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These 10 Chrome Extensions Will Brighten Up Your Day Every Time You Open A “New Tab” Page

These 10 Chrome Extensions Will Brighten Up Your Day Every Time You Open A “New Tab” Page

Check out these Google Chrome extensions to motivate, inspire, and create functional and stunning visual homepages, each time you open a new tab.

1. MOMENTUM

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    Momentum greets you like artificial intelligence straight out of the movie “Her.” It is personalized to your time zone, local weather and name, and lets you set a focus for the day. When you start your day and start up Chrome, you are greeted with this as your first screen, giving you a moment to reflect before you dive into your workday. Beautiful images, flat design, and a motivational quote to get you moving. It also has a search feature so you can browse right from there. A breath of fresh air!

    2. CURRENTLY 

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      With a flat design you can customize to your liking with background and font color, this gives you a window on the weather where you are, the date, and a countdown clock. Keep it simple and minimal.

      3. DAYBOARD

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        Start your day off with a productive bang. Create a to-do-list of five items when you open Chrome. Every time you open a new tab, it reminds you to complete your daily tasks. The next day, it will carry over yesterday’s tasks in case you did not complete them all. It’s like a gentle reminder, keeping you on task when you get lost in browsing the internet aimlessly. It saves a list of your completed tasks, so you can remember when you completed something. Pure genius.

        4. DREAM AFAR

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          Take a vacation to an exotic destination from the comfort of your laptop. This extension shows a new destination daily, and is perfect for the armchair traveler, carried away by an image. Like Momentum, it adds in weather and time for your location, and a list of your top sites. Makes you want to keep opening tabs to travel around the world!

          5. GOOGLE MAPS EARTH VIEW 

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            To get some true perspective on how small your problems really are each time you open up a new tab, add the Google Earth View extension to get a view from atop a Satellite. It randomly opens a new image with each tab, and lets you see the Earth like no travel excursion ever will. A floating sidebar lets you share the image to social media, and it tells you where you in the world you are, to the bottom right. The image above is from Khour va Biabanak County, Iran(Google). 

            6. PINTEREST TAB

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              This one let’s you pick a category to get inspired by each day. When you select one topic, and then hit “start my day,” It picks an image from that category that you are interested in. What a fun way to let Pinterest spark your interest and to show you things you may not search for on your own. It also links to your calendar, so you can double check what your day has in store for you without leaving the page.

              7. IOS 7 NEW TAB

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                If you are an Apple iOS 7 user (and lover), why not have your browser show up in the same style? With flat design, icons, and backgrounds, have your big screen look like your small iPhone screen. You can edit from a group of backgrounds, and add the apps that you want to view. It automatically brings up popular apps, which you may or may not already use. It even gives you the option to upload your icons and customize the look even further. Keep your platforms looking and feeling the same universally.

                8. CARD BOARD

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                  Card Board is a Google specific new tab page that you get to customize. You can see your recent downloads, all your apps, or do a Google search straight from the page. It does not allow you to customize the colors or theme, and from a design perspective, is a bit lacking, but it’s still in the beta phase. Be one of the first to check it out.

                  9. AWESOME

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                    Awesome lets you customize widgets, much like the Apple iOS dashboard on your laptop does. You can add popular site widgets, and search right from the tab page. The ability to upload your own image, or choose from any background color let you make it feel like home. Get everything you need all in one place. How … awesome!

                    10. HOME

                    HOME

                      Get everything in one place with Home. You can create notes, get e-mail and feed reader notifications, and see all your favorite sites like app badges in one place. You can select your own background, yet the default wood panel background feels cozy and inviting. Tailor it to your e-mail account to get your e-mail notifications. No need to switch back and forth between tabs when you can get it all here at HOME.

                      Featured photo credit: multitasking man using tablet, laptop and cellphone connecting wifi via shutterstock.com

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                      Bridget Baker

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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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