25 Helpful Chrome Extensions Every Virtual Assistant Needs
I love my Chromebook.
It’s my work horse, the thing that’s light enough to carry around in my purse and powerful enough to whip out a course.
You probably know that Chrome is a web browser that was created by Google. It’s fast, secure, and easy to use on multiple devices. What you may not know is that Chrome has small apps called “extensions”.
App creators can develop these extensions that add extra functions to your browser. For example, if you’ve installed an ad blocker through Chrome then you’ve probably used an extension even if you didn’t realize it.
Chrome extensions can save virtual assistants time and add more enjoyment to your browsing. Here are a few of the best extensions to improve your productivity and make you smile…
Simplify Your Inbox with These Email Extensions
For the Gmail junkies that love using Google’s mail platform, these extensions will help you manage and sort your inbox so you can stay on top of all your messages.
Boomerang for Gmail
Boomerang for Gmail lets you schedule your emails to your recipients. For example, if you don’t want your clients to know you work past midnight, simply schedule your emails to hit their inbox at six am.
You can also set Boomerang to give you a notification when someone reads your message or Boomerang can remind you about a message if you haven’t received a response, making it easy for you to follow up with clients and customers.
One feature that sets Boomerang apart is that you can “pause” your inbox. If you’re in the middle of a big project and you don’t want to be interrupted, simply click “pause”.
You’ll only be notified about new messages of your choosing during a pause. So for example, if you want to receive messages from your virtual assistant but no one else, then Boomerang will only tell you about the emails you get from your VA.
WiseStamp – Email Signatures for Gmail
WiseStamp is an extension that allows you to add beautiful signatures to your messages in Gmail. It’s a great way to brand your emails and let your recipients know about your website or your products.
With this extension, you can create a basic signature that includes your name, your image, and your website URL. But you can also take it a step further and include social media icons, your latest blog post or a recent tweet.
Right Inbox for Gmail
Right Inbox for Gmail is an extension that allows you to schedule emails and get reminders to follow up on certain messages. Like Boomerang, it’s a great way to keep your inbox organized.
But one of the best features of Right Inbox is that it allows you to schedule recurring messages. This can be helpful if you find yourself sending the same emails again and again. For example, if you ask your VA for a status report every week, set the email to be recurring so you never have to think about it again!
Right Tasks for Gmail
If you’ve used Google calendars before, then you’re probably familiar with the helpful tasks feature. You can use it to list tasks that you need to accomplish and the list stays open on the right side of your browser. It’s a great feature but you have to be in your calendar to use it, which isn’t always convenient.
With Right Tasks for Gmail, you can create a task list inside your inbox. Like the Google calendar feature, this list stays tucked away in the right corner so you can monitor your email while still keeping your to do list present.
7 Extensions for Boosting Your Productivity
Staying productive when you’re online isn’t always easy. But these extensions can prevent overwhelm and help you stay on track.
Sticky Notes lets you capture your thoughts no matter what you’re browsing. This can be helpful if you’re listening to a webinar and want to remember something the speaker said or if you’re trying to outline a project you’re working on and need space to brainstorm a few ideas.
This Chrome extension is fast, secure, and private. Best of all, you don’t have to worry about losing your notes if you clear your cache or delete your browser’s cookies.
Todoist is a simple to do list and task manager extension. You can create tasks that you can view, organize, or complete. You can also delegate tasks right from your inbox, which is helpful if you work with a team or if you have your own virtual assistant.
You can also color-code your tasks, add sub-tasks, and create projects. You can add deadlines to tasks and set some items as recurring so you know to do them monthly (like backup your website).
If you find yourself wasting time on social media and other websites when you should be working, then Forest might be a good extension for you. Forest is a productivity app that feels like a game. When you’re ready to focus, open the app and plant a tree. This tree will grow full-size in thirty minutes.
But if you visit a website on your black list, then the tree withers away. To help you stay on track, you can build a whole forest of trees each day. It’s a simple and effective way to stop mindless browsing and bring your focus back to the task you’re working on.
Push Bullet is an app that allows you to manage your phone notifications right from your desktop or laptop computer. With it, you can get your SMS messages and app alerts in one central place.
Another great feature of Push Bullet is that it allows you to quickly and easily send links and files to your phone. The files will automatically download so all you have to do is grab your phone and go.
Be Limitless encourages you to be productive by analyzing the time you spend on various web activities. You can see how long you’ve spent browsing social media, reading emails, or searching online.
But you’re in control of what counts as productive time. For example, if you’re logged into Twitter for a client, you can mark that time as productive even though you were on social media.
This handy extension also keeps the goal for your day front and center so you see it when you open a new tab. You can even add a task list and keep notes inside Be Limitless.
Mercury Reader is an easy way to clear away the digital clutter when you’re reading online. If you’re reading a lengthy article and find the font difficult to read or the website to have advertisements that are slowing your device down, simply click on the rocket ship icon.
Then Mercury Reader will display the content for you in a special reader. In the reader, you can customize the text size, the fonts, and even choose between a light and dark theme. This makes reading content online a breeze.
Sideplayer lets you watch YouTube videos while doing other tasks online. It does this by creating a small video player that rests on top of the web page you’re browsing. You can re-position this video player as needed.
This extension can be especially helpful when you’re following a tutorial online. Instead of switching between tabs and pausing the video repeatedly, let it play in your tab as you work so you can easily follow along.
Transform Your New Tabs
Some Chrome extensions can be used to change the look and feel of new tabs. Let these apps inspire and motivate you.
