You've heard the phrase, "humans only use 10 percent of their brains," and while this is clinically untrue, it's an undisputed truth that we only use 10 percent of our Google Chrome. So here are 20 totally free Chrome extensions that will assuredly give your browsing a boost and your overall productivity a much-needed gut check. Or at the very least, turn every photo on your internet into Nic Cage.
Secure all of your passwords in one place
The extension: LastPass
Over the years, you've probably been accumulating passwords at the same rate and frequency that Nic Cage accumulates bizarre shit. Install LastPass to manage and store all your passwords in one secure place, accessible from all your devices. Just don't forget your password to LastPass. Maybe write it on your hand.
Keep track of (and block) sites that track you
The extension: Disconnect
Like some kind of web-based Jason Bourne, Disconnect allows you to "visualize and block the otherwise invisible websites that track your search and browsing history." It's a condom for your browser: you can still be dipping into the strange stuff, without any unpleasant, lingering souvenirs. That was gross. Sorry.
Schedule your emails to send at specific times
The extension: Boomerang
Sending emails at 3am is kind of weird, and getting up bright and early just to send two or three emails really sucks. Boomerang solves all these time-centric conundrums by allowing you to schedule emails to send at a certain date and time. Why didn't they just build this into Gmail in the first place?
Stay effortlessly organized
The extension: Evernote
Evernote was described to me as "an infinitely expandable, instantly searchable, all-encompassing backpack holding everything in your life." After trying it out, I find I have no complaints against this claim.
Save everything to your Drive with one click
The extension: Save to Google Drive
The aptly named Save to Google Drive lets you save web-based content, like pages, blocks of text, pictures, and more, straight to your Google drive with one convenient click. Perfect for students who plan on straight up plagiarizing their next paper, but want to do so with even less effort.
Auto-fill every digital form
The extension: Lazarus
Have you ever filled out an insanely long online form, only to have missed one number on your credit card, resetting the entire freaking form? Of course you have, which is why there's that fist-sized hole in your drywall. Lazarus, cunningly named after that dude Jesus raised from the dead, dynamically saves what you're typing into any given form, and will replenish it intact, should disaster strike. Now that is truly saintly.
Save long stories to read later, even when you're offline
The extension: Save to Pocket
The internet is rife with exceptional long reads these days, but most of us just can't stop everything and delve into a 12,000-word New Yorker piece in the middle of the workday. Pocket makes it easy to file it away for later -- saving an offline version of the story you can pull up when you have some spare time to read it -- whether on your computer or phone.
Get instant access to the world's greatest knowledge engine
The extension: Wolfram Alpha
If you don't know, Wolfram Alpha is arguably the world's most comprehensive, advanced answer engine -- as well as Siri's best friend. So, having Wolfram on your browser (and on your side) should definitely come in handy, especially if you need to know what planes are flying overhead, or the amount of calories in 3.5 million pounds of Sicilian pizza. Or you know, you're doing serious, data-driven research, or whatever. Nerd.
Track your web usage... with charts
The extension: Web Timer
In case you needed a visual representation of the time you split between online adult entertainment and baby elephant GIFs, there's Web Timer, plotting out your digital footprint in concise, easy-to-read pie charts.
Transform blah Wikipedia pages into engaging multimedia hubs
The extension: Wikiwand
If you're going to get sucked into a Wikipedia wormhole, it might as well be a good-looking one. Wikiwand automatically transforms the decidedly boring grey/white/blue Wikipedia interface into one that's colorful, modern, and multimedia-rich.
The extension: StayFocusd
Because we all have a lil' ADD, Stay Focused blocks you from visiting procrastination hotbeds like Reddit, Facebook, and ESPN, but only when you need it. Perfect for getting work done, or keeping your focus on the task at hand... or... wait what were we talking about again? Oh yeah, I bet there are a lot of cool things happening on Facebook right now!
Keep a record of everything you copy/paste
The extension: Clipboard History 2
If you're copying and pasting text and links all day long, CH2 might be your new favorite work tool. It keeps a record of everything you ever add to your clipboard, so you can easily retrieve it at any time, and copy and paste multiple items simultaneously without worry that either will override the other.
Keep tabs on your tabs
The extension: The Great Suspender
The Great Suspender has the name of a Depression-era magician, but is in fact an extremely useful, modern tool, that suspends your idle tabs and makes sure your computer isn't bogged down by your wasteful ways.
Get a cool surprise every time you launch a new tab
The extension: Earth View from Google Earth
Spicing up the typically stark white blank page that greets you when you launch a fresh tab, Earth View transforms the page into a random gorgeous still image pulled from the millions of square miles in the Google Earth database, along with its location on the globe, and links out to a more detailed view.
Block every annoying ad
The extensions: uBlock Origin
There's a smorgasbord of ad blocking add-ons in the Google store, but for my money, uBlock Origin wins 'Best in Show.' It does the job spectacularly, gives you meaningful data on what exactly is being blocked (and from where), and operates using a big, oversized power button that you click. And literally everyone in the world loves clicking on big, oversized buttons. It's a win-win. Except for advertisers, I guess.
Always score the best coupons
The extension: Honey
Honey is an app that aggregates all the coupons currently applicable to the site you're on, and lets you redeem them right away. My wallet would thank me, but it's still pissed off I bought all my friends beers at the Yankees game.
The extension: Hola! Unblocker
Did you know there's a whole other Netflix sitting out there, just begging to be watched? Dig this: other countries have different streaming options we don't get in the US (because of legal mumbo jumbo, and other licensing what-not). Access this, as well as international versions of other sites, using Hola! Unblocker. It's just one of many excellent ways to enhance your Netflix binging.
Instantly add GIFs to emails
The extension: Giphy
If an email sends without an embedded GIF, did it even really send at all? Installing the spanking-new Giphy extension to your emails gives you a streamlined approach to find the perfect rebuttal to Don from accounting's incessant "did anyone find my watch?" queries. Yes, Don, we found your watch. And no, you can't have it back because I pawned it. Wasn't my Beetlejuice GIF clear enough?
Creatively express yourself in every situation
The extension: Emoji Keyboard
As we edge closer to a world in which we communicate solely via pictographs, this one's increasingly critical. It adds a pop-out keyboard flush with the latest and greatest emoji so you can quickly drop them into emails/comments/chats on your computer, just as you do from your phone.
BONUS: Turn every web image into Nicolas Cage
The extensions: nCage
Everyone relax. Your prayers have been answered. nCage turns every image on your Internet to pictures of the Cagester. So while you're busy reading about wars, natural disasters, and Kardashian antics, all you can see is Cage, Cage, Cage. I suppose there really is a silver lining to every dark cloud.
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