Productivity Hacks

Streamline Your Workday: The 10 Best Chrome Extensions for Productivity

We all have busy work lives. Between meetings, emails, calls, and actual work, our days are jam-packed. Even worse, distractions like social media and random web browsing eat up our precious time. But what if you could take back those lost hours and streamline your workday? With the right chrome extensions, you can optimize your browser and workflows for maximum productivity.

In this post, we’ll explore what chrome extensions are, how they work, and the top 10 plugins for getting things done faster. From AI-powered assistants to distraction blockers, these tools will help you focus, automate repetitive tasks, and generally level up your work game. Let’s dive in!

What Are Chrome Extensions?

Chrome extensions are add-on programs that extend the functionality of Google Chrome. They allow you to customize your browsing experience by adding extra features or modifying existing ones.

Extensions run natively in Chrome, so they're faster and have more permissions than regular websites. They can do things like interact with web pages, manage downloads, alter browser appearance, and more.

You access extensions via the puzzle piece icon in Chrome’s toolbar. Click it to view, add, remove, and manage any extensions you have installed. Most extensions are free, while some offer premium versions for a small fee.

How Do Chrome Extensions Work?

Under the hood, extensions contain JavaScript, HTML, and CSS files that alter Chrome’s default settings and behaviors. Here's a quick rundown of how they work:

  • Manifest file: This JSON file describes the extension's metadata like name, version, permissions, etc. It also specifies which other files are included.
  • Background scripts: These run continuously in the background to modify browser behaviors.
  • Content scripts: These inject code into specific web pages to modify their appearance or function.
  • Options page: Some extensions have custom interfaces for configuring settings.
  • Browser actions: These add buttons and icons to Chrome's toolbar for easy access.
  • Permissions: The manifest file lists special permissions the extension needs to function properly.

Now that you know how extensions work, let’s explore some of the best ones for supercharging your productivity!

1. Momentum - Replace New Tab With a Dashboard

Momentum transforms your boring new tab page into a personalized productivity dashboard. It displays gorgeous photos and includes features like to-do lists, daily quotes, weather updates, and more.

The dashboard is completely customizable so you can include widgets that are most useful to you. Want to jot down quick notes or see your calendar events without opening another tab? No problem.

Momentum really shines with its goal-setting and tracking capabilities. Define your objectives and specify metrics to keep yourself accountable. The dashboard shows your progress each day when you open a new tab, acting as a constant motivation boost.

This extension helps build healthy productivity habits by replacing aimless web surfing with a focused dashboard tailored to your goals. The premium version ($30/year) adds team calendars, more themes, and advanced metrics.

2. Grammarly - Catch Errors and Improve Your Writing

Want to sound more professional and eloquent in your writing? Then Grammarly is for you. This handy extension proofreads your writing and suggests grammar, punctuation, and style improvements on the fly.

It works on everything from emails and social media to Google Docs and MS Word. Just start typing, and Grammarly will underline any issues and explain how to fix them. It even catches plagiarism!

The free version offers basic writing suggestions, while Grammarly Premium ($30/month) adds more advanced corrections like word choice, fluency, tone, and audience adaptation.

For frequent writers, Grammarly is an invaluable tool for writing mistake-free content while learning proper technique. Plus, when your emails and documents are grammatically flawless, you’ll come across as more credible and professional.

3. 1Password - Secure and Share Passwords

Juggling dozens of passwords is frustrating and dangerous. That's where 1Password comes in. This popular password manager lets you create strong, unique passwords for all your accounts and store them securely.

1Password makes logging in seamless by auto-filling your credentials into any website or app. It can also generate new random passwords with one click. All your passwords are locked behind your 1Password master password, protecting your accounts in case your device is lost or hacked.

Beyond personal use, 1Password Business lets teams securely share passwords and sensitive documents company-wide. No more sending passwords over insecure channels like Slack or email. At just $3.99/month for an individual plan, 1Password is an affordable way to level up your password game.

4. Pocket - Save Online Content for Later

Do you constantly find interesting articles and videos but never have time to read them? That's where Pocket shines. It lets you save online content with one click for later viewing.

Pocket removes all distractions like ads and popups and formats content into a clean, readable view. You can tag posts, build reading lists, and view saved content offline.

The premium version ($44.99/year) adds full text search, unlimited tags and highlights, suggested articles based on your interests, and more.

Pocket is perfect for compiling research, saving how-to guides, or building your own personal knowledge library. No more fruitless browsing because you can't remember where you saw that interesting post last week!