RatherNice is a simple extension designed to boost your mood. When you open a new tab, you’ll see a smiling glass half-filled with water that gives you a random compliment.
There are dozens of compliments so you rarely see the wrong one. Although simple, this app is the perfect way to bring a smile to your face on a bad day.
Momentum is an app that will greet you each time you open a new tab. You’ll see a beautiful image, an inspirational quote, and the current time. You’ll also find a weather icon so you know the temperature and a small to do list.
When you open Momentum each morning, it asks you what task you’ll focus on. It only allows you to add one answer which forces you to think carefully about what should be your number one priority for the day.
Infinity New Tab
Infinity New Tab is a minimalist tab option. When you open a new tab, it will display several flat icons that take you to your favorite websites or apps. No more trying to type in a long URL, just click the icon and go.
You can customize these apps based on your preferences. So if you want an icon for Gmail, Facebook or Amazon, you can do that. You can also include icons for apps that you use frequently like EverNote or the Weather Channel.
My Quotes New Tab
My Quotes New Tab displays an inspirational image every time you open a new tab. It also loads a handy a search bar so you can easily use Google or Yahoo to browse the web. Below the search bar, you’ll see the current time, the weather, and several other icons that you may find useful.
One feature that sets My Quotes New Tab apart is that you can set it to play music while you work. You can toggle this feature on or off by using the music note icon in the corner of your screen.
Create Beautiful Designs with These Extensions
Browsing the web can inspire you but sometimes, it’s hard to know exactly how a designer created a specific element. What color did they use? What font is that? Wonder no more with these design tools.
Colorzilla is an extension that allows you to pull the color from any element on a web page. That means if you love a shade of green you see on a website, you can click the color picker and discover exactly what color it is.
Another handy feature of Colorzilla is that it stores your previous color selections. That means you can easily find other colors you’ve clicked on and used so you don’t have to worry about losing one of your favorites.
Font Finder will help you determine what font a web page is using. Once you’ve installed the extension, all you have to do is right click and select “Inspect Font”. Then you’ll be shown the name of the font.
But Font Finder doesn’t stop there. You’ll also see other helpful information like the color, size and spacing of the font you selected.
Window Resizer lets you test what a web page will look across various devices. You can open a website and click on the extension to pick from a range of gadgets like iPhone, Windows Desktop, and more.
Once you select the device, the page will reload and appear as it would on that layout. This can be useful for making sure your pages are loading correctly across different platforms.
3 Simple Extensions to Encourage Healthy Habits
Some Chrome extensions can be useful for prompting you to make healthy choices and encouraging you to start new habits.
Break Timer reminds you to take regular breaks from your computer so you can rest your eyes. If you’re not quite ready for a break and want to finish something up, you can click on the “postpone” button to be reminded again in a few minutes.
You can customize how long breaks last and how often you want to take them. That means if you only want to take a short break every 20 minutes, you can or if you prefer to take a longer break every hour, you can do that instead.
Have you ever been so involved in a project that you forgot to grab a beverage for several hours? With the Drink extension, those days are in your past.
Every hour, Drink reminds you to stop and hydrate your body. It’s simple but very effective and a great way to build short breaks into your day when you get up to grab a glass of H20.
Posture Minder is a great way to become more mindful of the way you sit while working. It reminds you to sit up straight in regularly timed intervals. You can set it for 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or even 60 minutes depending on your preference.
The reminders are snarky and meant to grab your attention so you don’t dismiss the notifications without reading them. Along with posture reminders, you can also set the app to encourage you to take regular walks.
Optimize Your Browsing Session with These Extensions
Make your browsing experience smoother and get more done when you use these helpful Chrome extensions…
Clear Cache is an extension that allows you to quickly clean up your cache. Chrome like all browsers stores pieces of the websites you visit in the program cache. This helps speed up your browsing experience and makes your websites load faster.
But sometimes, the cache can be a problem. For example, if you make a change to your website that isn’t showing up, the problem is most likely that some part of the site is still in the cache. With the Clear Cache extension, you can quickly and easily wipe your cache. Then your changes should display without a problem.
News Feed Eradicator
If you spend hours procrastinating on Facebook, then you might need the News Feed Eradicator extension. It blocks you from seeing your feed when you login to your Facebook account.
Instead, you’ll only see a randomly generated quote. If you want, you can customize that quote. This can be helpful when you’re pushing yourself to complete a big project. You could put something simple in your feed like, “Nothing to see here! Back to work.”
One of my favorites, LastPass is an extension that stores your passwords for you. The only password you’ll ever have to remember is the one for your LastPass account. This is considered your “master” password and with it, you can access all of your passwords from any device.
When you visit a website like Facebook and your information is stored in LastPass, you only have to click on your username and LastPass will automatically enter your password for you.
No more struggling to remember your password or having to use the same password across all of your accounts. Now your passwords will be secure and easy to retrieve.
Loom allows you to capture video in Google Chrome and share it with others quickly and easily. You can choose to record your desktop, yourself, or your current Chrome tab. It’s easy to use and you only have to click once to record, once to stop, and once to share with others.
Recording time and storage are currently unlimited. You can also download your videos into an MP4 file, making it easy to upload your video to other locations like YouTube or Facebook.
I use Loom often, like in this quick little video I made, giving folks a sneak peek into my upcoming course for general virtual assistants.
There are dozens of Chrome extensions that you can install and use. But the ones listed above are some of the best ones so if you’re new to extensions, you’ll want to start with those first.
Do you have a favorite Chrome extension? Share yours in the comments!