If you’re like most professionals, you have a limited number of hours to work with, and a constantly-lengthening list of tasks to accomplish. There are various habits you can adopt to increase your productivity, such as working from home or exercising on a regular basis.
But for most of us, it’s hard to adopt these habits—either because our work won’t allow for them, or because it requires an excess of self-discipline and motivation that are a bit inaccessible to us.
This is where Chrome productivity extensions can be helpful.
Table of Contents
- What Are Chrome Extensions?
- The Best Chrome Productivity Extensions
- 1. Google Keep.
- 2. Clockify.
- 3. RescueTime.
- 4. Toggl.
- 5. Boomerang.
- 6. Office Online.
- 7. OneNote Web Clipper.
- 8. Roboform.
- 9. LastPass.
- 10. Adblock.
- 11. Text Mode.
- 12. News Feed Eradicator.
- 13. Productivity Owl.
- 14. Calm.
- 15. ClickUp.
- 16. Airstory.
- 17. Session Buddy.
- 18. The Great Suspender.
- 19. Noisli.
- 20. Grammarly.
- 21. Win the Day.
- 22. Todoist.
- 23. StayFocusd.
- 24. Momentum.
- 25. Forest.
- Related posts:
What Are Chrome Extensions?
Chrome extensions are typically simple software programs designed to conveniently integrate into your Chrome web browser. These programs “extend” the functionality of your Chrome browser, giving you access to features that aren’t available by default, or changing your web browsing experience in some way.
There are many types of Chrome extensions available. Some offer a limited version of a bigger, independent software program. Others exist as a standalone option. These extensions range from mere novelties to serious attempts to improve browsing behavior.
Chrome extensions intended to improve productivity usually offer some combination of functionality like tracking time, blocking distractions, managing tasks, and collecting content. There are even time blocking apps!
Chrome extensions are often free or inexpensive, and they’re easy to install, usually requiring a couple of clicks.
The Best Chrome Productivity Extensions
Now, let’s take a look at some of the best Chrome extensions for productivity, and how they work:
1. Google Keep.
First up, there’s Google Keep. Google Keep is a note-taking app, and you have access to it for free, by default. If you use Gmail, it’s an especially helpful tool for staying organized. With it, you can create to-do lists, create notes, define goals, and keep track of tasks. Once integrated into your Chrome web browser, you’ll have an easier time keeping your notes top-of-mind, and you can even pull in information you find on the web into your note-taking process.
Clockify is one of several time tracking Chrome productivity extensions on this list. It allows you to track the time you spend on almost any task, all within your browser. Start and stop project timing whenever you want, and add in extra hours later if you need. It’s especially handy for keeping track of how long you spend on various websites—so you can identify and reduce the influence of particularly distracting options.
RescueTime is another time tracking Chrome productivity extension, granting you the ability to track how much time you spend on every tab and web browser. It’s automatically active when you open the browser, and it’s disabled when you close it. Over time, RescueTime will help you evaluate your productivity as it relates to different sites, with a subjective score for each site.
One more time tracking option for your Chrome browser is Toggl. Like the other time trackers, you can start and stop the timer for various projects or various web pages. Over time, you’ll collect data, generate reports, and figure out exactly where you’re spending the most time (and where you’re wasting it).
Boomerang is a tool designed for Gmail, and its Chrome extension makes it even easier to harness its full range of functionality. With Boomerang, you’ll extend the features available in Gmail by default. Once installed, you’ll be able to set reminders for yourself to follow up with emails that never received a response, you’ll be able to schedule emails for the future, and you can even track whether or not your emails are being opened.
6. Office Online.
If you use Microsoft Office on a regular basis, you need to be using the Office Online Chrome productivity extension. With it, you’ll be able to create, edit, and save files in Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and other programs—all without leaving the Chrome browser. It’s remarkably convenient, and once you’re used to it, it’s going to save you tons of time.
7. OneNote Web Clipper.
You can also use OneNote Web Clipper, a Chrome productivity extension designed to make it easier for you to “clip” websites—in other words, grab web content for later perusal, all within your OneNote notes. This is useful for bookmarking articles or websites to read later, or for grabbing images, PDFs, and videos that you need for a different project. It’s a great way to stay organized.
Roboform is the first of two password managers on this list, and both serve a similar purpose. The general idea is to keep all your passwords in one place, so you only have to remember one password for all the sites you visit on a regular basis. Once logged in, you can use the password manager to recall the login information for all your sites and apps. It’s also a good way to stay more secure, and create and store more complex passwords conveniently.
LastPass is another Chrome extension that will help you manage all your passwords and log into your websites both securely and conveniently. It functions similarly to Roboform, but you may prefer one over the other for aesthetic or functional reasons.
One of the most popular Chrome extensions, Adblock is designed to eliminate advertisements on websites, giving you an ad-free browsing experience. You may not realize it, but you’re bombarded with ads on almost every website you visit, and those ads can be awfully distracting. Adblock helps you focus on the content that matters most.
11. Text Mode.
It’s not just advertisements that can distract us on websites; we’re also easily distracted by images, videos, and other bells and whistles on websites. Text Mode is a Chrome productivity extension that’s designed to simplify the browsing experience. As the name suggests, this extension converts the webpages you visit into pure text, so you can read the content without getting distracted and ultimately work more efficiently.
