In trying to run a business, I have found myself getting tied up in tiny useless tasks that wind up ruining my entire To-Do list. With constantly forgetting all of my 50+ passwords, to even correcting my spelling errors prior to hitting send on that important email, I am constantly worried about everything except my actual business.
The worst part? This is a constant daily battle in my entrepreneurship lifestyle.
However, I was recently introduced to a suite of tools that has skyrocketed my productivity and allowed my stress levels to significantly decrease. It’s called Google Chrome Extensions and can be found on the internet browser: Google Chrome.
If you haven’t heard of Google Chrome, or are still stuck using an outdated internet browser (cough, cough, Internet Explorer, cough, cough) then I highly recommend that you look into downloading Chrome for free.
Once you have it downloaded, and begin playing around with it’s features, head over to the Google Chrome Web Store (link). Here is where you can locate a variety of web applications as well as Chrome extensions of all shapes and sizes.
In order to narrow down the choices, here are my top 7 Google Chrome Extensions that has forced me to stay on top of my business and allow me to avoid wasting any more of my time.
Let’s dive in!
It’s pretty easy to guess how this Chrome Extension works. It literally allows you to sign into any of your online sites, utilizing just one password created by you.
1Password integrates directly with your web browser and automatically logs you into websites. It also offers the option to automatically enter in your credit card information, fill out registration forms, and easily generate strong passwords.
This has been a goldmine for me.
I no longer have to guess at what my password might be, get logged out of my website, or have to send a reminder text to myself telling me what the password is. It is also a secure way to keep all of your password into one place and even has an accompanying Iphone app that mimics the browser settings.
2. Boomerang for Gmail (FREE)
This Chrome Extension allows you to schedule your emails to be sent or returned at a later date. For example, let’s say you are drafting emails in the early morning hours but do not want them to be sent out until 9:00am. With Boomerang, you can schedule these emails to automatically send once the time hits 9:00am.
Another benefit of Boomerang for Gmail is it helps you send the messages even if you are not online. So back to the previous example, if you schedule your emails to be sent out at 9:00am, you do not have to have your computer on to make sure those emails were sent out properly.
This Chrome Extension also allows its users to track messages and make sure that they hear from their recipients as well as schedule recurring reminders right inside Gmail.
3. Diigo Web Collector (FREE)
Diigo is a Chrome extension that allows it’s users to annotate, archive and bookmark web pages. You can write on a page, highlight certain text and bookmark the pages to review for later use.
This helps me when I stumble across a great business article that I would like to utilize in the future. When reading through it, I will make notes right on the page and accompany the notes with a sticky note telling me the important bullet points to remember for next time.
For those of you who would like to share your annotation on Facebook or Twitter, Diigo allows you to do this as well.
4. Grammarly (FREE)
This is probably one of my favorite free Google Chrome Extensions as I am horrible with grammar and spelling. Grammarly reviews all text you write and provides a reminder line on the words you might have misspelled or written incorrectly.
Grammarly’s features can be utilized within your emails (to make sure it is properly written) article drafts to even a reminder that your social media posts have errors on it.
I also receive a weekly update about my grammar and spelling progress from Grammarly. They inform me of my repeated misspellings as well as how many words I had written for that week. If you also struggle with spelling and grammar,
Grammarly might just become your new best friend.
5. Yesware Email Tracking
Yesware is similar to Boomerang in that it allows you to schedule emails to be sent out at later dates. However, since it is a paid feature, you also get the additional knowledge of whether or not someone opened your email, clicked through to link or even considered relaying to said email.
This is the Yesware feature called Email tracking and it helps provide knowledge about who is actually reading your emails. A great example is a sales team sending out outbound cold emails. Within a few minutes of hitting the “send button”, you will quickly find out who is looking at your emails and choosing not to respond.
Or, if you notice a few days down that line that someone is just re-reading your email, you can send another email at that same time and hopefully aid in getting a response.
6. Shortcuts For Google (FREE)
If you are a Google fan and utilize all of their features including Gmail, Calendar, Drive, and Maps it might make your life easier to have a shortcut to all of those features.
I present to you “Shortcuts For Google”. This Google Chrome Extension is displayed as a popup button next to your address bar. The popup button then extends into a list of the services you are looking to shortcut through with just 2 clicks.
You also have the option to feature as many Google services and websites as you like leaving you almost limitless with over 300+ Google features.
Last, but certainly not least, is the app feature called Buffer. This is a paid app that allows you to schedule out your social media posts. They call it a “smarter way” to share links, pictures, videos, twitter, and articles through sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+.
This is a huge time saver in trying to stay active on social. You can spend a few hours on a Monday to schedule out social media posts for the entire week. Plus, buffer’s features makes your users believe that you are submitting these posts in real time, without knowing the difference.
Have any Google Chrome Extensions that have worked well for you and your small business? Tweet us @NeatCompany with your tips!