RC 7: Chrome Productivity Extensions

January 7, 2017

Extensions are an excellent way to augment a browser user experience to be more useful for the user. However, extensions can also make your browser less performant and even open security issues for your browser. When I install any Chrome Extension I look at their requested permissions and better yet source to make sure they are sensible. Most of these extensions are catered towards software developers and are very practical and familiar for approaching the web.

1. QuickTabs

Quick Tabs is an easy way to switch between multiple tabs similar to command palettes (CTR+P) work in text editors such as Atom and Sublime. It works out of the box and I use it every day to switch between multiple tabs and windows quickly and easily. There is also full inline text search so you can search the body of your content also. (Bonus: It’s open source on Github.)(https://github.com/babyman/quick-tabs-chrome-extension)

2. OneTab

OneTab collapses all the tabs in a chrome window into a set of bookmark links that can be restored individually or all together. It is an easy way to save a session of research tabs to use later or share with friends.

3. Grammarly

Grammarly has changed the way I write, by giving me the ability to check everything I write on the fly. It helps with every daily interaction and also includes desktop installable apps that you can also actively write in. It seems to conflict with Google Docs but I run all long-form content through it to catch things easily missed by the human eye or could be construed as correct English by normal grammar checkers. Grammarly uses machine learning to understand the meaning of the sentence and provide good suggestions to correct errors. I use only the free version but worth it in the future to upgrade to the paid version to get additional insight.

4. uBlock Origin

uBlock Origin is a great open source ad blocker that respects your privacy and is well maintained. uBlock aims to be a low footprint process and is performant and unobtrusive. uBlock makes it very easy to whitelist sites which on sites like YouTube or New York Times, I whitelist their sites so they can receive ad revenue. (Bonus: It’s open source on Github.)[https://github.com/gorhill/uBlock]

5. JSON Formatter

JSON Formatter changes content with the JSON mime-type into viewable JSON in the browser. It makes it interactive and editable similar to how code folding works in a text editor by allowing you dig and explore JSON. It also lets JSON be injected into the JavaScript console to easily also interpret, evaluate, and explore data.

6. Google Keep

Google Keep is a google product for saving ideas across devices and platforms. It has a great chrome extension that allows you to to quickly save and annotate links. I find its an easier system than maintaining bookmarks across different systems and is tied easily to your google identity. I use it daily to save links to revisit later on. You can see an overview of all your links at https://keep.google.com.

7. 1Password Chrome

1Password Chrome 1Password has been an invaluable tool for me to keep all of my passwords and usernames to sites. It’s hard to keep a unique password for every site unless you have a password manager. 1Password is a paid product, where you can pay a monthly subscription or buy a one-time cost license. I definitely recommend it as stocking stuffer gift for friends and family and great cross-platform integrations. I have used it on OSX but heavily use the Chrome Extension. Also, have used their products on both Windows and Android.