Two years ago I made the transition to Chrome as my default browser, and over the time I’ve drastically improved my workflow by using some awesome extensions. I would like to share with you the different extensions that I use (and also those that I have used and thought deserve to be mentioned here).
The extensions shown here can be effective for anyone who is using the internet, but they mainly target designers, tech entrepreneurs, developers, and people working in the creative industry.
Dribbble HD: while using Dribbble, do you find it annoying to click on every picture, in order to see it a little bit bigger? This extension solves that, by showing every Dribbble feed in full size. This allows you to decide whether to enter the shots page or not without having to refresh the page.
TabMemFree: I can’t even begin to explain how effective this extension really is, but I’ll explain anyway. Every tab that you open in your browser, takes away memory from your computers RAM. That memory can be very useful, especially while using Photoshop, or any other program at that specific moment. If you are like myself, that memory is being used for five articles from two weeks ago, which you haven’t read yet, ten websites that you wanted to share with others and three or four project management tools for my clients. I think you get where I’m going with this.
Tabman Tabs Manager: This extension along with TabMemFree (listed above) is an amazing combination. This Extension is basically a popup which lets you see all your tabs as a list and close or rearrange them as you wish. Its extremely useful fir closing unnecessary tabs every once in a while.
Muzli is a new-tab chrome extension, it will replace your default tab and fill it with inspiration, latest design articles and quick links to relevant design sites.
Panda: From the moment that you install this extension, every time that you’ll open a new tab, this extension will fill your tab space combining Dribbble shots/Behance works alongside a DN, HN or Sidebar.io feed of your choice. Amazing extension that recently updated to this format. This (for me) replaced BenchWarmer which I mention later on in this post.
Pocket (Chrome extension | product site): So this might be the extension, but this product comes with its own lineup. The Pocket, is a product that lets you save, and synchronize links that you liked, but didn’t have the time to read (or links that you wanted to save). Just press the button, and the site that you are in at that moment, will be saved. You can even tag any link that you save at that specific moment, so that you could easily find it later on. This product also has applications for an Ipad, Iphone, Android and other devices (there is even a desktop application for Mac). This product makes sure that the links in which you have saved, will be available to you, at all times, using any device at your disposal.
While working on my computer I always find different interesting links , but with no time to read them, so I save them on my Pocket and enter later on using either my Ipad or iPhone to read the links on my free time.
Gmelius: A simple extension that blocks Gmail pop-up adds.
Buffer: An extension tool that let’s you tweet or write posts on Facebook at special timing sequences. You can keep on adding status after status, and in the end, the Buffer actually organizes them into some sort of a column, and distributes them every few hours.
Attachment Icons for Gmail: This extension adds an icon for every attached file in Gmail, so that you’ll know what type of file you have received (PDF/JPG/Etc..).
Rapportive: One of the more effective extensions in the networking field. This extension shows the information of the sender, on the side of every e-mail on your Gmail account. This includes, picture, links to Facebook, Tweeter and his Linked In.
WiseStamp – extension for e-mail signatures: This is a must have extension for anyone who does not have it yet. This let’s you put together your own signature in HTML, and attach it to every e-mail. This product provides, an e-mail signature editor , with nice templates and an option to add templates of your own, or building them in HTML.
BTW- they just made a new Google Inbox extension.
Awesome Screenshot: This extension is great for taking screenshots. This obviously is not the only one, but it works great for me. This extension, lets you take a screenshot of the entire scroll, for certain websites, and then lets you send them via mail, or save them, or just right click and press copy image and then paste it to Photoshop.
Page Ruler: An effective extension for measuring pixels on your browser.
Lastpass: One of the world’s most popular extensions. With the help of Lastpass, you can save your password for different websites in a secure way (unlike the automatic memory function for your passwords, that your browser offers you, every time you enter a site with your password). I personally use this extension a lot, but for really important content I use a program for saving passwords – 1password that I have on my computer. The program is expensive, but extremely recommended!
Resolution Test: Shrinks down your browser to fit the popular sizes in the market, so you will be able to test the appearance of your design, using the different resolutions.
Bananatag for Gmail: An extremely effective extension for checking e-mails. I must note that I barely use it, but if I am sending a mail to a client or an investor, this extension, sends my account mail, the minute that my mail opens up, and the moment that the person who received my mail, presses on the links, in the mail that I have sent him (for example, if I am sending a link to a demo, or a website, that I want that specific person to view).
Pendule: An extension tool for checking the code for websites. This also gives more options that don’t exist/not easily accessible from the developer tools built in Chrome.
Pinterest: Now that Pinterest has it’s “secretive” walls I use them occasionally to create myself inspirational walls for different projects. The truth is- I’d rather open a blank document in Photoshop and fill it up with pictures that I find on the web, but sometimes it’s nice to mix it up a little, and with the pinterest display, it’s more comfortable to share with Colleagues and clients.
MyPermissions Cleaner: This is an extension of a service that lets you follow the websites that you gave access to your data, in different websites (for example all of the websites that you logged in to your Facebook account from). This is a very effective tracking system.
Hover Zoom: This tool is extremely effective and I personally can’t work without it (I tried for a while but with no success, and i had to reinstall it). This extension magnifies every picture in it’s original size once you hover over it with your mouse. This is very effective while using Facebook if you are tired or just don’t have the patience to wait until the picture opens. Just hover over the picture with your mouse and you’ll see the picture in it’s original size. This is also effective when using Google Images and other sites that use pictures. This is a great extension and I use it all the time.
Linkclump: Let’s say that you’re looking for something in Google, and you received your search results, and now you want to open the relevant search results. It usually turns out to be the first five to seven links. What we usually do is press ctrl/cmd+click (to open in a new tab) on every link. Well…..NO MORE! From now on you just press SHIFT and drag your mouse over the first results and it will open all of them in parallel new tabs. This is also effective for dribbble or any inspirational search on the web. In conclusion this is a great extension.
Google Calendar (by Google): Not a lot of people know this extension – but it’s extremely useful for setting quick g-cal events.
Extensions that I no longer use, but still recommend
Remove Scrollbars: This is an effective extension that removes the scrollbars from your browser. We are already familiar with the scroll option and we use our mouse to do the job….Who drags the scrollbar now days? Lately even when the extension is not active on my computer I personally can’t see my scrollbars, and I am still not sure if it’s the Chrome edition that affected the browser or something in my Mac’s operating system (because the same thing is happening to me in Safari). Anyway this extension if for anyone who dislikes the useful pixel space taken by the scrollbars.
BenchWarmer: This is a g-r-e-a-t extension for designers and anyone else who wants to seriously get inspired. From the moment that you install this extension, every time that you’ll open a new tab, this extension will show you a feed of shots from dribbble, that keeps on updating according to the site. You can also connect your profile, so it will display only the people that you follow. Over all, a great extension. The only one existing disadvantage is- that sometimes in the morning, it makes me feel talentless 🙂 but, it’s worth it.
Boomerang for Gmail: This is an extension that let’s you time the messages in Gmail. This is sometimes effective, but since I barely use it I’m keeping it in a neutralized state for now.
Web Developer: Between Pendule which I’ve noted above and this extension I’m not sure which is better. The fact remains that these are more tools for web developers to choose from. This extension might be good, but I personally don’t use it. If anyone tried both and knows how to compare between them write something in the comment section. I would be more then happy to hear about it.
Do you have an extension that was not mentioned here, and that you can’t work without? Share your comments! Please, don’t forget to share this post on Facebook if you found it effective.
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- Designing as ‘Change Agents’ (w/ Maria Giudice, former VP Experience at Autodesk) - February 1, 2018
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