We spend so much time online that it’s important to maximize what we get out of it. Being more productive on the internet can help you make time for things you love.
While there are many websites out there that can suck your time, there are also web extensions and programs people have created to help you focus. With them, you can limit the amount of time you waste on social media, quickly find the site you’re looking for, and even improve your writing so you can get a point across fast.
These 13 extensions and apps help you streamline your Chrome browsing and free up your time.
Avoid stupid mistakes in your writing with Grammarly.
Have you ever sent an email and then seconds later realized there’s a typo in it? That’s what Grammarly is for. The extension looks for misspellings and improves the quality of your writing. And it’s not just for Gmail. Grammarly works on social media, too.
Simple Blocker is great if you’re the type of person who gets easily distracted by Facebook or Twitter. This extension allows you to block access to certain domains for a given period of time (from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., for example). It was designed with students in mind, but is really useful for anyone with a penchant for procrastination.
OneTab is great if you find yourself with too many tabs open to keep track of.
OneTab is a lifesaver for anyone who keeps a lot of tabs open. If you begin to feel overwhelmed, OneTab will take them and turn them into a list, organized by date. This also frees up your computer’s memory for other things.
Todoist is one of the most popular tools for making sure you get all your tasks done — and it works across mobile, desktop, tablet … you name it. The Chrome extension lets you manage these straight from your toolbar, and adds functions like being able to save different web pages as individual tasks. It also has Gmail integration, which means that you can push an email directly into your to-do list.
Google Similar Pages helps you find what you want fast.
Google Similar Pages is a quick way to get to the right website. The extension puts a little dropdown that lets you discover similar pages without having to go back to Google and search. This is useful if the site you jumped to wasn’t quite right, or if you are in the midst of doing research.
Timestats is an extension that shows you statistics on how you spend your time on the internet. Once you download it, it can give you a daily or monthly breakdown, tell you what times you are busiest, the total time you spend on the internet, and much more. And don’t worry, you can delete periods of time if you so choose.
Always keep an eye on your inbox with Google Mail Checker.
Google Mail Checker is a no-brainer for anyone who sends and receives email on a daily basis. The extension is wonderful in its simplicity, and shows you how many unread messages are in your inbox without your having to click or tab over and check.
Make sure you always have something to read with Pocket.
Pocket is an easy way to save any article to read later — on your phone, tablet, or computer. If you come across an article — or any website — you don’t have time to read right then, hit the Pocket extension and that article will end up in your Pocket queue. You can access this from any of your devices.
StayFocusd lets you set a specific amount of time you can spend on time-wasting sites, before it blocks them.
StayFocusd takes another approach to help prevent you from wasting time on certain sites, like Facebook. This extension lets you set an amount of time you can spend, and if you go over the limit, it blocks them. And if you are someone who likes a lot of control, you can configure it down to the subdomain level, or block specific types of content on a site.
Block all those annoying pop-up ads with AdBlock Plus.
Adblock Plus is one of the most popular and well-made ad-blocking extensions.
The extension removes annoying things like banner ads and pop-ups from your web experience. That may seem like a slight difference, but visiting some sites that tend to be bogged down, especially with pop-ups, can be liberating. But if you do choose to use it, make sure to “white list” sites you feel don’t have an intrusive ad experience — especially those who make their money on advertising revenue.
AdBlock Plus also works with Safari, Opera, and Firefox if you don’t have Chrome.
Chrome Remote Desktop lets you easily access your other computer.
Chrome Remote Desktop gives you the magical ability to access other computers from your own and vice versa. Left a file at work? Connect via Remote Desk and grab it. It’s also an easy way to share your screen with someone else if there’s a problem.
MightyText lets you text your friends without constantly reaching for your phone.
MightyText does what iMessage has been letting Mac users do for a while: Send texts from a computer to other phones. Like iMessage, the extension gives you a nice notification when you receive a message. Until MightyText, there was no easy way to communicate from your computer to Android phones.
Take your work with you thanks to Chrome to Mobile.
Chrome to Mobile is an easy way to take whatever you’re working on with you when you leave the office. The extension lets you take live web pages and work on the go by replicating your desktop browser experience on your smartphone.
It works offline, too, in case you need to get stuff done in a dead zone.
Additional reporting by Sam Colt.