Useful Extensions & Add Ons
So I wanted to add a few extensions and add ons that I use ALL the time (and ones that I'd totally forgotten I had!) for various apps and programmes!
Ok, so it's mainly for Trello in Chrome - don't judge me!
Chrome Trello Extensions
- I use the Gmail to Trello extension all the time. I live in my Gmail (which I'll hopefully show on some videos in the future) and being able to save an email straight to my Trello is fab! (This extension actually shows up in Gmail, so you can hide the icon in Chrome because it does all it needs to do within Gmail).
- The standard Trello extension sits quite happily and does it's thing! This extension is amazing because no matter what webpage I'm on, I can click on this little icon and it'll save the webpage as a card. Not only that, but you can specify where you want the card to be, which board and list, and if it's a webpage with a picture (e.g. YouTube with their thumbnails) it'll make that photo or thumbnail the cover photo of the card it's created, making it even easier to see what you saved! (This extension sits front and centre on my Chrome bar because I use it so much!).
- I recently discovered Pro 4 Trello and it's turned out to be the extension that I never knew I needed. There's so much customisation that you can do with it, from changing the list width to changing list colours and recognising hashtags. (This extension shows up at the bottom of the board you're looking at (sometimes it disappears mind you!) so you can hide it from showing up in Chrome and it'll still run).
- I love using Trelabels for Trello as it gives me a lot of different ways that I can see my labels, depending on, well, how I want to view them! (Again, this icon is hidden in Chrome. There is a tiny icon that shows up on your boards that you can click on to change label types, which looks exactly the same as the Chrome icon, and it's not necessary to have it showing next to the address bar all the time!).
- Separators for Trello has fast become one of my most used extensions. When you have a lot of cards in a list, you can't see what's a heading and what isn't. Separators solves that! Add *** before and after a card title, and it'll turn into a heading! If you add a coloured label, the whole card will turn that colour, great for being able to see exactly what's going on! (Again, this extension is hidden in Chrome, it doesn't need to be showing in order for it to work).
Extensions for Google Products
- I have Checker Plus for Gmail enabled in my Chrome window. This gives me audible notifications when I get an email, as well as a little badge icon to tell me how many unread emails I have. When I've cleared my inbox, the icon is grey, when there's an email, it changes to the familiar Gmail red. I believe I paid for this app, well, donated, and I can honestly say that I'm glad I did. Jason also has a Checker Plus for Google Calendar and a Checker Plus for Google Drive and I have all 3.
- As I live primarily in the Google ecosystem, I have the Google Keep Chrome Extension front and centre as well. This means that anything I want to make a quick note of (that doesn't need to be a Trello card) can be added to my Keep without having to change windows.
- I also have (hidden) the Save emails to Google Drive extension, but I honestly don't think I've ever used it!
- Running in the background I have Google Calendar Plus which adds a few functions to Google Calendar which can be quite useful. For example it can show more all day events than Google Calendar natively shows and have larger dots on today than previously. I haven't looked into this one a lot, and it's hidden in my Chrome bar, so there's probably more that can be done with it!
- Wordcounter - Ok, so this is a very specific app for Google Docs. One of the main issues that I have with Google Docs is that it doesn't give you a running word count (like Microsoft Word does). Now, I use Google Docs for anything that I have to write down and keep, especially for my MSc because the autosave on it is fantastic, you don't need to worry about losing any work because everything is saved and synced swiftly. Not to mention that you can make documents available offline, so even fi the internet goes down, you can still access the document and edit it, and the edits will sync automatically when the connection is restored. I have seen so many people using Word or another such application and forget to save their work and lose vast swathes of words and sweat and tears, and it's gone, never to be seen again, poof! Even though I have to hand in my work as a Word document, I write it on Google Docs (then either copy and paste the whole thing into Word, or export the Doc as a Word file), everything gets written in Docs first, no matter what it is, purely because of the saving capability. But, Docs doens't have a word counter, this is where this one comes in. It's a very simple counter, it'll tell you how many words you've written in the whole document and has other little fiddly bits, like telling you where you hit 500 and 1000 words, by little arrows on the left hand side of the window. It's very effective!
Other random extensions I have enabled!
There are always random extensions we have enabled, sometimes we can remember why we have them and sometimes we can't! I'll go through each one in order that they appear on my browser and attempt to remember why they're there!
On my browser - next to the address bar - in order from left to right
- Dashlane - I have used Dashlane for quite a while now, and having the extension enabled means that I never have to type in a password (or worse, try and remember the email and password combination for a specific site!). When this is enabled, when you enter a page that needs log in details, Dashlane will automatically enter both the email address/username and password. When you have saved several log ins for that site, it will ask you which one you want to use. This is great if you've saved your brother's Virgin Mobile account details as well as you own (can you tell I speak from experience here?!), so you can pick the right one.
- Checker Plus for Gmail (see above)
- Google Keep (see above)
- Picture-in-Picture Extension (by Google) - this extension is fab, and I find myself using it most days! You can use this extension anywhere there's a video playing, so Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube. You start the video you want to watch, click the icon and navigate to the page where you're working and a little video box will appear in the bottom right hand side of the screen. Now this is great because it means if I'm watching an inspirational YouTube video, then I can click the extension, hop into Google Docs and take notes. It's also great for video lectures as well, open the video lecture, click the extension, hop into the Google Slides presentation that accompanies the lecture and start typing away! The only problem that I have found with it, and it's not really a problem as such, is that if you're watching a season of something on Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, when it changes to the new episode, you have to go back to the tab where the video is playing for it to register that it's a new one. Not a deal breaker by any means because you soon get used to it. I also found out recently that when you have Picture in Picture running on a larger monitor (in this case my 27" iMac), you can move the little video screen outside of the Chrome window and make it bigger. Now of course you could just as easily do this with just having one tab open in a separate Chrome window, but on smaller screens (like my 13" MacBook Air), Picture in Picture is awesome!
