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I Wish I Knew These 15 Google Chrome Extensions Earlier

I Wish I Knew These 15 Google Chrome Extensions Earlier

Google Chrome is one of the big three browsers out there along with Internet Explorer and Firefox. It’s very popular but many people don’t know about the kinds of awesome things you can do with Chrome with just a few clicks. Most people already know about the usual stuff like weather extensions so we won’t cover those. Here are a bunch of awesome Google Chrome extensions you should check out.

1. Google Hangouts

Google Chrome extensions

    Getting the Google Hangouts extension is literally the only way to get Hangouts on your computer without leaving a browser tab open to Gmail or Google+. Most people who have Android devices have a Google account and, thus, already have a Hangouts account they can use whenever they need it. It’s a great replacement for Facebook Messenger or Skype. All you need is a Google account to get started and the extension is free!

    2. LastPass

    Google Chrome extensions

      LastPass is what is called a password manager. What that means is that it will keep track of all of your username and passwords for your various sites. Now that we’re in the digital age, we all have more and more online accounts to keep track of. LastPass does all that for you and this extension allows it to work on Google Chrome. It’s secure so others won’t be able to get your password and it’s free to use.

      3. Pocket

      google chrome extensions

        Pocket is a fun service that is kind of like bookmarks. Whenever you run into a site, video, etc that you would like to save for later, you can use this extension to put it in your Pocket to bring up whenever you may need it. There are also apps for Android and iOS so you can save things to your Pocket from anywhere and then access them again from anywhere. It’s incredibly useful for pretty much any web surfer.

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        4. PushBullet

        google chrome extension

          PushBullet is a Chrome extension with a lot of practical uses. It syncs your clipboard from your mobile devices to your computer and back again. That means you can copy and paste pretty much anything and anywhere. You can also view any notifications you get on your mobile devices on your computer which is nice because that means you don’t have to pick up your phone all the time to see what the notification is. In its most recent update, it’s also added the ability to return text messages. If you want better mobile-to-computer integration, this is a good place to start.

          5. Lazarus

          google chrome extension

            We’ve all been in a situation where Lazarus could be helpful. You just did a big forum post or ranted on your Facebook page. Maybe you were filling out a job application online. Then you accidentally hit the back button or the internet crapped out on your. All that stuff you just wrote is gone forever, right? If you have Lazarus that’ll never happen to you again. Lazarus saves the stuff you’re typing out on various web forms on the internet so you can recover it quickly if you lose connection. I have been using this for years and it has saved even a couple of blog posts I’ve written for this very site when I accidentally hit “back” instead of switching a tab.

            6. Ghostery

            google chrome extension

              Ever since the Edward Snowden thing people have been more cautious about their internet security. With Ghostery, you can very easily see which trackers each website you go to is using. When sites display ads and all that stuff, many of them have trackers (to let people know you’ve been there). However, some trackers go a little too far and get a little too much information. With Ghostery, you can identify trackers, stop them, and see exactly what is tracking your movements across the web.

              7. Hover Zoom

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              Google Chrome extensions

                Hover Zoom is a Chrome extension that essentially blows up thumbnails so you can see them more clearly. If you browse on Reddit a lot, this is a must have Chrome extension. However, pretty much any web surfer can get a use out of this. A lot of the internet is shown as thumbnails and you have to clean on the thumbnails to enter the site and see the full size. With this extension, all you have to do is hover your mouse over it and the thumbnail will be shown in full size for you.

                8. Evernote Web Clipper

                google chrome extensions

                  Sometimes you may not want to save an entire web page. You may just want to save a piece of it for later use. If you use Evernote (and you really should be, it’s great), then you can pick up the Evernote Web Clipper. Using this tool, you can select any portion of a webpage, clip it, and store it to your Evernote.

