It was five years ago when I first posted about my favorite Chrome extensions. That seems like ages ago. Some of the extensions I used back then were flagged for malware! Some just disappeared from the Chrome Web Store. Add my different priorities and my goto list of extensions has been overhauled.
I am doing more writing and web development now, and less web design and social media management. The list of extensions I use reflects my current workload. Out of 70 or so I have installed, I keep around a dozen enabled at any time.
I keep fewer extensions open because I don’t use as many and because too many can be a drain on memory, especially if you keep several tabs open. I enable and disable them as my workload shifts.
Chrome extensions I depend on
Eye Dropper is open source extension which allows you to pick colors from web pages, a color picker, or your personal color history. This tool is indispensable for matching colors while creating graphics for web pages and blog posts.
bitly saves a shortened version of any URL (website address.) Once the bitly extension is installed, you simply click on “bitly” to shorten the URL of the current page and save it to your clipboard. bitly is an essential tool for Tweeting and posting!
Twitter and other sharing tools like AddThis can be configured to use your bitly account so you can take advantage of bitly’s analytics. You can even use a custom domain for shortened links. If you don’t want to use a custom domain, you can still “brand” your links by customizing them with your own keywords or acronyms.
Evernote may be the best way to grab content from the web and organize it for article or blog post research. Grab a whole page or select text to file away along with the page’s URL. You can also use the Evernote app for iPhone or Android to extend your web clipping and organizing capability.
View definitions easily as you browse the web. Double-clicking a word will pop up a bubble with the definition and an audio pronunciation snippet. Every writer needs a dictionary. Click on the extension’s icon on your browser’s toolbar and enter a word into the drop-down search box for a more detailed description, including synonyms so you can also use it like a thesaurus.
Grammarly checks your spelling and grammar, underlining mistakes in red. Hover over one and choose the correct word, add it to your dictionary, or accept the correct grammar. This is the most helpful tool for polishing your writing.
Send to Kindle
The official Amazon “Send to Kindle” is a Browser extension for Kindle owners who prefer reading web content on their devices. It’s designed to offer a quick way for pushing web content to your Kindle. For a bonus, it strips ads and formats the content for readability.
Awesome for reading on a Kindle without a browser. Great for the beach, camping or long plane trips where you can’t access the Internet. Just load up your Kindle with reading the material and your set for wherever you go.
One Tab collapses all your open tabs into one and lists all their links. You can name the lists, mark them as locked, or select a list to add a link to from any web page with a right click.
I could not live without One Tab for researching articles and blog posts. It’s also incredibly useful for saving coding examples and how-tos while I’m programming with a new API or method.
Mighty Text allows you to text from any device. With Mighty Text, you can send & receive texts from your computer or tablet, using your current Android phone number. Your messages stay in sync with your phone’s text inbox. You can also receive and dismiss all your phone notifications on your desktop.
Mighty Text is awesome for photo & video syncing. You can Instantly & securely store photos & videos taken from your phone to your computer or tablet. With dead simple, 1-click photo sharing, you can even apply Instagram-like filters and effects.
Search Center is the handiest search tool I have found. It includes engines like Google, Wikipedia, IMDB, Amazon, Twitter, eBay or you can easily add almost any other search site. Just select the text you want to search for and right click for Search Centers in-context menu and Search Center auto-populates the site’s search with your selected text or previous search.
Since Netflix screwed up their rating system, You will love searching from IMDB!
VNC Viewer is the only remote viewing application you will ever need. It supports Windows, Linux, and MacOS. Now that there is an extension for Chrome, it is easier than ever to install and use. Granted, not everyone needs a remote viewing app, but if you have more than one computer, it is a must-have. You can also use it from a tablet to access the desktop of a computer elsewhere in your home or office.
Gliffy is a handy drawing tool that comes with predefined templates for quickly drawing computer networks, flowcharts, floor plans, Venn diagrams and more. It isn’t as full-featured as Visio or even LibreDraw, but it loads from your Chrome apps lightning fast compared to those.
Google Keep is great for saving web clips, URLs, notes, and lists. It overlaps a bit with Evernote, but it’s easy to use with Google Voice and also syncs with the available Android app. I use it to tell my phone what I need at the store while it magically builds my shopping list! On your desktop, you can use it from the Chrome app, or from the Keep website.
Google Translate is a must if you have social media contacts from other countries. Google+ opened up my world with Google Translate. With just one click I can have conversations with friends from all over the world. It can also translate web pages. Forget how it plays in Peoria. Read any countries news websites!
What are your favorite extensions?
Let us know about your favorite extensions. What are some of the creative ways you use them?