The internet is simultaneously the best and worst tool for staying productive.
Whether you're a notorious procrastinator or just looking to block out some unwanted distractions when you need to buckle down and focus, here are the best Chrome extensions for staying productive.
- Block Site
- Be Limitless
- Note Board
- Open Screenshot
- Black Menu
Whether you're already using Todoist across all your devices or are looking for a tool to keep track of ongoing tasks you have each day, the Todoist Chrome extension is a quick and easy way to stay organized and flag interesting or important websites that you want to reference or read later.
With the Chrome extension installed, you simply click the Todoist icon in the toolbar, which pops up the Todoist menu. From there, you're able to add and review tasks for yourself or quickly add an interesting website to your list so you can come back to it later.
If you try out the extension and really enjoy the way it works in Chrome, you'll be happy to know that Todoist features cross-platform compatibility with Android, iOS, OSX, Windows — pretty much everything under the sun — so your tasks and saved websites will be with you always.
If you find you're unable to keep yourself from time-wasting websites like Facebook or YouTube, the Block Site extension allows you to do just that.
You can set it to block specific sites for the entirety of your work day and make it so that any attempt to access said blocked sites redirect you to another site of your choosing. You're also able to block sites based on blocked words or adult content, which makes this extension a great option for parents concerned about what their kids might stumble across — or actively search for — when online.
Block Site includes other features, such as quick access to a context menu for adding sites to your blocked list, the ability to make the extension virtually impossible to uninstall (because kids are crafty and tech-savvy) and can block sites, even when browsing in Incognito Mode.
StayFocusd is the perfect Chrome extension for anyone who struggles with procrastinating by wandering over to notorious time-waster sites such as Facebook, YouTube, Reddit — whatever your procrastination poison happens to be.
It works in a number of ways. If you have a bad habit of sinking hours of valuable study or work time into a website, you can allot yourself a set amount of time for the day for the site. It defaults to 10 minutes, and once you've reached your maximum allotted time for the sites you've added to your restricted list, you are automatically blocked from the site the next time you try to go there.
It's totally customizable, so you can have a list of worst offenders on your block list and turn it on to keep your procrastination in check. Then there's the "Nuclear Option," which allows you to permanently block yourself from a website for a set number of hours. Be forewarned: Once the Nuclear Option is put into motion, it is irreversible.
If you're reading this and thinking "Sure, that might work for a while, but I know me and I'll definitely just change the settings whenever I want," StayFocusd has a feature that requires you to complete a difficult challenge before you're allowed to change the settings. It's seriously tough and requires so much focus that you'll soon realize you're just wasting time in your attempt to waste time. Stop that.
If you ever find yourself overwhelmed by having too many tabs open at once, OneTab is the Chrome extension you've been waiting for.
OneTab lets you condense a whole bunch of tabs all into (you guessed it) one tab. So let's say you're researching something and have a whole bunch of tabs open that you know you'll need to reference. With OneTab enabled, all you have to do is click the OneTab icon and Chrome simultaneously closes all tabs and creates a tab that includes a link to all the tabs you had open. Simply click the link and the tabs reopen for you.
Done with the tab and want to add it back to the list? Just hit that OneTab icon again and all open tabs are thrown back into the OneTab tab and timestamped, so you can go back and find a tab you had open in the morning.
What's more, by condensing so many tabs into just one, it will also boost the overall performance of Chrome by up to 95%, meaning you'll still have access to all the tabs you need without slowing down the entire browser. Total win-win!
The Be Limitless extension transforms new Chrome tabs into dashboards that will help keep you organized and on task.
Be Limitless features a slew of features. You can edit and create site categories, determine what counts as productive uses of your time and what's wasteful, and then track how long you spend on those sites each day. They also include a handy To-Do list in the top-right corner to help keep your days organized, and shortcuts in every new tab to frequently visited sites, compose an email, take down a quick note.
All this is packaged with a rotating collection of awe-inspiring photography and inspiring quotes with options to quickly share on social media. With Be Limitless, a new tab should enhance your productivity and open you up to more opportunities to get stuff done.
Sometimes remembering small snippets of information is made easier by leaving yourself a note. Since many people have several devices they deal with each day, post its and sticky notes are not as viable as they used to be. Note Board allows you to create a board for yourself with virtual sticky notes. You can sync across devices which makes it easier than ever to keep track of every errant thought that pops into your head.
You can adjust the note board to pop up as either a small window, or a full tab in Chrome. Additionally you also have access to several different boards, making it a breeze to separate your notes by their relevancy. With Note Board you can be sure that you never lose a thought when it pops into your head.
Lazarus: Form Recovery
Just about everybody has that ultimately frustrating moment when your browser crashes, or when you lose a form you just finished filling out. Lazarus aims to help you with that problem, by saving everything you type. This means you'll never lose time having to fill out forms that you'd already nearly completed.
Lazarus saves everything you write, and it offers security because of this. You can set a password before any text is restored, and be sure that you aren't trading comfort for security. You can also disable certain sites, and tell the extension how long you want it to save text for.
If part of your work day involves time spent with social media, then Buffer can be a serious boon. It works as a hub for your various social media posts, allowing you to easily schedule out posts in advance.
Buffer allows you to sync your social media accounts to a hub. This way you can schedule out and make posts from one centralized location, saving you time in the long run. This also ensures that your post goes out exactly when you need it to, and not a moment before.
Keeping track of everything you need to do in a need can be pesky, especially if you regularly have a large to-do list. If you want an easy reminder of everything you need to get done, Jot is a great way to do it. It replaces your new tab with a running to-do list that you can easily edit with a click.
To add new items to your list, all you need to do is click and type. When you clear a task you can delete each item with a click and the delete button, or empty the entire list at once. Just be careful if you choose the latter option, if you clear your entire list there isn't a way to recover it.
Momentum aims to help focus you when you open a new tab. It replaces your new tab with a page that is filled with information pertinent to the day. This includes the time, the weather, and even your to-do lists. If you like having a bit of inspiration during your day, Momentum will deliver it with beautiful backgrounds, inspirational quotes and more.
While the free version will do you quite well, the plus version gives you even more options. These include app integration for your to-do lists, notes, a countdown clock, and further customization options of what the Momentum dashboard looks like. With the basic version you can enable widgets, choose the backgrounds, add quotes, and make sure that your to-do list gets handled every day.
Black Menu for Google
Using the Google suite is built into the day for many of us. From checking Gmail over the course of the day, to using Docs for meeting notes, to checking drive times on Google Maps. Black Menu for Google gives you a drop down menu that connects you to the Google Suite of apps.
To use the apps, you'll need to give Black Menu access to your Google Profile. After that though, you're good to go. For folks who are constantly receiving emails, this is a great way to keep in touch with coworkers, without being distracted from whatever you are doing.
What's your favorite extensions for staying on task?
Have any thoughts on the extensions we've listed here, or did we miss one? Let us know in the comments below!