                  9. TabCloud

                  TabCloud is a productivity tool that lets you manage your tabs. This may not seem like a big thing but most people surf many, many websites. Using a tool like this, you can manage your tabs and browse more efficiently. For instance, you can create a tab group called “Social Media” and put your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, etc in it. Then you open that tab group and all those websites will open for you so that you can browse them all. It’s great if you browse a ton at the same websites every day.

                  10. Todoist

                  google chrome extensions

                    Todoist is a Chrome extension that helps you plan out your day. You’ll have to sign up for an account first but it’s pretty simple and you can sign in with Google+ if you use that service. Once you’re all logged in and ready to go, you can put tasks in Todoist that you have to do. It can be anything. You can put that you need to go to the grocery store, your work tasks, your home chores, and everything in between. There are also Android and iOS apps available so you can sync your to-do list across all of your devices.

                    11. Social Fixer for Facebook

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                    google chrome extensions

                      Facebook has been on its “throw spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks” method for creating new features for a long time. It’s obnoxious and browsing Facebook isn’t as fun as it used to be. Thanks to Social Fixer, that can be fixed. Using this extension you can browse Facebook in a manner that makes sense to you. You can apply themes to Facebook, hide posts you’ve already seen (because they keep popping up days later if anyone so much as sneezes on it), and do all sorts of other things. If you don’t use Facebook often, this probably isn’t for you but the avid Facebook users will love this.

                      12. Hola Better Internet

                      google chrome extensions

                        This one is a little niche when it comes to use-cases but it can be a lifesaver (figuratively). What it does is allow you to go sites that are typically blocked by a regional firewall. For instance, Netflix isn’t available everywhere in the world. Using Hola Better Internet, you can get around that limitation and watch it anyway. It’s easy to use but it may be a bit frustrating to get it to work right sometimes. Nevertheless, if you’re somewhere and an internet service isn’t available to you, give this a shot.

                        13. Wolfram Alpha (Official)

                        google chrome extensions

                          Wolfram Alpha is an amazing service that can do a lot of things for you. With this Chrome extension, you’ll have unfettered access to the knowledge base of Wolfram Alpha. Once you install it into Chrome, you just type a = into the address bar and hit tab. Then you’re free to search through Wolfram Alpha, ask it to solve problems for you, or all sorts of other stuff. If you’re in school (any kind of school), you’ll be doing yourself a favor by putting this on your computer.

                          14. Momentum

                          google chrome extensions

                            Momentum is what is known as a “start screen replacement” extension. That means you’re going to see it first thing whenever you open your browser. The stock Chrome start screen isn’t terrible but Momentum is way, way better. You can customize it to your tastes, create to-do lists, and they put a quote up every day to inspire you. The images are large, gorgeous, and Momentum is able to discern what time of day it is. That means when it’s night time, it’ll show you darker, night time images. It’s quite nice and worth a shot.

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                            15. Honey

                            google chrome extensions

                              Last up is a Chrome extension called Honey and it’s like having a little coupon book in your pocket. When you go to sites where you can buy things, Honey will browse the site and see if there are any special offers, deals, or discounts you can take advantage of. Anyone who buys things online should have this installed because you never know what kind of awesome deals you may be missing by not having it!

                               

                              Google Chrome extensions have really come into their own over the last few years. Thanks to Google promoting their own ChromeOS, we can expect extensions to continue getting a lot better and more useful. With these tools, you can start getting the most out of Chrome!

                              Featured photo credit: Google Chrome Web Store via chrome.google.com

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                              Joseph Hindy

                              A writer, editor, and YouTuber who likes to share about technology and lifestyle tips.

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                              Last Updated on July 29, 2020

                              19 Best Mac Apps for Productivity You Need in 2020

                              19 Best Mac Apps for Productivity You Need in 2020

                              Whether you use your Mac for work or just for your personal projects, you’ve likely found yourself wondering how to improve your productivity. There are only so many hours in a day, and so much mental stamina you can muster before you run out.

