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25 Best Google Chrome Extensions to Change Your Internet Experience

25 Best Google Chrome Extensions to Change Your Internet Experience

I am, by no means, a Google fan boy–I have a Samsung laptop and an iPhone (that, for some odd reason, asks me if it should trust the laptop every time I plug it in). Although I’ll never be able to justify dropping anywhere near four digits on Glass, Chrome has been my browser of choice for years now. That’s because Firefox reminds me too much of Netscape Navigator, Safari sucks, Opera is sluggish, and WTF is Internet Explorer?!?

If you’ve never tried Chrome, it’s fast, sleek, and searching on the Omnibar is so easy that once you go Chrome, you’ll never go home (or roam). Here are the best Google Chrome extensions; the ones that will change the way you browse the internet.

1. Search by Image

With all the fancy gadgets and software, people forget that web search is what Google specializes in. This unique extension increases the effectiveness of your search bar by incorporating Google Goggles. No longer do you need to waste time typing–just drag a picture into the search bar and experience the future of the Internet.

 

search by image Chrome Lifehack Versability
    This extension adds this camera button to all Google search bars in Chrome

    2. Surf

    Torrents are necessary for security and research. Thanks to the NSA monitoring, its become one of the most secure digital file transfer methods. This BitTorrent extension allows you to search and download educational torrents from across the web all within your Chrome Browser. This means you don’t need a torrent program, although I always keep a couple handy, just in case, because you just never know who will try to impede on your educational tools.

    Just click the button, ignore the ads that always come with torrent browsers, and you’ll be well on your way to Tortuga. Be sure to pair this with PeerBlock and other encryption and anonymizing tools to protect your educational research from being leaked.

    Surf Chrome Extension Lifehack Versability
      Torrents are a great research tool…I hear they have videos and music and video games to enhance your presentations…

      3. Cloudy

      No matter what anyone tells you, it’s a good idea to get your head into the clouds. Cloudy is a great Chrome extension for Gmail users to add files via any cloud service (Dropbox, Evernote, Instagram, etc). Sending attachments just got a whole lot easier.

      Cloudy Chrome Lifehack Versability
        Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs

        4.  TooManyTabs

        Power-users are aware of the browser’s biggest drawback–tabbed browsing eats up your computer’s memory. You’ll notice it when you’re connecting to your preferred game server and the video you’re processing starts to stutter. Shutting down Chrome used to be the only way to resolve this. TooManyTabs gives you the power to tackles this issue by suspending unused tabs, or allowing you to organize, label, delete, and so much more.

        toomanytabs-chrome lifehack Versability
          Now’s a good time to concentrate on Auschwitz because Tab is too commercial…
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          5. Chrome Remote Desktop

          Windows has a few remote desktop sharing services available, but most of them have been integrated into other services or only work on other Windows machines. Google’s Chrome Remote Desktop is a quick and easy way to access any device from your Chrome browser. It’s great for troubleshooting friends, colleagues, family members, or whoever else you know who still thinks Internet Explorer is a real browser.

          chrome-remote-desktop lifehack Versability
            Let me connect you to someone with a PhD in India making a fraction my salary so you can talk down to him instead…

            6. Text Mode

            Tired of flashy web pages burning your retinas with overly bright pictures, pre-loading videos, and all the other overlapping garbage? Use Text Mode to browse the worldwide web in text-only mode. It comes in extra handy if you crack, track, and warez.

            Text Mode Chrome Lifehack Versability
              Censor the Internet the way you see fit…

              7. Hover Zoom

              You can’t see enough detail in thumbnails, but some sites make enlarging them such a pain. This handy app shows the full size pics behind thumbnails on the most popular image sites (Facebook included) just by hovering your mouse over them. Now you can stop squinting to see whether or not that guy has his hand on your girlfriend.

               

              Hover Zoom Chrome Lifehack Versability
                Do you have this in a share size? Do I get a discount if I buy 2?

