People think I’m a wizard with the internet, and I’m really not – I’ve just cultivated a solid list of Chrome plugins that make me feel like a wizard.
Quick disclosure: I don’t use affiliate links. Everything on this post is something I’ve used and/or had recommended to me, and can recommend to you. Click away!
Here’s the list of plugins I use and love:
Adblock and AdBlock Plus
Why do I have both of these installed? I don’t know! But I can tell you I don’t see a single ad I don’t want to.
“Don’t want to?”
Yes – just about every online publication requires on ad revenue to sustain themselves. Since I use their service for free, I have those sites whitelisted so that they can continue to generate income. I absolutely recommend you be a ethical consumer and do the same.
Batch Link Downloader
Have you ever downloaded a file from the internet by right-clicking and selecting “Save Link As”? You might do this more often than you think. This plugin will scrape all of those downloadable files for you. I specifically got this to download all of the PDFs from my favorite garden nursery‘s website, but have used it a few other places since.
I use this plugin probably more than anything else – I have such a bad habit of instinctively going to Twitter, or Facebook, to kill time. And during the day, that can be such a waste! I have this plugin set to block me from my vice websites between 9-5, which has really helped me focus. It’s possible to manually turn off, which sometimes you have to do to check a message, but it requires a few extra steps, which can help me decide if I really need to review a message or I’m just bored.
Please, everyone, USE BOOMERANG! Or some other type of scheduler – I’ve been using this tool since 2014 and I swear by it. Are you a night owl that likes to type emails at 11:30PM? Well, now you can schedule them to go out at 10AM the next day.
Before this plugin, if I wanted to identify or save a color I liked, I would have to downoad the file, open it in Photoshop, and check it that way. With eye dropper, I can do that in the browser, and also keep track of the color swatches I’ve saved before. Hint: there are a lot of blues.
Amazon, eBay, Walmart, and other online sellers all have a big problem with fake reviews. It’s well documented. However, I need to buy stuff online, and don’t want to buy garbage. Fakespot will automatically analyze reviews on a product’s page and let you know whether they think they’ve been faked. It can even go so far as to remove fake reviews and ‘update’ the star rating itself, so you can see what you’re really in for.
Gmail Inline Image Fit
This is sort of a niche one, but: sometimes I’ll get an email with the image dropped in the body of the email, not sent as an attachment (the horror). This can push the email width out so far that I have to scroll back and forth to read the email! This little plugin will find that image and temporarily reduce it so I can read the full email in one window.
This is basically taking a full-page screenshot: so, a website I’ve just finished and want to freeze in time, or a long bot conversation, or really anything that spans below the fold. A word of warning: it can’t really do parallax.
It’s hard to not recommend Grammarly these days because it feels so ubiquitous. This little tool actively spell-checks text as you type it (not unlike Microsoft Word) and can even help with grammar. I still somehow manage to send emails with typos, but, I send fewer than I used to!
I use this plugin probably every day – sometimes I need to grab logos and photos from a website, but the website has blocked direct saving. Image Downloader will parse the website’s code and show me the source of every image, letting me bypass that block. Sometimes that’s the only way I can get access to a company’s logo!
News Feed Eradicator
Do you find yourself opening Facebook to check a message and then end up scrolling for 30 minutes because of the tantalizing news feed? This plugin blocks the news feed entirely and shows an inspiring quote, so you don’t get dragged in.
Ok, in addition to Image Downloader, sometimes I need to be able to grab the vector version of a logo from someone’s website. SVG Grabber shows me all of the available vector files and lets me download them.
It’s safe to say that Amazon and Pinterest have sort of ruined Google searches – any product I look for has two pages of Amazon results before I get to smaller businesses, and any image I search exclusively seems to come from Pinterest. I use uBlacklist to keep these results out of my search results, and have basically been introduced to a different kind of internet.