Apps

The best Chrome extensions to boost your productivity in 2017

Tab management

Open up too many tabs and you’ll not only find yourself overwhelmed and unable to focus on the task at hand, but you’ll also slow your desktop to a crawl. Try these tools to wrangle them.

The Great Suspender for killing unused tabs

Chrome can be quite the memory hog when you have a ton of tabs open, like I usually do. Thankfully, there’s a way to free up RAM without drastically changing your browsing habits.

This extension suspends tabs that you haven’t interacted with in an hour so they don’t take up valuable memory; you can always reload them with just a click when you need them.

➤ The Great Suspender

Tab Snooze for tucking unwanted tabs away till you need them

Tab Snooze tackles the problem of too many open tabs by making them disappear until you need them again – whether it’s later that evening, the next day or even later.

You can tweak the settings to adjust when these tabs will resurface, and access your snoozed pages at any time in a list. As someone who gets distracted way too easily with ‘must-see’ links on Twitter and Reddit, this is a must-have to keep my tasks on track.

➤ Tab Snooze

OneTab for consolidating your mountain of tabs

Although OneTab is designed to reduce Chrome’s memory use, it actually does a whole lot more to help you manage your browsing session effectively.

Its primary function is to consolidate all the open tabs in a window into a single list of links, closing each tab as it goes and freeing up precious RAM. You can then restore these pages one by one or all at once.

If you’ve gathered up a bunch of interesting pages in your session, you can turn your list of tabs into a web page that you can share with anyone. If you prefer, you can export them as plain-text URLs.

That’s not all: OneTab also lets you name groups of tabs and add pages to them individually from the right-click context menu – making it a breeze to bring all your online research together and organize it as you please. If you’re like me and often bring your desktop to its knees with too many open tabs, you’ll want to give OneTab a try.

➤ OneTab

Email Criptext for unsending emails

We’ve all hit ‘Send’ prematurely at some point in our lives and wished we could bring back that erroneous email. Gmail lets you do that with a short window, but Criptext uses advanced tech to allow you to change your message at any time – and even wipe it entirely.

The way it works is that Criptext converts your email contents into an image only when it’s opened; that way, the text you typed remains within your control after you’ve hit send and until your recipient views your message for the first time.

Plus, Criptext’s cloud-based system keeps your correspondence secure, supports attachments up to 100MB in size and lets you set your messages to self-destruct after a specific amount of time.

➤ Criptext

Slik for discovering contact info on LinkedIn

Slik was developed by a 15-year-old (yup, you read that right) to help marketers discover leads more easily around the web.

Found a prospective client? Just look them up on LinkedIn, click the Slik button and it’ll instantly hunt down their official email address for you.

Co-founder Soroush Ghodsi says that Slik is about 95 percent accurate, thanks to a unique combination of web scraping, pattern matching and the use of third-party APIs to find addresses – and it lives up to the hype.

This is the only extension on our list that’ll cost you. Slik will hunt down your first 10 email addresses for free, but after that, you’ll need to subscribe to one of its paid plans, which start at $30 per month for 300 verified emails.

➤ Slik

Clearbit Connect for finding just about anyone’s contact info in your inbox

This extension supercharges your Gmail inbox by displaying details of everyone who writes to you, including links to their social profiles.

That makes it a snap to add them to your contact list, edit information like tags and notes, and even schedule calendar events right from the sidebar next to their email message.

As a journalist in the tech industry, I find Clearbit Connect especially helpful in dealing with the long list of developers, entrepreneurs and PR professionals that I’m fortunate to work with on a regular basis: Tracking my history interacting with them on numerous stories helps me build better relationships with them.

Clearbit Connect also has another useful trick up its sleeve: It lets you search for just about any professional’s email address, right from your inbox. If you know their name and their company’s name, chances are that the extension will be able to track down the right address – and add it to a new Compose window with just a click.

➤ Clearbit Connect

Checker Plus for managing your inbox without opening it

Staying on top of all the email I receive across three Gmail inboxes is no mean feat, and I’m usually not up to the task. Checker Plus lightens the load a bit by allowing me to scroll through all my messages right from my browser toolbar, along with the ability to reply, delete and archive them.

You can choose to receive audible notifications, set the toolbar button to open your inbox and use keyboard shortcuts to quickly triage your overflowing email – all without having to leave whatever else you’re working on. Oh, and you can choose a custom theme to personalize it too. Pretty soon, you may stop visiting your inbox altogether.

➤ Checker Plus

That brings us to the end of our roundup of powerful Chrome extensions to boost your productivity. Once you’ve tried a few and found your favorites, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without them, and probably uninstall a few redundant desktop apps too. Let us know about your favorite extensions in the comments.

Read next: How to work less, get better results

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