                8. Chime

                Get the features of your phone on your desktop, with desktop notifications for Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Foursquare, and more. Never be late to the party or miss a message again with Chime. It’s a great tool for those who love being in all the loops without having to get all loopy.

                Chime Chrome Lifehack Versability
                  The Internet Is People!!! It’s PEOPLE!!!

                  9. RSS Feed Reader

                  This is my RSS feed reader. It’s basic and to the point with no frills. As opposed to just having normal bookmarks (which you’ll also still have), this app is basically like bookmarking the site and being notified of any updates. It’s a great way for bloggers, news junkies, gossips, paparazzi, students, and business pros to surf efficiently through daily tasks.

                  RSS Feed Reader Chrome Lifehack Versability
                    This isn’t actually a screenshot of my real feed reader, because privacy…

                    10. ScribeFire

                    Serious bloggers know what a pain it can be to keep track of all the logins and formats for every blog you post on. ScribeFire allows you to manage everything from one spot.

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                    scribefire-chrome-lifehack-versability
                      It’s not a bad text editor…

                      11. AdBlock Plus

                      Keep your cookies safely tucked away (from everyone but Google and the government) in your cookie jar with AdBlock Plus. It doesn’t make you anonymous, but it stops those annoying banner ads (although nothing else). Think of this as your backup pistol in an first person shooter game; it’s basically just there for last-case scenarios in which you’re on the ground bleeding to death and fending off zombies while waiting for your partner to revive you. You’ll still want a ray gun or knife.

                       

                      Adblock Plus Chrome Lifehack
                        We interrupt this lifehack for an ad on blocking ads…

                        12. Evernote Web Clipper

                        Evernote is everything we wished Microsoft and IBM were making all this time with their productivity suites. Get the Evernote app to create notes (with time/date/gps stamps), Evernote Hello to import business cards into your contact list, and Web Clipper to save web research into your Evernote account with one-click.

                        Evernote Clipper Chrome Lifehack

                          13. StumbleUpon

                          After millennia of searching, mankind finally has an answer to a question that’s plagued us: what do you get someone who has everything? The answer is StumbleUpon–the Chrome extension gives you that thumbs down button you always wished Facebook has, but for the entirety of the Internet (there’s a thumbs up button too).

                          If you don’t know what StumbleUpon is, imagine the Internet as a radio station; just input your preferences, and discover why so many of us would rather stumble across the web than browse it. My name’s Versability, if you need a friend.

                          StumbleUpon Chrome Lifehack Versability
                            Just click stumble, thumbs a page up or down, and repeat…you’ve never had this much fun online…

                            14. Buffer

                            Social media mavens will love Buffer; it allows you to schedule posts to the Big Three of social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) directly from your browser. Now you can time your thoughts with SEO trends, or to spread your thoughts out over a week and stop stressing. Either way, you’ll be socially interacting on auto-pilot online while actually getting work done IRL. Autobots, FTW!

                            Buffer Chrome Lifehack Versability
                              You wouldn’t believe how long I spent removing any trace of my tabs from this screenshot of my personal Facebook page to show you a button…

                              15. StayFocusd

                              Sometimes, all these shiny websites distracting you from your work is the last thing you need. StayFocusd allows you to temporarily block yourself from accessing certain websites to focus on working. Look at the screenshot–it’s a very simple concept. Get back to work and give us money.

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                              You know you wish you thought of this first. It’s great for those who resolved to stop incessantly checking Facebook, Twitter, play video games, watch movies, yada, yada, yada.

                              stayfocsd_lifehack-versability
                                Raise your hand if you wish your job was to tell people to get to work…

                                16. Lazarus: Form Recovery

                                This little extension autosaves everything you type, so that if your browser crashes after you submit a form, you can recover all of your data! No more panic if you see an error message after 30 minutes of carefully crafting a long form entry.

