This list of extensions are mostly productive, I swear. I can’t help you if you use Firefox or Safari because I’m unfortunately a Google supporter through and through. Watch this post resurface in a couple of decades when Google turns out to have ignored their entire mantra of don’t be evil and have recreated SkyNet.
But in the meantime Chrome is the way to go guys, and there are thousands of extensions that you can download to make your life easier. In this post I go over half a dozen extensions that I use typically when I’m in studies.
So I’m all about the aesthetic of a product. Which is why I switched my new tab on Chrome to something that was prettier and more functional. I found Momentum during my first year and it’s just so beautiful.
It allows you to see your to-do’s, a daily focus, the weather, and even your name in case you’re so deep into writing papers you’ve forgotten it. The background changes everyday and it’s always a gorgeous nature picture.
Okay and immediately following that first recommendation is when I tell you that I’ve since moved onto a different new tab replacement extension. As of a couple of hours ago, actually. It’s not so much that Momentum isn’t doing it for me anymore – it was still a great motivator because I could see my to-do’s – but I wanted to test out some different new tab replacers that had different functions. Enter, Be Limitless.
As you can tell, they share some aesthetic similarities in that it’s a cool background (that rotates so you won’t get bored!) and white font. The difference is that Be Limitless’s focus is tracking where you are spending your time, as you can tell with the different sites at the bottom. I am hoping that by seeing the exact numbers each day it will motivate me to focus.
You can see a detailed listing of all the kinds of sites you spend time on, and you can even re-categorize your sites so it properly reflects your habits.
This extension also has a note taking option, a to-do list (though less pretty) and countdowns to important dates.
In my first post about apps for your phone, I mentioned Pushbullet and it makes sense that I would have it on this list of extensions because otherwise how will you have that cross-platform convenience? If you didn’t read my last post then here’s a quick overview of what Pushbullet does:
- connects all your devices (phone, laptop, tablet)
- can connect to your friends
- allows you to send links and files from one device to another
- allows you to answer texts from your computer
It’s a pretty nifty app/extension and I would recommend that you check it out especially if you like cool features like a universal copy and paste function. Meaning you can select something on your computer to be copied and paste it from another device!
I considered not including this extension on this post because there are so many arguments against using an adblocker which are all valid, don’t get me wrong. I ultimately decided that I should put it on here and let you guys make your own decisions on whether or not to use it.
I block ads on sites because they’re annoying. That’s basically the extent of it. uBlock lets you whitelist sites which turns on ads for those sites so if there’s a site or a blogger you want to support, then by all means put them on your whitelist while skipping over annoying commercials on YouTube.
So if you’ve ever looked at my computer screen ever, you’ve probably had a heart attack at the number of tabs I have open at any given time. I’m sorry! This problem only gets worse when I have multiple papers and assignments due around the same time. During one particularly stressful paper research session, I had opened so many source tabs that I could no longer identify the titles which was a pain and a half.
I found Tabs Outliner to be an actual godsend.
You can see all of your tabs organized by the window that they’re open in, and you can delete and rename your tabs or windows! So for me, I would be organizing either by course code or by assignment name just to keep everything tidy, especially when I can’t see it.
Alright, this is the one extension where Chrome is lacking proper support. As a political science major I write a lot of research papers, hence why I need a tabs organizer, and along with the research comes the citation. Some people prefer RefWorks, and that’s cool, basically the same functions but I use Zotero for my RA job so there’s no point in using two programs.
Though this is not the official extension, which only exists for Firefox (damn you Firefox!), Zotero put out a connector to the standalone app. You just right click on the page you’ve been using and it’ll add it to the library of sources. There’s also an add-on for Microsoft Word that allows you to easily input in-text citations and bibliography generator.
RES (Reddit Enhancement Suite)
Okay finally, here comes the fun extension! Along with drowning in research papers I also waste an extraordinary amount of time on Reddit (as you saw with my Be Limitless screenshots). To make my Reddit experience more seamless I downloaded RES as most Redditors do (and wow I sound like a weird Internet troll with the number of times I’ve typed the word Reddit).
The only functions I’ve used are the one to open the pictures directly on the page instead of having to open new tabs each time, and the link/comment saving one. There are more though, so if you Reddit and you’re looking to make it better – this is the way to do it.
Okay, I should really be doing productive things now. Cheers Internet!