What would you do with an extra hour in your week? Would you go get a massage? Watch a couple of extra episodes of Shameless? Try out a new Keto recipe from Tik Tok? Not sure? Well, you better figure it out because I’m about to give you that extra hour…free!
I’m always looking for ways to carve a couple of extra seconds off any task. I consider it a challenge. And when I find something that works, I don’t mind sharing. Below are my favourite ten Chrome Extensions that I pretty much use every single day.
On the off-hand chance, you might be thinking…what the hell is a Chrome extension. (Cue the harps in the heavens because the clouds are about to part and the angels are going to break out into song). Technically, it doesn’t really matter what they are, what’s more important is what they do. Chrome extensions are simply short-cut add-ons to your Chrome browser that keep you focused, on task and can save you time. Be careful though..there is an actual affliction called Chrome Extension Addiction – (meetings every Thursdays at 10AM). Once you get hooked, you will find yourself adding more extensions than Ariana Grande.
So be forewarned and take some advice from a fellow extension addict. I am giving you only ten of my most favourite that can positively impact your travel business.
1. Evernote Web Clipper – Personal Assistant
First off, you are going to need Evernote, otherwise, this Chrome extension makes zero sense. I live by Evernote. The free version is probably sufficient for most people but I think the added features in the pro version are well worth the $90/year subscription. I organize every single aspect of my life through Evernote. In fact, I love it so much, I promise that I will do a step by step tutorial in the coming months on how you can effectively use Evernote specifically for your travel business.
What’s great about Evernote Web Clipper is that you can save just about anything you happen upon while searching the web…for later. I might be in the middle of researching one topic, but then a squirrel appears out of nowhere, and next thing I know, I’m checking the Relative Ball Possession Index of NBA players and I don’t even like basketball! That was before Evernote Web Clipper came to my rescue. Now, I can simply clip either a section of an article or the entire article and save it to a “Read Later” folder.
Evernote is so incredibly powerful and the fact that it syncs across all devices is amazing.
2. Loom – Screen recorder
You’ll need to download Loom too in order to activate this Chrome extension but it’s easy to do. I find that the free version more than does the trick for me. Loom comes in handy when I have something quick to show someone on my screen but I don’t want to bother setting up a zoom meeting. Let’s say you are speaking to a client and you want them to download their travel documents from a third party website but they are just not getting it. Well, you can record your screen while you move your cursor directing which buttons to click next and then send the short recording in a .url to your client.
Or….you can use it to go over a quote with a client. With a touch of the chrome extension that sits on your browser, up pops a button. This allows you to either just record your screen, or record your screen with a small image of you in the corner.
You can have the client’s quote open on your screen and walk them through the day by day itinerary. How cool is that?
3. Grammarly – Built-in Proofreader
Grammarly is a godsend. I really can’t imagine life without it. For most people, the free version is more than enough but I write so much, that again, I’ve shelled out for the premium. I’m using my Grammarly Chrome extension right now. It does a much better job of finding spelling and grammatical errors than regular grammar checkers. It also auto-corrects as you write. What I love, is that it somehow even guesses the right word I’m supposed to use when I get it wrong.
Have you ever heard of a malapropism? People use them all the time and don’t know it. An example would be, “For all intensive purposes?” It’s actually “For all intents and purposes.” ? That’s a malaprop and Grammarly will pick that up. Cool huh? All this to say, having Grammarly as a Chrome extension means it’s automatically effective on any online writing I do – like Google docs.
4. Color Picker – Built-in Joanna Gaines
Color Picker is super useful especially if you do any sort of online design. Once you’ve installed Color Picker as a Chrome extension, you can hover over any colour you see on the web and you’ll automatically get the hex code. Every colour in the world has a unique six digits/letter code that ensures it can be replicated. I use this baby all the time. If I find a colour I like, I’ll copy the code to my design clipboard for later. As long as you have the Hex code, anytime you need to choose from a colour palette, you can get the exact shade you require.