- Trello (see above)
- Then I have a doozy of an extension - Full Page Screen Capture! Now, quite apart from the fact that when this extension is clicked on, a little Pac Man eats the page in sections, which means it's worth downloading, it also allows you to do exactly what it says, it PDFs the whole screen! Now, this might not seem like something you need but I can honestly say I didn't think I needed it and then I did! So, basically, using an example that I did earlier this week, we were due to renew our car insurance (not very sexy, but these things have to be done!). Companies always send out documents by email, however if you want to make sure that the official documents say what you agreed to, generally you have to use screenshots of the page, and if the page is long, you end up with upwards of 5 screenshots because you don't want to miss anything out, and if you use 'Print' you end up with all the advertisements down the side as well, which you don't need or want. Click this little button and a little Pac Man pops up and eats little circles at the top of the screen and the screen will go down in sections. It then opens up a new window with the screen shot in it REMEMBER that it is NOT SAVED at this point! You need to pop into the new window (if it doesn't automatically open) and click on the PDF button, that will download it to wherever you've set your downloads to save.
- Amazon Assistant for Chrome - I don't use this very much, if at all really, but it's useful to have it in case I'm looking at buying something online (not from Amazon) and it's cheaper or anything on Amazon. Again, it's another extension that sits there and you don't need it until you need it!
- Grammarly for Chrome - oh my god is this extension a life saver! Yes I pay for Grammarly Premium, no I don't have a problem with that! I will go into more detail about why I'm happy to pay for it, in my section on What You Should Pay For.
- Then I have an extension that shouldn't be necessary, but really is; Cloud HQs Email Privacy Protector. At the moment, this is sitting on my Chrome screen (right at the end), this doesn't need to be in there, it could just as easily be 'hidden' and still work. This little extension is great (as are most things from Cloud HQ to be honest!), because not only does it tell you if an email that was sent to you is being tracked, but it also blocks the tracker. Not only that, but it allows you to unblock the tracker as well. So, I had an email from a mailing list that I subscribed to and it automatically blocked the tracker for that email. I know that if it shows on the other end that I haven't read it, at some point in the future, I'll be removed from the mailing list, and I don't want that. So I was able to open the email, see that the tracker was blocked, and click and say that I wanted the sender to be able to see that I had opened it. There are a number of trackers out there, but I love the ability to not only block trackers but also to enable trackers on an email by email basis.
Hidden in my browser (so that I have to click the 3 little dots next to my face on the upper right to be able to see them). These are in no specific order, except that I try and group like extensions together
- Fair Ad Blocker - one of the many ad blockers that I have, and actually one of the better ones! Does exactly what it should.
- J2Team Security - this little extension works in various ways, it stops phishing on Facebook (always a bonus), stops phishing in general and stops malicious websites. I can't say how well it works, because it just sits there in the background and works away. I also can't say how well it works as I have a number of other blockers and filters and antivirus on both my physical machine and my Chrome.
- Avast Online Security - gotta have some Avast action going on! I'm not even going to explain this one!
- uBlock Origin - more than just ad add blocker (although it's pretty awesome at that as well!), it also tells you if a site is known to have trackers and adds on it, which is really useful, especially when you Google something and click on a link inadvertently!
- Privacy Badger - this extension blocks invisible trackers that some others might miss and it does it really well!
- Calendar Plus for Google (see above)
- Save emails to Google Drive (see above)
- Checker Plus for Google Drive (see above)
- Google Calendar Plus (see above)
- Cool Clock - this little thing is exactly what it says, it displays a clock in your chrome extension slot. At the moment it's in my 'hidden' list because I'm not using it as much as I was, however I found this to be mega helpful when I was running Chrome in full screen mode on the MBA, because running anything in full screen mode on the MBA hides not only the dock, but also the menu bar at the top of the screen, meaning you have no idea what time it is! This is a teeny little digital clock which just sits there and gives you the option to run in full screen mode without losing track of time! It also gives a pop up notification every hour on the hour, which can be super helpful as well (and this works even though I have the app hidden)
- Toggl Button: Productivity & Time Tracker - this is the extension when you have a Toggl account that you can use to record your time spent on a certain thing. I'll be honest, I have a free Toggl account and I've never used it! I've got Toggle enabled everywhere, Gmail, Chrome, Trello, and I've never used it!
- Unsplash Instant - OMG I love this extension! It doesn't do anything drastic, but it is dramatic! I use Unsplash a lot and love the art work that people upload there (for all the heading banners on this page as well as the rest of the website, I use (and credit) photographs from Unsplash). So this extension does one thing, and it does it flawlessly. When you open a new Chrome tab, it gives you a random image that someone has uploaded to Unsplash rather than the boring Chrome new tab pane. You can just type in the address bar as normal, you can download the photograph directly from the new tab , and if you really wanted to you could overlay Chrome's apps, by clicking on settings, but I don't have that. It's a beautiful (sometimes odd) photograph when you open a new tab, and it keeps the history, so if you really liked a photograph, but you were in a hurry and didn't download it, all the photographs it has presented to you previously, are there in 'History'. Beautiful app it really is.
- Marinara: Pomodoro® Assistant - another one that I'm guilty of downloading and never using! This is exactly what it says, you can change the work time and break time from within the extension, but having never used it I don't know what the user interface looks like when it's running!