                                Lazarus chrome lifehack
                                  Hate filling out forms? Fill out this form to tell us why, and someone will get back to you at our earliest convenience…

                                  17. Honey

                                  Honey the movie is a horrible Glitter remake that replaces Mariah Carey’s singing with Jessica Alba’s dancing. Honey the app automatically inputs discount, savings, and coupon codes whenever you shop online (and they’re available). If you shop online, you’ll want Honey; it’s the easiest gold you’ll ever save. I keep singing the Archies in my head, “awww…honey, honey.”

                                  honey chrome lifehack versability
                                    “Not the bees! Not the bees! My eyes!” – Ah Muzan Cab

                                    18. Hola! Unblocker

                                    Love playing games, watching movies, socializing, and accessing other questionable material at work? They may not let you download iTunes, but this great productive Chrome Browser works so much better than Internet Explorer. Now you can add Hola! Unblocker and bypass those corporate firewalls.

                                    #Protip – if you have issues downloading at work, download it at home, and bring it to work on a disk, USB, or any other format you have available. You can also email it to yourself. Sooner or later, you’ll find a way to slip it on your computer.

                                    Hola! Unblocker integrates a VPN proxy directly into your Chrome browser. This unlocks a slew of possibilities, including, as stated on their site “bypassing censorship.” This is a helpful extension for accessing American sites from other countries as well; you don’t really think about how hard it is to access American internet from abroad until you have to do it. When it happens, you’ll be happy you understand VPNs and Proxies.

                                    As a bonus slacker tool, Excel is capable of running video games (Tetris, Sonic the Hedgehog, etc) within spreadsheets. That’s all I’ll say, for now.

                                    honey chrome lifehack versability

                                      19. BugMeNot

                                      Ever wondered how Anonymous stays anonymous online? One way is by creating shared public logins to social media accounts. The BugMeNot Chrome extension will create shared and anonymized logins to a variety of popular posting sites. You’ll never know who’s logging in and posting what, but you’ll still have ultimate control.

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                                      This concept is how YourAnonNews and all the other Anon accounts work (along with a variety of group/shared accounts on Twitter). It’s also a great way to bypass using your Facebook account to login to commenting sites (thus not giving them your personal info).

                                      BugMeNot Lifehack Versability
                                        Go away, son, you bug me…

                                        20. Shareaholic

                                        If you pride yourself on always knowing and sharing the latest memes and other assorted online happenings, Shareaholic is for you. It basically adds all those like buttons for all your favorite sites so you can share anything anywhere in the blink of an eye within your browser. Sharing isn’t a real addiction though; you’re just a gossip.

                                        Shareaholic-Chrome lifehack versability
                                          My name is (state your name), and I’m a sharaholic…

                                          21. HTTPS Everywhere

                                          The Electronic Frontier Foundation and TOR Project have come up with some great projects for the internet, and HTTPS Everywhere is one of those underrated strokes of genius that came from a collaboration of the two. When you connect to the web normally, you connect through HTTP, but this handy extension reroutes everything through the more secure HTTPS instead.

                                          https everywhere chrome lifehack Brian Penny
                                            Security is no joking matter…

                                            22. Translate

                                            Translate is another of Google’s innovative programs I recommend having on every device and browser you own. The ability to translate content comes in handy throughout regular conversation more often than you’d think. It’s also a fun to catch differences by translating phrases back and forth. Knowing other languages is never a bad thing, but skip the expensive Rosetta Stone, and learn with this freebie.

                                            google translate Chrome lifehack
                                              Ich bin ein Berliner…DAS BOOT!!!

                                              23. Bit.ly

                                              Shorter links are useless until they aren’t. Bit.ly makes that easy.

                                              bit.ly.versability.lifehack
                                                It’s not the size that counts; it’s how you use it…

                                                24. View Thru

                                                While Bit.ly shortens URLs, View Thru shows the full length link, so you can see where it leads before clicking it. #ProTip – Most trackers track you by tricking you into clicking a link. Just hover your mouse over a link and see where it really goes.