5. ToDoist – Task Manager
I learned about this app while reading Michael Hyatt’s “Free to Focus,” a book on being intensely productive. I had already been using it across all my devices to keep me on track daily on key things I wanted to accomplish. It was super useful. And then I learned about the ToDoist Chrome extension. This is another short-cut. Let’s say I’m right in the middle of writing a paragraph on the pros of using the ToDoist Chrome extension and I remember that I need to buy potatoes for dinner. I don’t want to break my flow, but if I don’t note it down, you just know I’m going to forget. Yet, with a click of the red and white icon, I can make a quick note for later.
Or, similar to the Evernote feature, if I happen upon an intriguing web article, I can also save that. I use Evernote to save articles that I might want to keep as reference long-term and ToDoist to save articles that will be a quick read later in the day.
6. Add to Trello – Idea Accumulator
This is a useful extension for those of us who use Trello. I’m pretty sure Asana has a similar Chrome extension. I use this feature when I’m in the middle of something….say…like writing a paragraph on why Add To Trello is such a useful Chrome extension and I get a lightbulb idea moment. Like….hey, I should create a tutorial on Trello for the travel advisor community because I love it so much. This isn’t something I plan on doing today though so it doesn’t belong on my ToDoist app. It’s something I want to schedule for the future so it goes on my Trello board under my “Capture Tool” which is where I put all my great ideas that come to me in the most inappropriate times. One-click of the Add to Trello Chrome extension and that idea is immortalized forever – or at least until I officially add it to my calendar.
7. What’s the font – Font Decipherer
This one sounds pretty self-explanatory. Have you ever become infatuated with a font? You catch a glimpse of it on an ultra-cool website and think…hmmmm….I sure could use me some of that font. But you are stuck because you are not well-versed on font recognition. Well, worry about that no more. What’s the font quickly decodes any font choice so you can grab it for yourself. Not only will it tell you the font, but also the Hex code, the size and the weight. Is NOTHING a secret anymore? Now mind you, some fancy web developers actually pay for fancy fonts but once you know the font, a quick google search will give you suitable alternatives if you don’t want to shell out the extra cash.
8. Adblock – Distraction Annihilator
Game-changer! You probably already have one of these adblocker Chrome extensions installed but I couldn’t leave it off the list because no top 10 list would be complete without it. It gets rid of so many unwanted ad pop-ups. Adblock is just one of many you can choose. I like it because it seems to still allow for the legit ad pop-ups yet gets rid of all the spammy ones. The only downside with this Chrome extension is that some websites won’t allow you to read their content unless you disable Adblock. But that’s okay, you can change your settings to allow ads on just your favourite sites.
9. LastPass – Password Manager
Everyone needs LastPass on their computer. I know there are a few other viable contenders but I’ve been so happy with LastPass for the past few years that it gets my vote. The one thing I hate more than overcooked vegetables is having to create and then remember passwords. It’s the bain of my existence and I’m sure I’m not alone. Ever since I installed LastPass, all those frustrations have been silenced. As soon as a website requires me to create a password, instead of me clacking out 12345678, I choose the auto-generated option that always seems to be created by NASA because I know…I’ll never have to remember it again. LastPass auto-saves it for me and then, next time I go to log in, I can choose to have LastPass auto-fill the log-in credentials. Ah-MAZ-ING.
There is a premium paid version as well but I’ve been using the free version and have never needed anything more.
10. Momentum – Zen Master
Finally…Momentum. (see image at top) I learned about this Chrome extension from time hacker extraordinaire Tim Ferris – author of the “Four Hour Workweek.” This Chrome extension creates a minimalist home screen filled with gorgeous travel images from around the world. The free version is all you really need. It allows you to stay focused by giving you a place to add your “One Thing” that you need to accomplish that day.
In addition, every time you log in to Google Chrome you are greeted with an inspirational message. Awwwwwww. The paid version allows you to upload your own travel images, quotes and even personal mantras to help you stay on task. Thank you Tim Ferris. I’ve been loving my Momentum for years – ever since I first cracked the spine on “The Four Hour Workweek.”
There you have it. My top 10. I have a few more Chrome extensions installed that could have made the honourable mention list but my inner Tolstoy was already on the loose. This article needed to have an endpoint. All of these are available through the Chrome Web Store.
But how about you? Do you have a favourite Chrome extension that I missed? Please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear about it.