                              There are dozens of tricks you can use to improve your own productivity and outlook, but if you’re looking for a more objective, comprehensive fix, the best thing to do is equip your Mac with productivity apps designed to help you do more in less time.

                              This Lifehack-exclusive list has some of the best productivity apps to help you feel less tired, improve your energy, and ultimately help you get more done every day:

                              1. Todoist

                                Available for all iOS devices, Todoist is a note-taking and organization app that can keep you on top of all your projects—both personal and professional.

                                Its best features are all free to use, including browser extensions, task creation, and interactive boards you can use to organize all your notes.

                                If you want to pay the optional $29 yearly fee, you can get even more advanced features like backups and automatic reminders. Even with the free version, you’ll stay far more organized.

                                Download: Todoist

                                2. 1Password

                                  You may not realize it, but you probably spend a ton of time recalling your passwords, especially if and when you forget one to an app you use on a regular basis.

                                  1Password is an app for Mac that saves and remembers all your passwords for you in one place, so you can access all your favorite sites with a single click.

                                  You’ll save time and keep all your accounts secure simultaneously. A personal plan is $2.99 per month.

                                  Download: 1Password

                                  3. Bear

                                    Bear is a unique kind of note-taking app designed to make it easier for Mac users to jot down notes on the go. With it, you can create to-do lists, give yourself reminders, and outline concepts for future brainstorming sessions.

                                    It comes with many different inline styles so you can customize your notes to your personal preferences, and remember the context in which you wrote them. The core version is free, with a $14.99 per year version available as well.

                                    Download: Bear

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                                    4. Hazel

                                      Hazel by noodlesoft is an automated organization tool designed for Mac that will help you automatically organize your files based on any custom rules you want to create.

                                      For example, you can set it to move untouched items from one folder into another folder labeled “action items” if they haven’t been addressed within a week. It can save you hours of organization over the course of a few weeks. A single license is a flat $32.

                                      Download: noodlesoft

                                      5. Alfred

                                        Alfred is an all-in-one app designed to save you time with Mac shortcuts and convenient custom actions. You can use it in a variety of ways.

                                        For example, you can access Alfred’s clipboard memory so you don’t copy and paste the same material over and over, or set up custom workflows to automate some of your most repetitive tasks.

                                        It’s a paid app, with multiple price points based on the features you desire.

                                        Download: Alfred

                                        6. TextExpander

                                          TextExpander does exactly what the name suggests; it allows you to type a short snippet of text, and expand that text automatically.

                                          For example, you can create a custom expansion that allows you to conjure a full paragraph you type repeatedly by simply typing a unique abbreviation. Once you get used to your custom combinations, you’ll spare your fingers from typing thousands of words.

                                          An individual account is $3.33 per month.

                                          Download: TextExpander

                                          7. Backblaze

                                            If you’ve ever experienced a crash, or theft of your Mac, you know how much time a system restore can cost you. You’ll spend hours replacing the files you lost, and lose thousands of files that are irreplaceable.

                                            Backblaze is an automated, inexpensive way to back up your entire Mac for just $5 a month.

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                                            Download: Backblaze

                                            8. Keyboard Maestro

                                              Keyboard Maestro is an older app that still has the power to make your life easier. With it, you can automate any number of tasks based on a certain trigger (such as a hotkey combination, or an event like connecting to a wireless network). A single license only costs $36.

                                              Download: Keyboard Maestro

                                              9. Snagit

                                                There are many applications for a good screen-capture app, whether you’re trying to illustrate a tech problem you have or just want to make an interesting meme. Snagit makes it easy, with built-in editing for both still images and video. A single license covers two machines, and costs $49.95.

                                                Download: TechSmith/Snagit

                                                10. Bartender

                                                  Bartender is the cleverly-named app that helps you clean up and organize all your menu bar icons. You can also access them quickly with keyboard shortcuts.

