The Internet is the best for the work. The internet is the worst for the work. It makes searching a thousand times easier than in the dark days before Google, and web tools like Slack and Google Drive can certainly streamline your working day. But Twitter, Reddit, and the wormhole, which is Wikipedia, are among the many sites that distract you from the task. Here are five Chrome extensions that keep you focused and on the ball.
With StayFocused, you can set time limits for the sites you spend too much time on. I like it because it allows you a bit of leeway; Instead of simply blocking websites, you can take a few minutes at lunch to browse through Twitter and Reddit before returning to work. Sure, you can always go into the settings of the extension and remove a page from your locked list, but maybe you just feel guilty enough to take such a step to stay on the road with StayFocused.
There comes a point almost every afternoon where I drown myself in a sea of open tabs, sometimes in two or three separate windows. With OneTab, I can open all the open tabs in a Chrome window and drag them into a single tab. All my previously opened tabs are listed as links on this magic single tab, which I can click to reopen individual tabs, or click on another link to restore all the tabs in the list. OneTab saves me from filling my bookmarks by adding pages that I may only need to come back to once. And it helps reduce the drain that Chrome has on my laptop's memory.
Minimal New Tab Clock
Chrome's default tab page is fairly small and not distracting, but I never use the Google search bar or links to my frequently visited pages, which it offers. I prefer Chrome's URL bar and my bookmarks bar at the top of the window. To make the new tab page of Chrome empty, you can use the empty tab extension, but I like the minimum new tab clock better – not because of the analog clock in the middle, but because the default black background is simple on the eyes.
Chrome does not have a reader mode. The extension "Just Read" adds one. Click the small button that Just Read added to the upper-right corner of Chrome to remove the ads, formatting, comments, and other bright and shiny objects on a page for a clean, text-heavy layout.
I will not use any kind of list app unless it's quite simple (I still use pen and paper for my grocery list). Todoist makes the cut as my to-do list for the workday. It does not try to do or be too much and gives you a simple and clean interface that allows you to quickly add items and check them out after graduation. Todoist has apps for iOS and Android in addition to the Chrome extension.