Like so many other time-strapped solopreneurs, I’m constantly on the lookout for tools that can save me time. Saved time means increased productivity – because there’s more of it up for grabs to get things done!
Often, it’s not just one big whopping tool that will make all the difference…it’s a combination of several that will help you work smarter. And if you’re a Chrome user, choosing – and consistently using – some well-performing extensions will give you the ability to conserve minutes (or even hours) every day and let you accomplish more.
My Personal “Couldn’t Live Without” Favorite Chrome Extensions:
This extension makes it super easy to +1 and share a web page to your circles on Google+ without going directy to your G+ profile or page. When you’ve read a blog post or happen upon a web page that’s worth sharing, you simply need to click on the little G+1 icon on your browser bar. A window then pops up which automatically attaches the link to the page you’re on and +1s the page. It also allows you to write a status update and choose which circles or individuals you want to share it with on G+. Because I don’t use any scheduling utility for Google+, this extension is essential in my book. You can find it and download it for free at the Google Chrome Web Store
If you use Hootsuite, you’ll want to install this extension ASAP. Like the G+1 extension, it lets you to post to your Hootsuite account (and the networks you access through it) without directly going to your Hootsuite dashboard. When you’re on a web page/blog post that’s perfect for your audience, just click on the Hootsuite Hootlet icon on your browser and the Hootsuite “Create a New Message” box will open so you can craft your tweet or status update (the link to the page you were visiting will automatically be shortened), select the networks you want to share it on, and either send right away or schedule it. You can download the Hootlet Link Share extension from the Extensions page of Hootsuite.com
Passwords, passwords everywhere. LastPass has been a lifesaver! It’s a free secure online password manager and form filler that lets you bypass digging out your individual passwords for the multitude of apps, networks and tools you use on the web. I love, love, love it because I don’t have to worry about remembering individual passwords every time I want to log in to a site. After setting up a single password for your “LastPass Vault” and loading the individual password info for the sites that you regularly (or not so regularly) log into (think social media networks, Google, wireless phone account, productivity tools, online banking, etc.), life gets instantaneously easier and more secure. LastPass encrypts your data to keep it safe and then fills in your login info whenever you visit a site that you stored in your vault. No guessing, “what was that password again?” or digging through sticky notes or index cards to find your passwords.
Evernote Web Clipper
If you’re an avid Evernote user, the Web Clipper Extension is a must. It’s perfect for when you’re on a web page that you want to save for future reference because it’s got info you can use for a blog post or because you quite simply don’t have enough time to read it on the spot, It streamlines the process of saving important web pages to Evernote. No need to go through the steps of copying the link, logging into Evernote and pasting the URL into your Evernote notebook of choice. Instead, you just need to click on the Evernote Web Clipper extension. You’ll then see a window that gives you a variety of options for how you want to save the info on the page. You can save the article, a specific selection from the page, the full page, or the URL. You can also save it as a PDF or email it to someone. You also choose the Evernote notebook you want to save it in, and you can add tags to categorize it and comments to remind yourself of why you saved it in the first place. To download it for free, go to the Web Clipper page on Evernote’s website.
This free extension lets you capture just a screenshot or 100% of the content appearing on any webpage. I use it primarily to capture all content on webpages for which I wrote the content so I can save it for sharing in my professional portfolio. The extension saves the content in a PNG file and then I convert it to a PDF so the text is a readable size. Also sweet about this extension is that you can easily share any webpage to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Evernote, WordPress, Blogger, Google Drive or by email. You can download the Webpage and Webcam Screenshot extension from the Chrome Web Store.
Your turn! Which extensions save you time, boost productivity, and give you capabilities to help you work smarter?
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