Let’s face it, we spend a lot of time online. Be it purging e-mails, browsing videos of kittens, shopping for the latest cell phone, or coordinating social gatherings. The amount of time we spend online is speedily increasing, both increasing and diminishing our productivity. We are now able to get things done much sooner thanks to the advent of instant purchases, messages, and such and yet for each step forward, we end up taking two back. Viral videos, memes, and all sorts of online time sucks aren’t going anywhere anytime soon so instead of fearing your time online, you should embrace it, maximizing efficiency along the way.
“Average daily internet media consumption has doubled over the past five years, taking share from traditional formats. The internet accounted for 13% of average daily media use in 2010, but is set to reach nearly 30% in 2017.” – Quartz
One web browser that has revolutionized the way we browse is Google Chrome. The integration of the address and search bar provides a one-stop shop to allow for quicker searches. As of last year, there were 1.4 billion Android smartphone users. That’s roughly a little more than half of all cell phone users. By default, Chrome is the web browser on each of those cell phones, making the round tri-colored icon a household familiarity. Mimicking the mobile experience at home and the office, Chrome is also the number one browser. Beyond simplicity, Chrome has numerous ways to make your online time as productive as efficient as it can be.
The number one way to get the most out of your browsing experience can be boiled down to one thing: Extensions. Extensions can be added to Chrome for more features and functionality. By using them, you can customize Chrome with things you like, i.e. funny gifs, and keep your browser free of things you don’t use or like, i.e. ads.
Here is a list of just a few of the best extensions for you. And the kicker, most of the extensions on Chrome are free.
Tired of going to your favorite web page and a video for car insurance starts playing? Us too. AdBlock Plus is a free ad blocker that blocks ALL annoying ads, malware, and tracking. Adblock Plus uses filters that you choose to block all unwanted elements. Adblock Plus itself has no functionality; it doesn’t block anything until you “tell” it what to block by adding external filter lists. Filter lists are essentially an extensive set of rules that tell Adblock Plus which elements of a website to block.
As great as Chrome is, it’s a bit of a memory hog, which contributes to slower performance and poor battery life for laptop users. TGS pauses unused tabs after a user-specified amount of time, say one hour, saving precious RAM. Once you’ve gone down the rabbit hole and are 20 tabs deep, it’s easy to suspend them all without losing them. Once you want to go back and reload any suspended tab, you can get right to it with just one click.
Typing emails and memos at 2 am after taking a red eye out of the country on a business trip? Not sure if the i before e rule applies? No need to fret, that’s where Grammarly comes in. Better than spell check, Grammarly catches other snafus such as missing commas, subject-verb confusion, and more. And the best part? It works across all of your web pages, regardless if it’s an email or a Facebook post.
Create an account for your banking. Password. Create an account for your online shopping. Password. Create an account for your dog’s annual vet check-up and schedule the next appointment online. Password. No matter what it is we do online, it seems that a password is almost always required. While great for your security, it’s not always great for your memory or patience. Especially with the passwords requiring one capital letter, one lowercase, one number, one special character, no repeating characters, no less than 8 characters, and the character from your favorite television show. LastPass is here to help and relieve some of that stress and hopefully, save your computer from being tossed out the window. LastPass saves your passwords and gives you secure access from every computer and mobile device. How? By creating one single password,
LastPass is here to help and relieve some of that stress and hopefully, save your computer from being tossed out the window. LastPass saves your passwords and gives you secure access from every computer and mobile device. How? By creating one single password, hopefully, your last, to LastPass. LP then saves all your usernames and passwords, and will sign you in automatically to your sites and sync your passwords everywhere you need them. Home computer, office computer, smartphone, you name it. It’s all there.
And last but not least,
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Because some of the time you spend online is to avoid being productive, you should have some fun. Giphy should be your go-to when words can’t express your feelings and only a gif will do. Instead of browsing the web for eons and losing momentum, search for what you’re looking for in Giphy and continue on your way, sprinkling zingers here and there.
These five extensions are only a fraction of what you can find on the Chrome Web store. Take a moment to go through and add whatever extensions are best for you.
For any productivity issues that can’t be fixed with extensions due to hardware or software issues, be sure to stop by San Diego Computer Help for all your computer needs. Stop by the shop, have a root beer on us, or give us a call at (619) 363-5325 or (858) 810-6710.