According to the Nielsen Consumer Report in 2014, “Americans now own four digital devices on average, and the average U.S. consumer spends 60 hours a week consuming content across devices.” But is that time well spent? What if you could become more productive—and slash those 60 hours in half? In this post we’ll look at several Chrome apps you can use to boost your productivity by at least 50%.
But first, a word of caution: this is not meant to be an exhaustive list of all the productivity apps available. Rather, it’s a short list of the ones that will give you the biggest bang for your buck. So with that in mind let’s dive right In.
If you aren’t working on the right tasks, you aren’t being productive. Trello is a free tool to help you prioritize and manage your tasks.
Trello leverages what’s called a kanban system, which allows you to visualize your work in progress and identify any common bottlenecks. For example, if you have a few simple columns:
- To Do
It would look like this:
A simple Trello board (A), which consists of lists (B) and cards (C).
With Trello, you can quickly and easily visualize how work goes through your entire system. This makes it easy to see what tasks are slowing down your flow—and which ones breeze right through. Don’t underestimate the importance of visualizing your work; this simple process will allow you to see what’s holding you back.
Getting started takes less than five minutes. Here’s what you need to do:
- Create a free Trello account at https://trello.com
- Create a new board to manage your tasks
- Create three lists named To Do, Doing, and Done
- Create a card for each task you need to complete
- Move your cards to the appropriate lists
- Look at your Trello board throughout the day to make sure you’re working on the right task
(For more ideas on how to use Trello, visit their inspirations gallery here.)
There are also several free Trello extensions that you can use to enhance the functionality. Here are two popular extensions to get you started:
This extension includes two very exciting features brought to you by the people who built Trello.
First, you can Search For Boards Right From The Address Bar
As you can see, this extension lets you quickly access the right board.
Second, you can add cards to boards:
I’ve talked extensively about using Trello for personal development. For more information on how you can use Trello for personal development, please see this article.
This extension allows you to quickly look into your Trello account from your browser. In other words, you won’t need to actually go to the Trello website in order to see your boards. Believe me, if you work with several boards this can be a huge time saver!
Features included in the free version:
– Access all your boards on Trello in one click
– Quick-search filtering of your boards
– See your unread notification count
– View starred and unseen activity indicators
– Boards are grouped by organization
Boomerang is a simple Chrome extension that integrates seamlessly with your Gmail. It allows you to schedule your emails for a future date. Anytime you realize that you need to send someone an email in the future (e.g. a birthday) you can do this very easily with Boomerang. And the best part is: you don’t even need to be online during that time; Boomerang will automatically send it for you!
Another benefit is that Boomerang allows you to track if someone opens your email.If they haven’t responded in by a certain date (which you can customize), Boomerang emails you a reminder to follow up with them. This is crucial for anyone who needs to follow up with others on a regular basis.
If you’re anything like me, you probably sent emails that you wish you hadn’t. With Gmail undo send feature you can quickly and easily cancel emails.
To enable Undo Send:
- Click the gear in the top right.
- Select Settings.
- Scroll down to “Undo Send” and click Enable.
- Set the cancellation period (the amount of time you have to decide if you want to unsend an email).
- Click Save Changes at the bottom of the page.
Looking for background information on the person you’re emailing? Rapportive connects a person’s email address with their social profiles such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and others. This makes it dead simple to validate emails, reduce bounce rates, and create highly relevant, contextual emails.
The simple extension lets you customize your new tab in Chrome. It boosts your productivity and ensures your most important goal is always front and center. For example, I keep my vision board—which I referred to as my Board Game of Life—as my default new tab. The Trello board appears every time I open a new tab in Chrome, which serves as a constant reminder of what’s important.
Here’s what I’m greeted with every time I open a new tab:
Every time I open a new tab, a Trello board with my life goals pops up. It’s a powerful—and effective—way to focus on what matters.
A 2010 Nielsen report shows that “the world spends over 110 billion minutes on social networks and blog sites… this equates to 22 percent of all time online or one in every four and half minutes.”
Obviously, reclaiming 22% of your time online would be a massive productivity win. And
StayFocusd—a free Chrome extension that limits the amount of time you spend on certain websites—can help. For example, you can limit your amount of time on Facebook to just 5 minutes per day. Once you hit 5 minutes, StayFocusd will block the website until the next day.
LastPass Lets you effortlessly store your passwords safely and securely. You can even securely share passwords with other people—so they can access different accounts without actually seeing your passwords. (You can revoke this permission at any time.) This makes sharing passwords simple and super secure. And speaking of security, you can have LastPass automatically create extremely secure passwords for you. Since you don’t have to worry about remembering them—LastPass will automatically log in for you—the passwords can be incredibly secure.
Streak lets you create a CRM system directly within Gmail. My wife and I use Streak religiously for several of our businesses. For example, you can use streak for guest post outreach, prospecting, or as traditional sales and CRM solution. And since it lives inside Gmail, it’s one less tool you’ll need to learn—and manage—going forward.
There is nothing more distracting than visiting a website and being bombarded with ads and popups. AdBlock blocks ads on all websites including Facebook and YouTube. As a bonus, it may speed up your load times as well, since you won’t be loading all those ads.
If you keep a lot of tabs open—and who doesn’t?—OneTab will save you a tremendous amount of time and headspace. OneTab takes all your open tabs and converts them into a single list, organized by date. Not only does this make it easy to find what you’re looking for, but it also frees your computer’s memory.
You can create different users on Chrome, which allows you to sync accounts, all with different bookmarks and settings. (For example, you could create a user for personal use and one for work.)
This video gives you a quick overview of how it works:
So there you have it: a collection of popular Chrome apps to boost your productivity. Which ones did we miss? Let us know in the comments below!