                                                  If you’re like most Mac users, those icons get cluttered quickly and stop you from working efficiently. It’s free to try for 4 weeks, after which you’ll need a $15 license.

                                                  Download: Bartender

                                                  11. Otter

                                                  Otter is the Mac app for the note taker who hates typing. It’s an intelligent voice-recognition system and note-taking app that will help you transcribe your conversations, keep notes during meetings, and even take contextual notes to yourself in your own time.

                                                  Best of all, it’s free to get started!

                                                  Download: Otter

                                                  12. Flux

                                                    Do you often find yourself feeling tired throughout the day, or feeling unable to get to sleep after a day of staring at your computer? That could be because of the unnatural blue light that radiates from your Mac.

                                                    Flux naturally adapts your display to emit light that matches the time of day, so you can sleep better and feel less tired. It’s also free!

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                                                    Download: Flux

                                                    13. PDFpen

                                                    If you deal with PDFs on a regular basis, you probably find yourself wishing for some kind of tool that can let you mark up those PDFs however you want. Without a dedicated app like PDFpen, this can be difficult.

                                                    PDFpen lets you edit PDFs in almost any conceivable way, giving you more power and saving you time. A single license is $74.95.

                                                    Download: Smile Software/PDFpen

                                                    14. OmniFocus

                                                      OmniFocus is all about task management. It has a clean interface that allows you to tag your tasks, schedule events, and even automate certain features.

                                                      It’s one of the most comprehensive solutions on the market, so there’s a bit of a learning curve to get the most out of it.

                                                      A standard license is $39.99, while the pro version is $79.99.

                                                      Download: OmniFocus

                                                      15. Franz

                                                        It’s tiring to switch between dozens of different chat programs like Facebook Messenger, Slack, and WhatsApp, whenever you want to have a conversation with a different contact.

                                                        Franz’s solution is simple; offer access to all these apps in one convenient package. And best of all, it’s completely open source.

                                                        Download: Franz

                                                        16. MindNode

                                                          If you’re the brainstorming type, you need an app like MindNode to help you efficiently organize your thoughts. There are dozens of tools you can use to connect ideas in a mind map, or simply jot down notes for future reference.

                                                          The core app is free, with in-app purchases available.

                                                          Download: MindNode

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                                                          17. Focus

                                                            The internet is a wonderful thing, but it can be awfully distracting. And if you’re like the majority of us, you’ve interrupted work on a project because of some attention-grabbing site or bad online habit. That’s where Focus comes in.

                                                            This app allows you to block the worst offenders with custom time limits and other constraints, so you can focus on the task at hand. A single license is $19.99.

                                                            Download: Focus

                                                            18. CleanMyMac

                                                              Chances are, your Mac isn’t working as fast as it could, thanks to gigabytes of clutter and unnecessary files on your system. CleanMyMac helps you scan your Mac, monitor its health, and ultimately clean it up—so you can handle all your tasks that extra bit faster. A single license is $39.95.

                                                              Download: CleanMyMac

                                                              19. Grammarly

                                                                A spelling error or grammatical mistake can cost you big time. It could be the source of a worse grade on a big paper, or compromise your credibility in the workplace. Thankfully, Grammarly can help you.

                                                                This Mac-integrated writing assistant monitors all your writing and makes live corrections, so you’re alerted to your potential mistakes before they become permanent.

                                                                A free version exists, but the premium version will cost you between $11 and $30 a month, depending on how you pay.

                                                                Download: Grammarly

                                                                The Bottom Line

                                                                These productivity apps should help you squeeze more productive hours out of every day, but they aren’t the only tools you’ll have to help you find success.

                                                                Make the time to learn about and experiment with all the life hacks that can make you more productive. By improving your devices as well as your outlook and focus, you’ll be able to get far more done in a day, and feel better doing it.

                                                                More to Boost Productivity

                                                                Featured photo credit: Patrick Ward via unsplash.com

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