I’m an efficiency nut. I change little things about my processes and tools just to shave a few seconds off of tasks I repeat over and over again each day. I even use a square monitor because I feel I lose too much time moving my mouse across a wide screen. All these little savings add up and there’s no better way to increase your work efficiency than with some juicy browser extensions.
Since Chrome is my browser of choice these days, I decided to write this post about Google’s browser. There are similar extensions for Firefox and maybe IE (who knows?) so if you see an extension you like, try searching for a similar extension for your browser. I purposely skipped over most of the SEO tools because those lists have been done over and over again. My goal here is to help all online marketers get more work done in less time.
If I missed an extension that you like, please post it in the comments!
If you ever plan on optimizing a landing page or designing a website, you need to get Fireshot. This handy extension lets you take whole page screen shots, save them to your desktop, open in an image editor or even spring up a built in image editor complete with annotation tools. Fireshot has its roots as a Firefox extension (hence the name) and is now available in Chrome. The lack of this extension in Chrome was one of the only things I regretted when moving from Firefox. Now all is good.
Right click a link, click “Shorten and copy link with bit.ly” – BAM! You just created a bit.ly link ready to paste into your next Tweet or Facebook status. If you’re looking to shorten the URL of the page you’re on, you just click the little baby face in the extensions bar which will pop up a button that will allow you to shorten and copy the URL. Using Bit.ly has never been faster. Post your links and move onto your next task with this awesome extension.
3. Mouse Stroke
Have you fallen in love with gestures yet? This beloved technology, which has yet to catch on, uses strokes drawn on your screen with your mouse when the right click button is clicked to perform a dizzying array of functions. Next tab is up and right. Previous tab is up and left. Closing a tab is down and right. The point is that you can draw these little shapes anywhere in your browser and skip the agonizingly long time it takes to move your fingers to control+tab, or even worse, actually clicking on the next tab #squirmingjustthinkingaboutit
4. Link Clump
My favorite way to improve efficiency is to utilize lists of links (Google reports, BaseCamp todo lists, custom HTML files, etc.) and open all those links in new tabs. From there you can go through each tab closing them along the way when you’re done working on that item. The only problem is right clicking on every link and clicking “Open in New Tab” is an efficiency nut’s worst nightmare. Mouse Stroke makes this slightly more tolerable (right click + down stroke each link = new tab), but Link Clump makes opening multiple links a joy. All you do is hit shift + right click and draw a box around the links you want to open in new tabs. Chrome then bursts to life with all the pages you need to work on during that sitting.
5. Page Rank
While Page Rank is for “entertainment purposes only” I still like to check out PR when I’m visiting a web page. The Chrome extension Page Rank shows you the PR and Alexa rank for web pages you visit. While it’s not the sexiest SEO tool, it’s light weight and won’t slow down your browser like more robust SEO extensions.
Since I name dropped Alexa in the last extension, I figured I’d throw Compete.com a little love. Data cleverly gathered from ISPs helps Compete build traffic and usage data for websites. “Open in Compete” gives you access to this data by putting in a little blue and green circle in the right of your address bar that takes you to a compete.com result page for the URL you were on. +5 points for being a one click extension!
7. Hover Zoom
Clicking on image links and waiting for the image to load is so 1999. Hover Zoom lets you hover over image links and a popup of the image fades in over the web page. This extension offers instant gratification for viewing images saving you precious seconds spent clicking and waiting. +500 points for being a no click extension!
In Chrome, if you want to access the downloads page you have to click on the settings drop down, scroll all the way down to downloads and click that too. Shew. That was a lot of work. Luckily the Downloads extension puts a button right next to your address bar giving you direct access to your downloads list. Accessing my download list was another sore point when switching from Firefox so I was happy to run across this one click wonder.
I hope you found this list helpful, and while you probably are reading this post when you should be working, rest assured that the tips you learned today will help you save time in the future that you can spend reading more Marketing Pilgrim!
Don’t forget to comment with *your* favorite extensions.