5. Todoist - Organize Your Tasks and Projects

ToDoist is a versatile task manager for organizing all your personal and work projects. It offers a wealth of features for planning tasks and goals:

  • Create categorized project plans and subtasks
  • Set recurring due dates and reminders
  • Add notes, attachments, and comments
  • View calendar integrations and activity logs
  • Share tasks and collaborate with teams
  • Access tasks from mobile, desktop, or web

Todoist Business ($5/month/user) provides additional team management and analytics capabilities. With its simple interface, excellent platform support, and range of features, Todoist is one of the most powerful task managers available as a chrome extension. Give it a spin if you need to get organized!

6. Google Keep - Quickly Take Notes and Lists

For fast and simple note taking, Google Keep can't be beat. It lets you quickly jot down thoughts, lists, web clippings, and images accessible from any device.

Keep's strengths are its speed and ease of use. Just click the extension icon to bring up a note compose box anywhere on the web. Format text with headers, colors, checklists, and more. Drag and drop images into notes too.

Keep notes organized with labels and search. Access them via Chrome, mobile apps, or Google even indexes your text so everything is searchable. With the ability to add labels online, Google Keep offers a versatile platform for managing your ideas and tasks.

While not as robust as Evernote, Google Keep is the perfect extension for quickly capturing ideas. And since it's made by Google, your notes seamlessly integrate with their other products like Docs, Calendar, and Gmail.

7. Session Buddy - Save and Organize Browser Sessions

Session Buddy transforms Chrome from a forgetful goldfish into an elephant with perfect memory. It automatically saves your open tabs, windows, and scroll position - and restores them exactly how you left off.

The extension is perfect for resuming interrupted research without losing your place. Have a dozen tabs open for an assignment? Close them and Session Buddy will reopen the entire session with one click.

Power users can create named session profiles for different projects or circumstances. Recently closed sessions are kept in your library for easy access later. Session Buddy even works across multiple devices, letting you seamlessly switch computers.

Overall, this extension removes the frustration of restarting your entire workflow anytime Chrome needs to close. If you regularly juggle multiple projects with myriad tabs, Session Buddy is a must-have.

8. BlockSite - Stay Focused by Blocking Distracting Websites

Let’s be honest - we’ve all fallen down the YouTube rabbit hole when we should be working. BlockSite prevents these distractions by restricting access to your list of time-wasting sites.

BlockSite can block by domain, subdomain, URL path, and more. Whitelist specific pages that are useful even on distracting domains. Set schedules to block sites during certain hours of the day when you need to focus.

Pair BlockSite with website blockers on your phone for complete distraction-free sessions. Your future productive self will thank you for not getting sidetracked by social media and clickbait when you need to concentrate.

9. Supernormal - AI-Powered Meeting Assistant

Tired of wasting time copying meeting notes and transcribing action items after calls? Supernormal is an AI-powered assistant that helps you work smarter.

It uses advanced natural language processing to generate searchable meeting summaries with key details and action items. Supernormal integrates with your calendar for seamless note-taking.

After each call, you’ll get the transcript, concise notes, and action items to share or add to your task manager. You can even ask questions about past meetings and Supernormal will extract the relevant information from its notes.

Boost meeting productivity with Supernormal. The AI summaries let you focus on the discussion instead of scrambling to take notes. It's like having your own assistant!

10. Simple Blocker - Limit Time on Distracting Sites

Similar to BlockSite, Simple Blocker helps curb mindless browsing by limiting time on distracting sites. You can allot yourself a certain time budget for categories like social media, news, shopping, and more.

Once you hit the time limit in a session, Simple Blocker will block those sites for the rest of the day. Time budgets reset daily, weekly, or monthly depending on your preferences.

The extension tracks your usage in a handy dashboard, showing which sites consume all your time. Simple Blocker also has focus mode for completely blocking groups of sites when you need to concentrate.

The Benefits of Streamlining Your Workflows

Whew, that was a lot of extensions! Here are some key benefits to streamlining your workflows with tools like these:

  • Work faster: Automate repetitive tasks and eliminate distractions.
  • Stay focused: Block tempting websites and apps to avoid rabbit holes.
  • Avoid context switching: Quickly resume work instead of reloading tools and tabs.
  • Increase productivity: Optimize workflows to get more done each day.
  • Reduce stress: Use assistants and aids so you can focus on the work itself.

The right extensions act like a team of personal assistants, helping you sail through your day stress-free. Why slog through workflows that can be optimized? Streamline your work for greater productivity and less frustration.

Now it’s your turn - try out some of these handy extensions and take back your time! Let us know which ones become your new favorites. Here's to more productivity and less burnout.

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