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Productivity is a business management concept that is associated with efficiency and output. Businesses want productivity, whether in their production lines or from their employees. One reason why is because productivity is directly proportional to profitability. Another reason is it is inversely proportional to cost.
Therefore, if we are productive, we are most likely helping our company achieve its business goals and be profitable. It can also mean that the company is spending less resources on us to produce more output. In today’s interconnected business landscape, cloud ecosystem and knowledge workforce, boosting productivity can mean using the the best web-based tools that help us be more efficient with our time and resources, while allowing us to deliver valuable output as expected.
Top 10 Best Chrome Extensions
Chrome continues to get the lion’s share in browser market worldwide, with 64 percent. Google has made their browser to be cross-platform, stable, well-designed, and user friendly. Also, it is flexible and expandable because of the great number of add-ons available through the Chrome Web Store. Since most of us use a browser for work, we can be more productive by adding the best Chrome extensions for both new apps and those that we are already working with. Here are our top 10 list that can help us be more efficient with our time and more focused in our work, project or task.
1. Trello Export Excel Suite
Trello has about 35 million users working on their projects and tasks through boards and cards. It is an easy-to-use, highly visual online tool, so it is very popular for collaboration and tracking. However, exporting Trello data can be problematic. The only freely available export file format is JSON, which does not load to Excel. Trello Export Excel Suite is a free Chrome extension created by Bridge24. You can easily export all cards in your current board in one click. It creates an XLSX file that contain fields such as card ID, card name, board, description, list, labels, members, due date, and more.
Most, if not all, workers today are using more than one online tool for their work. And because of the rising cybersecurity risks, we all need to have different strong passwords for each one of our tools. Having to remember them all can be a challenge. LastPass is a free password manager that enables us to securely store all our passwords in a vault. We only have to remember one password, for LastPass, and it will autofill passwords to our saved websites. We can also access from it our online usernames, and even help us generate strong passwords.
3. Trello Chart Suite
Project management and tracking through Trello is easy because of its visual system of boards, lists, and cards. Unfortunately, it falls short when it comes to creating good visual reports, which is essential for our regular project status reports. When we need to a simple visual chart to show the number of cards in our board, Trello Chart Suite is the easiest, not to mention free, tool of choice. In one click, it will create a horizontal bar chart that shows a visual representation of the number of cards per list, as well as the actual number at the tip of the chart. The image can be easily copied and paste to other documents, or saved for later use.
4. Google Keep
Google Keep is a free note-taking application that allows you to add notes and lists, or capture images and audio quickly. When doing research or trying to create a checklist, Google Keep Chrome extension makes it easy to create online sticky notes to hold the information. You can filter, search by color, and add reminders. And it can sync to your mobile device or work offline as well.
Asana work management software is another popular online application. It is used by tens of thousands of organizations and a million users of its free plan. Lately, many of Asana’s features are only available in their paid plans. Furthermore, its reporting features are limited, but can be augmented by integrations such as Bridge24. For a free browser tool, Asana2Go is a Chrome extension that allows you to copy, export, and print tasks from Asana. The items are linked to the actual tasks, and the images can be copy/pasted, saved as PDF, or printed out.
Momentum is a personal dashboard that enables you to customize a new Chrome tab page. Instead of opening a blank page, where you can be tempted to wander off, you can instead customize it to remain focused. Each tab can include a to-do, a weather update, and a photo with a motivational quote. So, you can set a daily goal, check the weather forecast, and keep track of tasks with a to-do list.
Todoist Chrome extension is a simple to-do list and task manager on your browser. It is a free tool that can help you manage tasks wherever you are, even while offline. You can keep track of important deadlines with due dates, so you can stay focused on whatever job you are working on. It also has options of sub-tasks, tasks with priorities, sub-projects, and color-coded projects for a more complete work organization.
Forest: stay focused, be present is a simple motivational app that rewards you if you can keep yourself from getting distracted. It will ask you to fill up your Blacklist of sites that distract you from work. Then as you continue to keep off those sites, the app plants a seed in the forest that will grow in the next 30 minutes. But the moment you open any of the sites listed in the Blacklist, your tree dies.
9. The Great Suspender
This Chrome extension is for those who usually opens a lot of tabs, sometimes beyond the capability of their desktop. The Great Suspender just suspends the tabs that you are currently not using, to free up memory and CPU power. It is configurable, so you can create a whitelist you do not want to suspend, show a screen capture of a tab before it gets suspended, and detects tabs playing audio to prevent from suspending.
Workona is an extension that helps you organize your other opened Chrome tabs. It transforms your other tabs to a workspace or smart browser window, where you can organize and work on your projects, workflows, dashboards, and others in one workspace. You can save windows as workspaces, and tabs are automatically saved. You can also search tabs from the Workona’s search tool.
Using Chrome extensions as a quick way to boost productivity is a good strategy. But you also must remember that Chrome is an application that gets updated every now and then. Sometimes, issues come up during an update that affects all other extensions. If you are working on Trello, the best way is to get Bridge24 for Trello, and get the full features of advanced reports, charting, and exporting features, regardless of whatever browser you are working on.
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Jose Santos is a long-time contributing writer for project-management.com. He is a subject matter expert in the field of project management and has many years of experience writing about project management software and tools. He has written hundreds of articles for the project management industry, including numerous software reviews, book reviews, training site reviews, and more.