Toolkit Tuesday: 7 Best Browser Extensions to Increase Productivity

It used to be that Internet browsers didn’t offer a lot of features beyond their basic purpose: a vehicle to help you find and view websites. Nowadays, the rapidly expanding library of available apps, add-ons and browser extensions makes it possible to create a highly customized browsing experience. You can find browser extensions for just about any action imaginable, but today we’d like to focus on ones that help you to perform a task more efficiently or automate a process so you can work smarter. Here’s our list of seven of the best browser extensions to help you boost productivity

best browser extensions

best browser extensions

It used to be that Internet browsers didn’t offer a lot of features beyond their basic purpose: a vehicle to help you find and view websites. Nowadays, the rapidly expanding library of available apps, add-ons and browser extensions makes it possible to create a highly customized browsing experience.

You can find browser extensions for just about any action imaginable, but today we’d like to focus on ones that help you to perform a task more efficiently or automate a process so you can work smarter. Here’s our list of seven of the best browser extensions to help you boost productivity and get more accomplished in your day.

7 Best Browser Extensions to Increase Productivity

Google Chrome usage has increased steadily over the past few years, and it is now the most popular browser in the U.S. However, most of the extensions listed below are also available for Firefox and Safari, and many can be used seamlessly on your Android and iOS devices as well.

Readability – Chrome, Firefox, Safari

Readability is a read-later app so you can save any web page, article or blog post to your reading list and come back to it when you’re ready. The extension also strips away distracting elements like ads, presenting you with a simple and clean interface for reading articles.

Awesome Screenshot – Chrome, Firefox, Safari

I take a lot of screenshots when I’m working, and a major problem I’ve run into is when I’m trying to capture more of a webpage than what fits on my screen, or I just need part of a page and have to spend time cropping the screenshot in a separate photo editor. Awesome Screenshot solves both of those problems. It gives you the option to capture an entire web page, just the visible portion or a specific region you designate. You can crop the image and even annotate with circles, arrows and text.

StayFocusd – Chrome

It’s easy to get sucked into social media or waste time browsing your favorite websites when you have important work to be done. StayFocusd allows you to set time limits for yourself on distracting websites and then blocks your access to those sites when time is up. You can block entire websites or specific pages. Perfect for keeping yourself on track so you can get back to the high priority work on your to-do list.

Evernote Web Clipper – Chrome, Firefox, Safari

We’ve raved about Evernote and its many uses before, but the web clipper is our favorite part. Anytime you find something online that you want to remember, come back to or save for later, just click on the web clipper and to save it to your Evernote account. You can use it to save images, text, links, or entire webpages, which will be ready and waiting for you in your Evernote whenever you need them.

Buffer – Chrome, Firefox, Safari

Buffer is a great tool for scheduling and sharing content on social media, and the browser extension allows you to publish content from anywhere on the web with just a click of the mouse. When you find something you want to share, just click the Buffer bookmarklet in your browser toolbar, customize your tweet or status update and publish immediately or add to your Buffer Queue.

Gmail Offline – Chrome

Read and respond to emails, archive messages and more – even if you’re working without an Internet connection. As soon as it detects that you’re back online, the Gmail Offline web app will automatically carry out any actions you took while offline.

Add to Wunderlist – Chrome, Firefox, Safari

If you love to-do lists and want the ability to add items to your list from any website, Wunderlist could become your new best friend. Maybe you found a book on Amazon that you want to buy later, or an article that gives you a great idea for a blog topic, or a new online tool that you want to explore in more detail. Just click the browser extension to add that page or site to your Wunderlist.

A Better Browsing Experience

Whether by eliminating distractions, making tasks easier or saving useful information, browser extensions are highly useful productivity tools. This is by no means a comprehensive list, as there are probably thousands of extensions available. So tell us in the comments below – what did we leave out? What are your favorite browser extensions that make your web experience better?

Heather Allen

Belle's first employee. Lover of great food, good books and spreadsheets. Mom of three. Native Floridian and city girl residing in the cornfields of central Illinois.