I’ve used a lot of different browsers in my time — Internet Explorer, Netscape (remember this?!), Mozilla Firefox, and so on. But one of the most functional and fuss-free ones I’ve used would have to be Google Chrome. Once I discovered how easy it was to navigate, I quickly made it my default browser and never looked back. However, despite that I’ve been using it for so long, I only recently realised I’ve been sleeping on one of its top features: Google Chrome extensions!
While I’ve had a few basic extensions for the longest time, I never actually noticed how many useful ones were lying just right under my nose! Once I started searching, I practically fell into a black hole. No joke, guys: there’s a Chrome extension for just about anything and everything under the sun.
We’ve handpicked some of the best Google Chrome extensions to download — and trust us, they’ll definitely make your life so much easier!
Chrome extensions for work & productivity
Do a lot of writing? Just hate getting caught by the grammar police in general? (We totally get you.) Those who use Grammarly religiously love having what feels like a second pair of eyes check on their work in real-time. This Chrome extension will double check your grammar, spelling, and punctuation — even your sentence structure!
2. Marinara: Pomodoro® Assistant
When it comes to working from home, breaks are essential — and don’t you forget it! Avoid WFH-related burnout and make sure to spend some time away from your computer a few times throughout the day, especially if you’re the type to work long hours.
If you’re the type of worker who needs constant reminding to take breaks, then the Marinara will definitely be helpful to you. Functioning based on the popular Pomodoro Technique, the Chrome extension will set off alarms to remind you whenever you have to take breaks and get back to work!
It starts with one simple click on a random video or article — then suddenly, in the blink of an eye, a significant amount of time has already passed. With the help of Google Chrome extensions like StayFocusd, you can actually focus on the tasks you have at hand. This extension allows you to limit the amount of time you spend on the websites that usually distract you, or outright block them for the rest of the day.
So, how long do you think you can go without checking your fave social networking sites?
Forest is yet another Chrome extension that focuses on boosting your productivity. Basically, you’ll need to create a “block list” of the websites that usually keep you distracted when you’re supposed to be working. If you stay off of them successfully for 30 minutes, your seed will grow into a tree; if you’re unable to resist, then your tree will wither away. (And yes, actual trees will be planted whenever you grow them via the Forest extension!)
Top Google Chrome extension for blocking ads
Finally — goodbye to those pesky ads! With Adblock being the most highly rated Google Chrome extension for blocking ads, we need not look any further. This all-in-one ad blocker will block pop-up ads, unsightly banners, and even unskippable video ads on sites like YouTube. Its features also include blocking third-party trackers from getting access to your browsing history and personal info. The best part? It’s totally free!
Note: In the event some ads do still pop up, make sure to check your settings and untick “Show non obstructive ads”!
Google Chrome extensions for creatives
The moment I discovered ColorZilla, it instantly became one of my favourite Google Chrome extensions — and not just because its name kind of reminds of a particular online publication (wink wink!).
As someone who’s dabbled in creative work, I’ve experienced how challenging it can be when you’ve found the perfect colour in a photo or website layout, only to have a hard time finding the right colour code to match. Thanks to this super handy Chrome extension, you can easily extract the code of your desired colour with the help of an eyedropper tool. You don’t even have to leave your browser!
The WhatFont Chrome extension is like ColorZilla, only for fonts. If you chance upon a font you have to have while browsing through a website, all you’ll need to do is hover over it. In a jiffy, you’ll find everything you need to know: Font family, style, weight, size, line height, and colour!
Chrome extensions for preventing eye strain
8. Super Dark Mode
When we’re spending all day in front of our laptops, eye strain is practically inevitable. Besides taking short breaks during the work day, setting your screen on dark mode can be a big help. Among many similar Chrome extensions, I found that Super Dark Mode is the most highly rated option for putting your browser in dark mode. It covers most, if not all websites — and you can even “whitelist” websites that you’d like to view in default mode.
9. Screen Shader
If reading articles and browsing through websites on dark mode doesn’t tickle your fancy, then perhaps Screen Shader will be more of your cup of tea. This Chrome extension allows you to alter the tint of your browser to a soothing colour of your choice. You can even set a specific time for screen shading — say, whenever the sky starts getting dark, or even the moment you turn on your laptop to start the work day!
Google chrome extensions for avid readers
10. Mercury Reader
Sometimes, we just want to read an article without any other ads, suggestions, or extra icons getting in the way. (Other times, some websites simply have horrible fonts and overall layouts.) Get an extension like Mercury Reader to allow you to read your desired article in peace — all you’ll see is the text and images, end of story. To add to that, you can even set it to a font of your choosing!
When you need a break from reading, let Speechify do the reading for you! All you’ll need to do is simply highlight the text, and it’ll read the selection out loud for you. Alternatively, if you’re like me, this Chrome extension will come in handy when you run into an unfamiliar word that you can’t seem to figure out how to pronounce!
12. Google Translate
Hate having to open a new tab each and every time you want to translate something on Google? (First world problems, I know.) Thankfully, Google Translate has its own Google Chrome extension! All you’ll need to do is highlight the word you’d like to translate; for a selection of text, highlight and right-click to translate. Easy as pie!
13. Instant Dictionary
Here’s another pick for those who are too lazy to switch tabs or launch a separate app altogether — Instant Dictionary. While reading, you have to double click the word, term, or name you’d like to check out and voila! Take note that this Chrome extension is only supported by the English dictionary and Wikipedia, so some terms may not come out; but hey, we’ll always have Google for all the rest!
Note: According to reviews, the audio pronunciation feature is a little faulty. But thankfully, we have Speechify for that!
14. Power Thesaurus
Similar to Google Dictionary, Power Thesaurus will instantly generate synonyms and antonyms for your selected word. Just highlight and right-click! It also has a search bar option, and reviews show that users love its clean, minimalist look. We love a no-nonsense Chrome extension that’s easy to use and navigate!
The ultimate Chrome extension for inspiration
Do a quick search for the best Google Chrome extensions, and you’ll find Momentum on just about every list. As every techie, Google Chrome-savvy individual seems to have deemed this one a must-have, I had to download it for myself. For those of you who love looking at travel photos, writing to-do lists, and receiving a daily dose of inspiration, then you’ll definitely want to check this one out!
Momentum is meant to be set as your homepage, and will also come out whenever you open a new tab. Every day, you’ll find a personalised greeting, a background of a different destination (today, mine is Monemvasia, Greece!), a mantra, and a quote. There’s also a checklist feature where you can write down everything you have to do. It’s so simple yet sleek and soothing to the eyes — and I love how it easily reminds me to power through the day!
I may have been today years old when I learned about most of these Google Chrome extensions, but I’m glad I wasn’t too late to the party! Which ones are your go-tos? Feel free to share them in the comments section!
All images credited to the Chrome Web Store.