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6 Google Chrome Productivity Extensions That Help You Get Things Done

6 Google Chrome Productivity Extensions That Help You Get Things Done

It’s amazing out how much market share the Google Chrome browser has snagged given that it has only been on the market for a few years. With the addition of the Google Chrome Web Store, users have a new way to find tools and extensions to make Chrome more enjoyable and useful.

Here are 6 Google Chrome productivity extensions that will help you get things done.

Minimalist for Everything

    There is a vocal set of geeks out there becoming more and more tired of Google’s endless encroachment of their Google experience with Google+. Luckily, there is a nice extension that can help rid the notifications, Google Bar, popups, and much more.

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    You can use Minimalist for Everything to control the look and feel of your Gmail page as well as Google Reader. The biggest thing for me was to completely hide the Google Bar. That gets rid of Google+ notifications which is really handy when you are dealing with your inbox and trying to get things done.

    Send to Kindle

    There are many times during the day that you are working on some mission critical task when all of the sudden, out of habit, you meander to your browser and start searching for, well, anything. Sometimes you find great things to read during this process. Rather than read them now you can use Send To Kindle to send these websites and articles to your Kindle account for later consumption.

    After installing the extension, you simply go to your Kindle account, approve the email that Send To Kindle provides you, and then add your special Kindle email address to the Send To Kindle extension. Then just start sending away. Remember, if you are using the Kindle with 3G there could be costs associated with sending articles (WiFi users, you are free and clear!).

    Scrollbar of Contents

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      If you decide to nix sending long articles to your Kindle with Send To Kindle, then you should at least be able to visually skim the headlines. To do that you can use Scrollbar of Contents.

      This extension allows you to toggle all of the headings of the page that you are on and view them next to your scrollbar in proportion to where they are on the page. You can then click on which heading you want to jump to. This is a handy way to skim a page without having to scroll the entire way down; instead, you can just see all the headings at once as well as where they are on the page.

      LastPass Password Manager

      There isn’t a better way to put yourself at risk than to use the same email address and password combination for all of you sites. One of the main reasons that people don’t make unique and strong passwords is because they are a pain-in-the-neck to keep track of. That’s where LastPass’s Chrome extension comes in.

      LastPass’s extension allows you to have access to all of your stored passwords so that when you are working on the web all you have to remember is one master password to get to them. LastPass is secure and makes handling all your passwords a breeze.

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      StayFocused

        StayFocused

        is an extension that helps you block yourself from accessing sites to keep yourself focused on the task at hand. You can set the maximum time per day that you can visit the sites that you have set to be blocked, the active days and hours that you want the extension to work in, and blocked and allowed sites.

        There is even a “nuclear option” to block the entire web for a set amount of time. Time to get things done.

        Session Buddy

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          Session Buddy

          is a good way to store and launch different websites all at once. Basically you can save the current window that with all of your different tabs into a session, give it a name, and have the ability to launch it later. This is a great way to save time if you have different “modes” or “areas of focus” when it comes to browsing and working online.

          For instance, I now have a session with Google Analytics, Asana, Lifehack’s backend, our project management site, Gmail, and Google Docs. This gives me a one click way to get all the tools ready that I need for our weekly editor meetings.

          Conclusion

          The combination of these 6 Google Chrome productivity extensions can save you a ton of time while you are working on the web. What other extensions for Chrome have helped you get things done?

          More by this author

          CM Smith

          A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

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          Last Updated on February 15, 2019

          7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

          7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

          Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

          Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

          Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

          So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

          Joe’s Goals

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            Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

            Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

            Daytum

              Daytum

              is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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              Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

              Excel or Numbers

                If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

                What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

                Evernote

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                  I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

                  Evernote is free with a premium version available.

                  Access or Bento

                    If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                    Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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                    You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                    Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                    All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                    Conclusion

                    I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                    What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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