12. News Feed Eradicator.
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The News Feed Eradicator is a Chrome extension designed specifically for Facebook, so it’s a bit more niche than the other options on this list. Once installed, when you open Facebook, you’ll see inspirational quotes instead of news feed entries. If you find yourself mindlessly opening and browsing Facebook, this is a great way to break your habit.
13. Productivity Owl.
Productivity Owl isn’t about helping you stay up all night; it’s about allowing you a fixed amount of time to spend on a webpage before closing it. This way, if you get lost in a Wikipedia rabbit hole or if you’re caught infinitely scrolling down a social media newsfeed, the Productivity Owl will break you of your distraction after a certain amount of time has elapsed. You can also whitelist websites that aren’t distracting, or ones you need to use regularly.
Whenever you open a new tab in Chrome, by default, you’ll see a blank screen. But with the Calm extension for Chrome, you’ll be able to style your own “new tab.” With it enabled, you’ll be able to customize this new tab with motivational quotes that inspire you to work, weather forecasts, personal notes, and images that motivate you to stay productive. It’s a good exercise in midday mindfulness when you’re switching tabs or tasks.
ClickUp is a Chrome productivity extension that helps you interact with websites in a more productive, streamlined way; you’ll be able to create screenshots, create tasks based on webpages you visit, keep track of your time, save website content, and even attach emails to different tasks.
If you find yourself constantly copying and pasting content from websites, Airstory may be the best Chrome extension for you. With it, you’ll be able to save content from the websites you visit as notes. You can even automatically merge the content you grab with your other work on the subject (i.e., your other notes).
17. Session Buddy.
Session Buddy is designed for people who struggle with tab management. Once enabled, you’ll be able to keep track of your tab switches and get rid of distracting tabs, or tabs that only result in clutter.
18. The Great Suspender.
The Great Suspender serves a similar purpose, allowing you to identify and clear out the tabs you haven’t accessed in a while. It’s an easy way to save on CPU memory and speed up your machine; it’s also a great way to stay organized, especially if you’re the type of person who leaves tabs open for far too long.
Notifications can keep you on task and draw your attention to where it needs to go, but they can also be sources of great distraction. Noisli helps you block noises, including notifications and music from websites, so you can stay focused on your more important work. It also plays consistent, soothing music in the background, helping you to drown out other noise-related distractions in your work environment.
Grammarly is one of the best apps for improving your wording, semantics, spelling, proofreading, and more; it’s designed to automatically provide you with recommendations on how to improve your writing. As a Chrome extension, it’s even better, automatically applying to everything you write—including tasks, comments, and emails.
21. Win the Day.
With Win the Day, you’ll be able to set and keep track of your goals more effectively. Once installed, you can define a goal you want to set, establish a timeline for that goal, and set smaller goals you can achieve along the way. After doing this, you’ll have access to a countdown timer that keeps you mindful as you get closer to achieving those smaller and larger goals.
Todoist is a great task management platform, allowing you to create and manage tasks and to-do lists on the fly. Like with many of the options on this list, the Chrome extension helps you stay productive by giving you access to this functionality while you’re browsing and reading webpages.
StayFocusd is another Chrome extension that helps you determine when you’re wasting time on unproductive sites. With it, you can set a strict time limit for the websites most likely to disrupt your workflow; once you’ve used up your available time, the site will be blocked automatically, preventing you from wasting any more time.
The Momentum Chrome extension allows you to fully customize your new tab screen, giving you a moment of reflection and self-awareness before you attempt to visit a time-wasting site. Design it to ask you about your current goals and to-do items, or include a motivational quote to keep you on task and productive.
Forest is a subtle background application that encourages you to stay on task by allowing you to grow and nurture a digital forest. With it, you’ll slowly grow trees in a digital environment just by staying on task; if you remain productive throughout the day, you can cultivate a full forest of beautiful trees. But if you visit a site from your personalized blacklist, or if you get too distracted, you might kill off those trees and have to start over. It’s not perfect for everyone, but it’s surprisingly motivating.
Now that you have an awesome list of Chrome productivity extensions, are you interested in improving your productivity further? One of the best things you can do is improve your email habits. Chances are, you’re sending and receiving hundreds of emails every day—maybe more—and you’re not writing, reading, sending, or organizing your emails in an optimally productive way. How can you tell for sure what your email habits are like, and how can you improve them?
The answer is with EmailAnalytics. Once integrated with your Gmail account, you’ll get detailed data visuals on your email activity, including your number of sent and received emails, your average email response time, and more.
You can use it to analyze your email performance, and discover the most important areas for improvement in the future. Sign up for a free trial today, and see how it works for yourself!
Jayson is a long-time columnist for Forbes, Entrepreneur, BusinessInsider, Inc.com, and various other major media publications, where he has authored over 1,000 articles since 2012, covering technology, marketing, and entrepreneurship. He keynoted the 2013 MarketingProfs University, and won the “Entrepreneur Blogger of the Year” award in 2015 from the Oxford Center for Entrepreneurs. In 2010, he founded a marketing agency that appeared on the Inc. 5000 before selling it in January of 2019, and he is now the CEO of EmailAnalytics.