What percentage of your workday do you spend using an internet browser? 50 percent? 70 percent? More? Internet procrastination is a serious threat, but especially if you use web apps like Google Docs or Office365, your browser might also be the only way for you to get many things done. Luckily, there are a broad range of add-ons to help you work faster. Here are some of my favorites.
It should be noted that I work in the add-on friendly Google Chrome. Depending on which browser you prefer, these additions may be called extensions, plug-ins or add-ons. Regardless of what they might be called, these applications function the same when attached to Safari, Firefox or Chrome. Internet Explorer is much less hospitable, and does not support many of my favorite add-ons. Sorry.
For anyone who has ever forgotten a username/password, LastPass is here for you. Built local encryption that would make James Bond proud, this password manager can store all of your personal information in a format much more secure than that sticky note you’ve got on your monitor. Log in, and LastPass automatically detects any web forms and fills them for you. I even trust it with my billing address and credit card information. Imagine how much time you would save if you never had to type another password.
The Great Suspender
Ignore the conventional wisdom of app and add-on selection. In this extremely rare case an ugly icon does not mean a bad application. I am not even sure what the thumbnail is supposed to represent — a wapper-jawed electrical socket, perhaps? The app itself will save you huge chunks of memory by putting some or all of your open browser tabs in a suspended state, allowing you to keep your place without chewing up your RAM. If you work with a lot of tabs open simultaneously, this app is a must.
My love for Evernote is already a matter of public record. Their add-on is designed as a capture tool, allowing you to save webpages to be reviewed later, offline if needed. This extension only does one thing, but it does its one thing extremely well. The Evernote webclipper is great for collecting receipts and recipes alike.
ReadItLater, a great concept hampered by ugly design and some bugs, has been reborn as Pocket. The idea is simple: save things you want to read later in one place so when you have some time to kill, waiting in line for instance, you can find all those killer articles and posts. Pocket can help you save time by giving you an outlet for the cool stuff you find online so you aren’t tempted to break concentration and explore them right away. You might see some crossover with Evernote’s webclipper, but I use Pocket exclusively for things that I want to read later and Evernote for reference material.
If you do even the most basic web design, you will find this digital ruler to be very helpful. Measure the pixel width and height of any elements on a webpage without leaving the window or launching the “Inspect Element” feature.
What add-ons, extensions or plugins help you save time?
by Ray Deck