy saving to Evernote.

If your tab crashes, Lazarus will reload all the text that was on the page, which can be a huge time saver for filling out an application or online survey. Using the Handoff feature, you can also use your phone’s cellular connection to make and receive calls on your Mac, and you can send and respond to text messages on any of your iOS devices. Google also offers an extension for Chrome called Chrome to Phone (not the same as an older extension called Chrome to Mobile, which has apparently been disabled) that will let you send links to web pages, phone numbers or directions from the browser to your phone with one click. The company makes desktop software called BlackBerry Blend that loads messages, emails, photos and files from newer BlackBerry phones onto your Mac, PC or tablet — including iPads.

As we collect more devices and add more forms of communication to our lives, it doesn’t make sense to be able to get text messages only on a phone and to send files or browse the web only on a computer.

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