The 15 Best Productivity Extensions for Chrome

Recent statistics show that Chrome is solidly in third place in the “browser wars”. Perhaps the main reason for Chrome’s rapid growth over the past four plus years is the Chrome Web Store. The plethora of extensions and apps available for Chrome packaged in an accessible online store has enticed many users to make the switch.

I recently switched back to Chrome specifically for the productivity extensions. There were a few extensions I couldn’t live without and some I recently encountered having a good ol’ time perusing the Web Store. The result is a set of 15 extremely handy productivity extensions for Chrome. So, in some kind of order, here they are…

It’s All About Google

First off, let’s take a look at some useful extensions for Google Apps and services.

Black Menu

Black Menu provides a shortcut interface for almost every Google service and beyond.

Black Menu provides a shortcut interface for almost every Google service and beyond.

This app creates a nice little interface to access pretty much any Google app or service you choose. I use it quickly open Google Drive files while bypassing the website. It’s also really handing for quickly checking your email without loading the full Gmail site. I don’t use Google Calendar, but Black Menu also let’s you check your calendar and tasks as well as quickly add a new event or task.

Google Drive Quick Create

Google Drive Quick Add is a simple extension that does what the title says.

Google Drive Quick Add is a simple extension that does what the title says.

I recently started using Google Drive in a team environment for a project and find it to be an excellent tool for collaboration. Every once in a while I need to start a new Google Doc on the fly and found Google Drive Quick Create, which, just as the title suggests, allows you to quickly create a new document, spreadsheet, presentation, or drawing in Google Drive.

Save to Google Drive

This extension saves a bunch of steps for adding stuff to Google Drive.

This extension saves a bunch of steps for adding stuff to Google Drive.

If you find yourself wanting to save any type of content on the internet to Google Drive, then you will want to look into this extension. I normally use it for PDFs, but it works for links, images, or whole webpages.

Mail Checker Plus for Google Mail

This extension lets you interact with your Gmail without opening the site.

This extension lets you interact with your Gmail without opening the site.

This extension does much more than notify you of incoming Gmail messages. You can also archive, delete, mark as spam, or open the message in a new tab right from the notification window. Probably the best extension I have installed in Chrome.

goo.gl URL Shortener

This handy URL shortener integrates with a ton of services.

This handy URL shortener integrates with a ton of services.

There are tons of URL shorteners out there, but this extension works fine for my purposes. Simply click on the extension and then click copy to get a shortened URL, or, alternatively, a QR code. The best thing about goo.gl URL Shortener is the options for sharing the shortened URL — it integrates almost any service you can think of.

Find, Save, and Share

The next few extensions on the list are all about quickly accessing, storing, and sharing information on the interweb .

 Notifier for Twitter

Notifier for Twitter is a great way to quickly check your timeline or send out a tweet.

Notifier for Twitter is a great way to quickly check your timeline or send out a tweet.

Some need Twitter for their jobs, and hey, even if you are just wasting time on Twitter, you might as well do it efficiently with this nice extension. View your timeline, compose a tweet, or get notified of activity on your Twitter account with Notifier for Twitter. Plus, if you use Pocket’s read it later service and have the Add to Pocket extension installed (see below), you can add articles to your reading list right from the Notifer drop down window.

Clearly

Use Clearly in conjuction with the Evernote Web Clipper extension to add clean-looking articles to Evernote.

Use Clearly in conjunction with Evernote’s web clipper extension to add clean-looking articles to Evernote.

Most people know about Evernote’s web clipping extension, so I didn’t add it to the list. Fewer people seem to know about Clearly, however, which is a great companion to Evernote’s web clipping extension. When you find an article you like, simply click on the Clearly extension and the page reloads in an uncluttered, easily readable interface. If you want to keep the article, click on the Clip to Evernote extension and the article is clipped into Evernote in the modified interface.

EverSearch

Get a quick look at your most recent notes in Evernote or search your database with EverSearch.

Get a quick look at your most recent notes in Evernote or search your database with EverSearch.

I love Evernote, but on my older iMac, it can take a while to load. With EverSearch, I can quickly access my most recent notes and even search my Evernote database to find the note I need and bypass loading the full site or opening the Mac app.

NoteSuite Web Clipper

For Mac users only, this extension saves articles or web pages to NoteSuite.

For Mac users only, this extension saves articles or web pages to NoteSuite.

NoteSuite is a new note taking application for the Mac that is quickly gaining new users. This web clipping extension works nearly identical to its Evernote counterpart.

Pocket

Want to read it later? Send it to Pocket.

Want to read it later? Send it to Pocket.

I encounter a lot content when I am browsing through my Twitter feed, and there is no way I can get to it all right then. So what I like to do is look at my Twitter feed, decide what I may need to read, and send it to Pocket for later consideration. With the Pocket extension for Chrome, its a breeze to get content into Pocket.

Draft

This extension is more than just a way to quickly start a new document in Draft.

This extension is more than just a way to quickly start a new document in Draft.

You can use the draft extension almost any time your cursor is in a text box. I use it for filling in online forms, email, or commenting on posts and blogs. Once your cursor is where you want your text, click the Draft extension and create a new document. When you are done typing, you can choose to send your text back to the text box your cursor is in.

Download to Dropbox

Download content from the internet straight to your Dropbox.

Download content from the internet straight to your Dropbox.

The aptly named Download to Dropbox extension makes it simple to add files of multiple types to Dropbox.

Wunderful Productivity

Last but not least, let’s round out the list with some extensions for the popular task management service Wunderlist. Chances are, if you use an online task management service, there will be a Chrome extension for the service you use. But Wunderlist has so many great extensions, we couldn’t help but cover them.

Add to Wunderlist

Add webpages and more directly to Wunderlist.

Add webpages and more directly to Wunderlist.

The first Wunderlist extension on the list comes straight from the folks at Wunderkinder. Add to Wunderlist allows you to add links to web pages directly to Wunderlist. It also integrates directly with Gmail, Amazon, and other websites so links to add content from those pages appear on the page directly.

Simple Wunderlist Popup

Access your tasks in a practical drop down window.

Access your tasks in a practical drop down window.

Simple Wunderlist Popup is great for quickly accessing the Wunderlist web interface without actually navigating to the site. If you decide you need the full site, there are options to open it in a new tab or window.

WunderlistGmail

This extension puts Wunderlist right in your Gmail.

This extension puts Wunderlist right in your Gmail.

This extension adds a Wunderlist frame on the right side of your Gmail account. Many of us are getting stuff done throughout the day using email, and this app is a great way to integrate email and task management. If having your tasks staring you in the face every time you check your email starts to get annoying, you can always hide the Wunderlist frame and show it again when needed.

Final Words

Well, there you have it. 15 handy productivity extensions for Chrome. Some of these I use daily, others only every once in a while, but they have all been useful for me at one point or another. Hopefully you find at least a couple that can be of help for you!

Now its your turn. What am I missing? What did I include that you use? Let us know in the comments.


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