                                                View Thru Chrome Versability
                                                  #Protip – the easiest way to track someone is through an IP address, and link shorteners are great ways to hide trackers…

                                                  25. Awesome New Tab Page

                                                  Imagine you had your phone’s interface on your desktop. Now imagine yourself having Windows 8 within a browser. Last, imagine downloading an extension that’s all that and a bag of peanuts.

                                                  awesome-new-tab-lifehack versability
                                                    Undo all that privacy and security you just set up…for convenience…

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                                                    Last Updated on October 16, 2019

                                                    11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

                                                    11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

                                                    Automations are key to improving efficiency. Set the system up right from the beginning and you’ll reduce the amount of no-shows and cancellations.

                                                    Whatever your business is, with automations, meeting scheduler apps do more than just streamline appointment setting. They prime your workflow for maximum results.

                                                    Meeting scheduler apps are awesome if you use them right. Use them wrong and you can look like an arrogant elitist.

                                                    In this article, I will share with you 11 great meeting scheduler apps you can start using today to boost your productivity.

                                                    1. ScheduleOnce

                                                      ScheduleOnce is an industry leader and robust solution. Whether you work alone or have a large team, ScheduleOnce can support you.

                                                      ScheduleOnce allows you to create multiple users and multiple calendars. I use one calendar for booking podcast guests with automations set up to prep my guests for our interview. I use another calendar for strategy sessions and coaching calls.

                                                      ScheduleOnce also has embeddable widgets so you can keep the scheduler inside your own website.

                                                      Starting at $7 a month and a 14 day free trial, ScheduleOnce can fit a variety of needs in business.

                                                      Available on Web

                                                      2. Calendly

                                                        Calendly stands out for its clean, easy to use interface. If you like clean design, Calendly might be your choice. It too has robust automations and integrations for individuals and teams alike.

                                                        You can try Calendly free for 14 days. Their basic plan is free while their most robust plan is only $12 a month.

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                                                        Available on Web | Google Chrome Extension

                                                        3. Assistant.to

                                                          For those who use gmail, Assistant.to is a super simple solution.

                                                          From inside an email, you click on the Assistant.to icon and pick times your free. Assistant.to embeds the times directly into the email so the recipient can quickly pick a time that works for them.

                                                          While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of apps like Calendly or ScheduleOnce, Assistant.to is completely free.

                                                          Available on Web

                                                          4. Acuityscheduling

                                                            Acuity is a robust meeting scheduler very similar to ScheduleOnce. It integrates with CRMs, Email Marketing platforms, Analytics tools and accounting software.

                                                            It comes with a 14 day free trial. They have a free solo account but if you want the benefit of the integrations, you’ll start as low as $15 a month and can cost up to $50 a month.

                                                            Available on Web | iOS | Android

                                                            5. Pick

                                                              Built for simplicity, Pick is direct and easy to use. You can create your own url extension like pick.co/yournamehere and it integrates with Google calendar and Office 365.

                                                              At $3 a month, this is a great tool for quick scheduling.

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                                                              Available on Web

                                                              6. X.ai

                                                                For those who are early adopters of AI, this may be the solution for you. X.ai created two AI assistants they call Amy and Andrew Ingram. After setting up your account you simply CC them on your emails with the person you’re wanting to schedule and the AI assistants will email your guests from there until your appointment is set.

                                                                This type of scheduler feels more personal because of the dialogue. There are stories on their site of people thinking Amy and Andrew are real people. X.ai integrates with Google, Office 365 and Outlook.

                                                                Starting at $29 a month for an Individual account and $39 a month per user for a Team account, Amy and Andrew are ready to schedule meetings for you. Want to try it out first? They do have a free trial.

                                                                Available on Web

                                                                7. YouCanBook.me

                                                                  is another competitive solution for scheduling meetings online. You can manage the calendars of your entire team, configure booking forms, and integrate with your calendar.

