Use Google Chrome Like A Productivity Beast

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Good news novice Chrome users: There’s a whole world of Chrome apps out there, and finding the right ones can transform your workflow, saving you a whole lot of time.

Chances are you’re already familiar with things like Google Drive, Evernote and Trello. Here are five lesser known Chrome apps that may very well revolutionize your approach to work:

Pocket.

Let’s say a colleague sends you a link to an interesting piece related to your industry. It’s not a listicle, though, so you scan it quickly and figure you’ll give it a solid 20-minute read later on after you wrap a few more things up. Next thing you know, you’re on the train home and figure now’s as good a time as any to read the piece. The problem? You’re not connected, so you can’t access any content to read.

Pocket solves that conundrum, allowing you to quickly save web content so that you’re able to read it whether you’re connected or not. An intuitive “read it later” service, Pocket also allows you to restyle and resize fonts, share content socially and tag and star selected items. It’s also widely supported by many third-party services—more than 500 of them—so chances are you can realize at least some efficiencies from using it.

StayFocusd.

Anyone who regularly uses the Internet has a list of time-sucking websites that undoubtedly impede productivity: favorite blogs, the social network du jour, message boards, etc. If you’re like most curious folks, once you open your browser it can be only a matter of seconds before you’re stuck in an immense Wikipedia black hole. At that point, by the time you return to your senses, you can’t even recall why you sat down at your computer in the first place.

StayFocusd was created to make it easier for those who are easily distracted to remain focused on the job at hand. The app lets you limit access to specific sites (e.g., choose grant yourself 30 minutes to spend on Facebook and other favorite Internet stops over the course of a day). Once that’s done, StayFocusd will keep track of your Internet usage and once that 30 minutes is up, boom, no more Facebook, no more Huffington Post, no more Lifehacker.

You’re also able to block access to the entirety of the Internet if you really have no self-control. But be warned: The app is “harsh,” according to CNET. You better make sure you mean it before setting a restriction. But proper usage of the app will almost certainly increase your output. Side effects include less knowledge of the comings and goings of Kim Kardashian’s posterior, etc.

DropTask.

Ever get tired of ending the day with more tasks on your to-do list than you had when you started working that morning? You wouldn’t be alone. To-do lists can be cumbersome, especially when they seem to be growing in perpetuity.

Enter DropTask, a killer Chrome app that reimagines the to-do list all together. Tasks are presented as colorful Venn Diagrams, and you’re allowed to group them by project or category. You can also filter them by priority and deadline.

Essentially, DropTask gives you a firm handle on all the assignments on your plate without any of the mundanity traditionally associated with classic to-do lists.

LastPass.

How much time have you spent trying to log into an account only to have to go through the process of resetting your password, gaining access something like five minutes later?

It can be hard enough to manage one password, assuming you’ve got to include capital and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters when you craft it and have to change it every three months (but not to any of the 10 previously used passwords).

As the volume of usernames and passwords we need to remember continues to increase—recent research indicates on average, we manage 17 different accounts—it is incredibly difficult to stay on top of all of them.

That’s where LastPass comes into the equation. The freemium service allows you to store all of your passwords in the cloud (you can access them via mobile devices with the premium version).

LastPass helps you reclaim time while also giving you the peace of mind that comes with knowing your accounts are secure. You’ll only have to remember the strong, unique password you make for LastPass to remember how to get into all of your other accounts—which means you’ll have more time to crank out work.

Lazarus Form Recovery.

If you’ve used the Internet in any capacity, you know the agony and frustration that results when data entered into a website isn’t saved. Maybe your browser crashes, maybe you lose connectivity. Whether you’re filling out a form, writing a paragraph or posting a long comment, when that happens, there’s not much you can do but suck it up and reenter the data.

Le sigh.

With Lazarus Form Recovery, though, those headaches immediately become a thing of the past. True to its name in the biblical sense, the app will make sure data previously lost can rise from the dead. And it’s easy to use, too: Simply click the back button on Chrome then click the Lazarus button and choose which version of the page you’d like to restore.

Making progress has never been easier.

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