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Top five Google Chrome extensions to up your remote working skills

Work from home is the new normal.
Work from home is the new normal.

While you can always install a variety of tools and software on your computer, a considerable amount of work now happens inside your browser – here's why you should check out these useful web-based apps and tools.

As the coronavirus pushed more and more companies to try and eventually switch to remote working setups last year, we’ve grown to rely on technology more than ever. From productivity tools to video meeting apps, and writing improvement software, these tools have helped us better manage our resources and coordinate with our classmates, teammates or employees last year.

While you can always install a variety of tools and software on your computer, a considerable amount of work now happens inside your browser, thanks to web-based apps and tools. With more services moving to the cloud, such as mail, word processor and presentation software, it is easier to install browser-based extensions that can plug into your regular workflow.

Also read: Google is saving over $1 billion a year by working from home

We’ve compiled a list of five very useful extensions for Chrome, that can help you organise your work, help you complete tasks faster and save battery and CPU power so your computer runs smoother while you finish that pending presentation.

Simple Gmail Notes

If you use Gmail, you’ve definitely wished you could organise your inbox better, especially if you receive a lot of emails in a day. With Simple Gmail Notes, you can quickly add a note or two for email threads inside your inbox, which will then remain persistent even when you open and close your browser again. The extension is open source and doesn’t need Gmail access authorisation, while notes are stored in your Google Drive.

Simple Gmail Notes
Simple Gmail Notes

Webtime Tracker

While being productive is very important while we’re all working from home, taking care of your digital wellbeing and making sure you have a healthy work and life balance is equally necessary. Webtime Tracker works like the Digital Wellbeing feature on most modern smartphones, keeping track of all the websites you visit and how long you spend. You’ll be able to see detailed statistics based on the domain you visited and visualise your usage with graphs -- the whole extension works while you’re offline.

Webtime Tracker.
Webtime Tracker.

Ugly Email

Emails don’t have to be stressful, but sometimes senders use certain tools like pixel tracking, embedding a tiny invisible image inside an email, that can act as a “read receipt”. This lets them know when you have read their message. This isn’t ideal, since you should be able to read emails on your own terms. Ugly Email will quickly zip through your emails and look for those nasty pixels and block the tracking pixel. It even throws in a small eye icon for each mail in your inbox so you know who’s trying to check if you looked at their emails!

Ugly Email
Ugly Email

OneTab

Have you ever suffered from tab fatigue? Have you opened too many tabs and wished for some way to control them? This extension gives you one button to turn them into a quick list instead. When you need to look at them again, you can use the extension to bring them up again. According to the developer of the OneTab extension, pushing your open tabs into a list that can be easily reopened again can save up to 95 percent memory – a bold claim. You may also be able to load your computer quicker from sleep, according to the developer, presumably due to the smaller list of open, active tabs that need to be reloaded.

OneTab
OneTab

Save to Google Drive

If Google Drive is your cloud provider of choice, or if your employer uses Google Workspace, then the Save to Google Drive extension will come in very handy to move web content as your browse the web. This includes a variety of content such as images, hyperlinks, documents – even HTML5 audio and video. After you install the extension, you can right-click to add a link or photo to your personal Google Drive or Workspace drive. The extension will also allow you to export a PDF of the existing page that you are currently browsing, using the Chrome Print menu.

Save to Drive extension.
Save to Drive extension.

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