                                                                  They have a free account branded with their company name or you can have some control over your branding and appearance at $10 a month for all their features. Either way, this company is worth a look.

                                                                  Available on Web

                                                                  8. Doodle

                                                                    Doodle is unique in the space of meeting schedulers because it helps groups of people find a time to meet that works for everyone.

                                                                    It integrates with your calendar and allows you to send a poll to all invited. Once people vote on the poll you can see which time works best for everyone.

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                                                                    You can also run polls for food preferences if you’re scheduling a lunch meeting or a section of town if people are coming from all over.

                                                                    While there is a free account, you’ll unlock it’s potential starting at $39 per year.

                                                                    Available on Web | iOS | Android

                                                                    9. WhenAvailable

                                                                      WhenAvailable is another scheduler that works for groups of people. You can use it to schedule a pickup game of basketball, decide on your next book club or book your family reunion.

                                                                      Their free account allows up to 20 guests, unlimited events and one contact group. For $15 a year you unlock all the goodies including reminders and chat messages.

                                                                      Available on Web

                                                                      10. Rally

                                                                        Like Doodle and WhenAvailable, Rallly is helpful for scheduling meetings and events with multiple people involved. You create a poll and everyone votes. It’s quick and easy.

                                                                        Unlike Doodle, it doesn’t have as many features, but it’s entirely free.

                                                                        Available on Web

                                                                        11. NeedtoMeet

                                                                          Finishing strong, NeedtoMeet is our last app that allows you to schedule meetings or events for multiple people. It has mobile apps, custom urls, easy polling, notifications and commenting.

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                                                                          NeedtoMeet also allows 1:1 Meetings for things like performance reviews for your whole team. You send out the your calendar slots to your team and they can only pick 1 slot, minimizing the amount of emails and scheduling you have to coordinate.

                                                                          While they have a free account, you can unlock all features for only $19 a year.

                                                                          Available on Web

                                                                          Bonus: Don’t Make These Common Mistakes When Using Meeting Schedulers

                                                                          In the excitement of streamlining your scheduling process, it can be easy to forget the feelings of those you’re inviting to meet. I know. I’ve done this.

                                                                          To say “Hey, schedule time on my calendar” feels colder than “Hey, here’s my calendar. To avoid all the back and forth, pick a time that works best for you.”

                                                                          Always make sure to frame your invite with your scheduler app with the benefit to them and why we’re doing it this way rather than the old fashioned, personal way.

                                                                          A little finesse goes a long way. Without it, you risk seeming transactional and cold.

                                                                          Some meeting scheduler widgets you can embed in your site can take a couple seconds to load. If you go this route, make sure there’s text just above the widget that lets your guest know the calendar will appear below and to wait for it to load.

                                                                          If you use an online meeting tool like Zoom, it’s also important to explicitly let them know the meeting will take place on Zoom and include the Zoom link in the email reminder. Many make the mistake of not clarifying where the meeting will actually take place which can create last minute chaos at the time of the meeting.

                                                                          Should you require special settings, like ethernet, external mics or lighting, let your guests know that on your thank you page and reminder emails so they are prepared for the meeting and you end up with the best meeting possible.

                                                                          With clear communication in your automation, your meeting scheduler tools can almost perform like a virtual assistant for a fraction of the cost, or free, depending on the app you choose.

                                                                          The Bottom Line

                                                                          Meeting scheduler apps are diverse in features and unique in design. Before committing to one and realizing it’s not a fit, I recommend exploring which 3 might best fit you and then doing a trial with each of them at the same time so that you can see how they feel as you use them side by side.

                                                                          Scheduling meetings the old fashioned way can be tedious. Conversely, finding a scheduling app that works seamlessly in the background is heavenly.

                                                                          Like cell phones, meeting scheduler apps are moving from a nice-to-have luxury to must-have necessity in the lives of productive people. As you explore your options, stay true to your brand and the tools that have worked well for you to this point and simply find a meeting scheduler app that plays well with what you have created.

                                                                          Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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