Chrome extensions that can save your life

It’s been over a year since we transitioned from face-to-face settings to mostly digital for our everyday activities, but it’s still easy to feel overwhelmed in this online setup. As the boundaries between our personal lives and work lives continue to blur, we often find ourselves with way too many tabs open – both on our screens and in our heads. Trying to juggle socializing, meeting deadlines, making time for yourself, and keeping up with important news can seem like an impossible feat during these times. But thankfully, with Google Chrome Extensions, multitasking on your browser can be a piece of cake!

Google Chrome Extensions are programs that you can install on Google Chrome to modify your web browser’s interface and functionality. With Google Chrome Extensions, you can customize your web browser with additional functions to fit all your personal needs. There are hundreds of extensions available on the Chrome Web Store, but WiTech has compiled a list of free extensions that will most definitely save your life countless times throughout this online experience (and maybe even after)!

Weava

Students and avid readers, Weava is the Google Chrome Extension for you! Weava founder Michelle Chan describes it as a research tool that allows users to highlight and add notes to both websites and PDFs. All highlighted passages in websites and uploaded PDFs can be organized into personalized sub-folders and stored in the Weava Workspace. This helps to eliminate the hassle of having several tabs open for research. Instead of expending so much time copy-pasting and compiling information into lengthy documents, you can get straight into creating, organizing, and exporting your research outputs once you sign up for a Weava  account! For unlimited and sub-folders, as well as customizable highlighter colors and collaboration features, you can invest in a Weava Premium subscription.

Forest

There are times where you know you have urgent tasks to accomplish, but the idea of checking your Messenger notifications can seem a lot more enticing. To fight the temptations of browsing other tabs, install Forest – a Google Chrome Extension that provides a unique way to keep you focused on tasks! The extension makes use of the Pomodoro technique, but with a very creative twist. Every time you have a task, Forest gives you the chance to add distracting websites to a blocklist, then plant a seed that can grow into a tree within 30 minutes as you work. However, if you check on any of the websites in your blocklist, your tree will sadly wilt. Through Forest, you can grow an abundant forest through your productivity – motivating you to complete your tasks in order to achieve your virtual plantito/plantita goals! While Forest is free as a Chrome Extension, you can also install it as an app on your phone with a one-time payment of $1.99.

Grammarly

Missing a simple grammar or spelling error on an output is common for most people, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating when you experience it. However, once you sign up for Grammarly, your writing needs will be met in the blink of an eye! Grammarly is a Google Chrome Extension that acts as a digital writing assistant that can edit your work in real-time. As you write, the free version of the extension provides suggestions for grammar, spelling, and punctuation that you can click on to automatically edit your work. Say goodbye to careless mistakes with Grammarly! For advanced corrections on clarity, word choice, style, and more, you can opt for a Grammarly Premium subscription at the price of $12.00/month.

Toby

Who’s Toby, you might be asking? Well, Toby is a free Google Chrome Extension that’s set to be your new best friend for organizing tabs! Toby modifies your Chrome New Tab page by turning it into a workspace where you can organize your tabs into personalized collections. Through this feature, Toby saves you from cluttering your screen with dozens of open tabs and endless bookmarks by allowing all your tabs to be tracked and stored on one page. With a sleek and user-friendly interface, Toby will surely help you organize online and stay focused on all your tasks at hand!

Momentum

With all the pressure to adjust to the ever-changing pandemic conditions, we often forget to take things day by day. Momentum is the perfect Google Chrome Extension to remind us to stay calm and practice mindfulness throughout the hustle and bustle of our daily lives. It modifies your New Tab page to a minimalist personal dashboard with only a few features to minimize distractions. Each day, it offers you a question (“What is your focus for today?”) to answer, an inspirational quote, and a background of beautiful natural scenery. It also has a to-do list feature where you can type short-term goals or tasks for the day. With its aesthetically pleasing and simple interface, Momentum can truly help you set intentions for a good day and live in the moment.

These are just a few among hundreds of amazing Google Chrome Extensions that can maximize your browser’s capabilities and help you brave this online setup. For more recommendations and updates on Chrome Extensions, check out the Chrome Web Store!

Written by Sofia Ortigas
Edited by Franczine Tan
Graphics by Bianca Amurao

BOTTOM LINE UP FRONT!

Abrams, L. (2017). What are Google Chrome Extensions? Bleeping Computer.  https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/understanding-google-chrome-extensions/

Chan, M. (n.d.). Weava research tool. MC. https://michellelychan.com/weava-design.html

Forest. (n.d.). Forest – stay focused, be present. https://www.forestapp.cc/

Grammarly. (n.d.). Elevate your academic writing. https://www.grammarly.com/plans

Griffith, E. (2021, March 29). The best free Google Chrome Extensions. PC Magazine. https://www.pcmag.com/news/the-100-best-free-google-chrome-extensions

Hennegar, A. (2020). Keeping it simple with Momentum. Productivity Portfolio. https://www.timeatlas.com/momentum-extension/

Moore, B. (2020, July 16). Grammarly review. PC Magazine.  https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/grammarly

Raphael, JR. (2019). 10 easy steps to make Chrome faster and more secure. Computer World. https://www.computerworld.com/article/3453843/10-easy-steps-to-make-chrome-faster-and-more-secure.html

Shibli, A. (n.d.). 20 best Chrome Extensions for maximum productivity. Friday. https://friday.app/p/chrome-extensions-productivity

Weava. (n.d.). The Weava manual. https://www.weavatools.com/the-weava-manual

Weava. (n.d.). Weava Premium. https://www.weavatools.com/premium/

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