With about 56.1% market share, Google Chrome is the most widely used browser globally and many people are not aware that, just like you can download apps on your mobile devices, you can also install tiny pieces of software known as extensions in your browser to add more functionality as well as to customize your browsing experience. If you are using google chrome on your desktop or laptop, then you have access to more than 190,000 extensions that you can integrate with your chrome browser to make your browsing experience more productive and convenient.
What are Google Chrome Extensions?
Google chrome extensions are tiny pieces of software programs that can be installed into chrome browser to enhance the browser’s functionality. Extensions can add extra functionality to your browser so you can perform a certain task or even get the most out of the websites you visit. These extensions can be accessed via the Chrome Webstore. With thousands of really awesome chrome extensions out there, it is not possible to list them all here. However, I have examined and tested the best and the most talked-about chrome extensions out there, and if you are a small business owner in Nigeria, or someone who wants to get the most out of his/her browsing experience, then here are my recommendations of the best chrome extensions for productivity.
Natural Reader Text to Speech
You have a bunch of interesting articles to read but don’t have the time or the patience to read them? Natural Reader Text to Speech is here for you. This is one of the very few extensions that I didn’t just come across by accident, I intentionally search for a text-to-speech app because I was in dare need of it. I tested several of them but this one stands. For one, it is free to use, though it comes with a premium version which gives you access to more voices, the free version is pretty much good. Most of the text-to-speech extensions have limited features and those that have great features are expensive. But this particular extension has greats features that you can use for free. With this extension, you can listen to web pages, emails, Google Docs and almost anything on the web. You can set the extension to read from the beginning of a text to the end or just start anywhere and read selected text only. What more? If you want to read text from Microsoft Word or pdf files, you just need to simply copy and paste or drag and drop your files to the online reader and have a smooth listening experience.
AdBlock Plus – Remove all ads from any website
This extension needs no introduction because its name already tells you what it does. If you hate ads while surfing the net (just like me), then this extension is for you. Adblock Plus is a free extension that blocks all ads (including video ads) and malicious domains that are known to spread malware. This extension can also disable any website that attempts to track you online. There are numerous ads blocking extensions on the chrome store but this one stands out. Not only does it help you get rid of ads, but it also speeds up your browser, reduces page loading time, decrease memory usage and also reduces your bandwidth consumption.
Mailtrack – Email Tracking for Gmail
Want to know when your emails are opened? Then Mailtrack is exactly what you need. This extension lets you know if the emails you sent has been read or not. It does that by adding a double checkmark to your Gmail so you can easily track your emails and get a read receipt. If you’ve been using WhatsApp for a while now, I’m sure you may already be familiar with the read receipt feature, where you get a double check mark if the recipient has read your message. This is almost exactly how Mailtrack works. A single checkmark indicates that the message has been sent but not opened, while a double checkmark means that the message has been opened. The app has a free and a paid version but the free version is more than enough to meet your needs.
Grammarly – Check and correct grammar and spellings
Grammarly is one of the most popular extensions in the chrome web store. It helps you eliminate grammatical and spelling errors as you write on Gmail, Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter and almost anywhere you find yourself writing online. It automatically underlines grammar, spellings and word choices as you type and offer appropriate suggestions. It has a free and a premium version. The free version offers critical grammar and spells checks, while the premium version offers even more features such as vocabulary enhancement, plagiarism detector and genre-specific writing style.
Dark Reader – Dark mode for every website
If you work with your PC at night, then you know that screen brightness can be a serious problem for your eyes. The Dark Reader is an eye-care extension that automatically applies dark mode on any web page you visit. It inverts bright colours making them high contrast and easy to read at night. The extension is highly customizable. You can adjust brightness, contrast, filters, font settings and many features on the fly. The extension has more than 2 million users and is free to use.
Save to Pocket – Read Later
I have been using save to pocket for the past four years. It is one of the best chrome extensions I’ve come across. It is the easiest and fastest way to capture articles, videos and anything else on the web with just a single click. The good thing about this extension is that it has a mobile app available for both Android and iOS. This means that anything you capture on the web can immediately be accessible on your mobile device and vice versa. The extension saves content in a distraction-free space and removes unnecessary clutter to enhance your reading experience. You can save content in two different ways; by using the pocket icon in your browser toolbar or by right-clicking a link and then chose save to pocket. The mobile app has a text-to-speech feature that you can enable so the app can read articles for you. It has a free and a premium version but you can do a lot with the free version.
Google Dictionary – View Definitions easily while browsing
With the Google Dictionary extension, you can double-click any own in your web browser to see the definition in a small pop-up bubble. The extension is also capable of storing a history of the words you have looked up so you will be able to access and practice them later. Using this extension, you don’t have to open a new table to check for definitions any longer, all you need to do is just to double-click on a word and the meaning of the word will appear in a small pop-up.
Awesome Screenshot – Screen Video Recorder
Awesome screenshot makes it extremely easy to capture and annotate your screen. Want to take a short video or screenshot a web page? Awesome screenshot and video recorder help you do exactly that. With this extension, you can capture all or part of any web page, make a video of any screen, add comments and annotations, blur sensitive parts and share with just a single click. Not only is it useful for capturing web pages, but you can also use the extension to capture your desktop or any running application on your computer. It is the highest-rated screen capture and image annotation tool in the chrome web store. Screenshots are saved as high-resolution PNG while videos are saved as WebM and MP4.
Momentum – ToDo, Weather and Inspirational quotes
Tired of the usual boring chrome new tab? Getting distracted anytime you are browsing the web? Momentum replaces your new tab with a highly customized dashboard that features a todo app/task manager, weather widget and inspirational quotes. It is one of the best chrome extensions for productivity I’ve come across online. If you set a task to accomplish, momentum will keep reminding you any time you open a new tab. This is especially useful because sometimes, we as humans tend to forget things and having something to keep reminding us is critical. With momentum, you can eliminate unnecessary distraction and get things done by setting a daily goal and keep track of task with a todo list.
LastPass – free Password Manager
Keeping track of every password you created online is cumbersome, worse still is using the same password for every account, this can make your account vulnerable to hackers. LastPass is an award-winning password manager that saves your password and gives you a secure password from every computer and mobile device. With LastPass, you only need to remember just one password – which is your LastPass master password. Any other password and username are saved securely to LastPass. What more? The extension will auto-login to your favourite sites and sync your password across your devices and just everywhere you need them. The extension can also generate a strong password and save it to your vault so you don’t have to remember it.
Is there anything task you want to achieve with Google Chrome but don’t know which extension to use? talk to me or write it in the comment section, I’ll give you recommendations.