11 Browser Extensions that Make Remote Working Easier
Guest contributor, Benjamin Brandall is a British writer at Process Street and Writerzone.net. He writes on productivity, SaaS, startups and design. Get in touch with him here.
Remote working has its advantages and disadvantages. One of the major disadvantages for many remote workers is productivity; how can they stay productive and not roam about the internet to pass time because they have no one overlooking them? Thankfully, there are some great browser extensions out there that you can use to help you improve your productivity, speed, and security.
Over at Process Street, we are a remote team, and I have tried plenty of extensions that could help me with my work and my quest to improve productivity. I’ve listed below some of my favorites which have helped me, and which I’m currently using.
Evernote Web Clipper
Evernote is well known as an inventory to save notes, images, web pages and whatever else you need or consider important. You could have Evernote installed on various devices, but Evernote Web Clipper eliminates the need for opening the app at all (at least, when saving files) lets you highlight articles you read, images you get, or both, and allows you to save them to the inventory for later use. Notes and images can be assigned to specific Evernote notebooks, meaning that your files are both easy to clip and are organized from the get-go.
Buffer is one of those tools you don’t realize you need until you give it a go. Buffer is all about scheduled tweets, retweets, and Facebook posts. If you work with either Twitter or Facebook, you owe it to yourself to give this a try. Not only can you schedule your tweets and retweets, you can also get an insight into what tweets are getting the most traction and even rebuffer those to keep them bubbling up to the top.
LastPass is a free password manager that should be considered a must for anyone who isn’t the greatest at remembering passwords across their devices. If you are concerned about security (which you should be) those passwords might not be easy to memorize, so you want a good password manager to take on the task. You can’t go wrong with LastPass. The reason this is a better option that just ‘remember this password’ in Chrome is because it syncs cross-browser if you ever switch.
Discoverly is a brilliant extension that brings Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter together in an effective way. Have you ever wanted to get someone’s LinkedIn account or Facebook account when you stumble upon their Twitter page? This is exactly what Discoverly does. By analyzing the social media profile pages you visit, it can then use that data to find the person’s other social media accounts, including Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. This is perfect for content promotion so you can connect with influencers easily on different platforms.
ColorZilla is an extension that is useful for designers and developers who are conscious about the colors they use and find. ColorZilla helps you find the hex or RGB code of a particular color on a page. It can also be used to pick a color from a spectrum and get the codes, or to generate gradients. All these capabilities are rolled into one tool, with a low size and resource consumption. There are developer focused features such as keyboard shortcuts, and palette viewer amongst others.
Readability is a Chrome extension that prepares articles so you can read them in a convenient form. There are two options — Read Now and Read Later. If you choose Read Now, it will fade other parts of the website into the background and bring ready-to-read content within seconds. Choosing Read Later will let you save the article for reading at a later date. It automatically syncs across other devices and can also send pages to your Kindle. Other notable features include the integration with Twitter and Facebook for sharing purposes; for content creators it’s a dream come true.
HTTPS is a sign of trust and security, especially when it comes to confidential data such as credentials for payments. This plugin, in effect, switches thousands of sites to HTTPS from the non-secure HTTP. Thus, it can protect you from a lot of threats such as frauds and various types of surveillance that are present almost anywhere. If you’re concerned about security and privacy of your online browsing, HTTPS Everywhere is a useful Chrome extension to have.
Save To Pocket
If you are unfamiliar with Pocket, it is the service that lets you save articles and web content for offline access. This handy extension lets you save an article to an so that you can read it later on your mobile device or computer. Save to Pocket can be integrated to Chrome or Firefox and has the ability to add different tags. You can create a keyboard shortcut to save web pages to Pocket, alongside the toolbar button for instant access. Think of it as creating an offline library for your resources, which can all be tagged and sorted as you wish.
Boomerang is a helpful extension for scheduling emails and keeping track of sent messages. This extension gives you the option to send emails at a later time, with the options ranging from a few hours to a month. You can set your own custom time and date too if you’re looking to be more specific. It is particularly useful for remembering who you’ve emailed and when you emailed them since you are able to choose to have a message boomerang back into your inbox if you haven’t received a reply.
This simple Dropbox extension makes it easy to share your Dropbox files with anyone and everyone. The sharing section works almost the same as the Google Drive button — click the extension’s button from the Compose window, then search and select the file you wish to include; you can also preview the linked files. Sharing with your recipients is easy as it is reduced down to one click. A must-have for any remote team manager who adds team members to shared folder during the new hire onboarding process.
StayFocused, which is pretty self-explanatory, helps you stay focused when you’re working. Self-restriction is often the best way to be more productive and StayFocused lets you be by restricting time you spend on addictive sites such as Facebook and Twitter. This Chrome extension can be used to set limits on time you spend. You have the option to set individual site based limits too. For example, if you have accessed a particular site for the most time allowed, the site will no longer be accessible. It can increase your productivity in volumes.
So there you have it, these are some of my favorite browser extensions that I use to help increase my productivity and security. They all have benefits and help the user in a unique way.
I would love to hear what your favorite and most used browser extensions are including why you enjoy them the most! Let me know in the comments below!
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