You’re probably reading this because you spend much of your working day in the Chrome browser and you’d like to know how to work faster and smarter. And you've probably dabbled with Chrome extensions and are wondering which extensions can help with running a business. You're in the right place. I've tried and tested hundreds of these plugins for the world's most popular web browser.
As the world’s most popular web browser, Chrome has more developers working on extensions and plugins than any other. For business owners, this is good news. Add-ons for Google’s web browser (called extensions and sometimes called plugins) can transform how you run your business on the web. And many of these Chrome extensions are available for free so there’s no need to spend a fortune to turn your browser into a productivity machine.
But I want to point out from the start that Chrome isn’t the best browser. These days Firefox and Microsoft Edge are ahead, mainly because of Chrome’s tendency to devour your system resources. Chrome is the most used browser in the world. And it’s one of the most flexible thanks to the millions of extensions that 3rd party developers have built to enhance the browsing experience and increase productivity, among other things. But did you know you can use the same ones on Edge?
What can Chrome extensions do?
This question could be rephrased as “what can’t Chrome extensions do?” Think about all of the ways you interact with websites and try to imagine a faster, more efficient, and more enjoyable way to do everything.
- Are you spending a lot of time cutting and pasting from websites into a Word document, productivity tool, file organizer, or some other note-taking tool?
- Do you regularly search through websites in your industry for leads and then add the email and contact details to a CRM or spreadsheet?
- Is social media sharing, scheduling, and content curation eating up all your time?
- Do you repeatedly type the same answers to questions, fill out similar forms, and reply to emails with the same text as you’ve done many times before?
- Would you like to automatically spell check your emails and forms?
- Are ads and tracking cookies bothering you and slowing down your browsing experience?
If you answer yes to any of these questions, there’s a Chrome add-on for you. But the list doesn’t end there. Let’s look at some of the most useful Chrome extensions you can add today.
Hunter – Find email addresses for any business.
If you do any kind of B2B selling, outreach, or you need information on a website’s owners or staff, Hunter.io is invaluable. Just click the icon in the extension bar and magically (not quite – but nearly) a list of email addresses associated with that domain appears.
Verify the emails with Hunter’s advanced algorithm and then take advantage of Hunter’s free outreach software. Similar products cost a hefty monthly fee from other developers. But you can get started for free.
LastPass – Never have to remember passwords
LastPass probably saves me days of work time over an entire year. I never have to look for login details and passwords for websites and this is a massive time saver.
The free version of the tool is good enough for most people but if you want to share passwords with your team, the paid plan is the next step up. The Premium version also gets you “dark web monitoring” service. If your passwords have been leaked to hacker sites, LastPass will find them.
Install from Chrome Store
Install from Microsoft Store
What Runs – Spy on Your Competitors’ Website Tech
Studying the competition is, many experts say, an essential part of building a business. Why reinvent the wheel when your competitors are already having success with methods and strategies that work.
One way to find out what kind of technology, apps, and services your competitor's website employs is to use the What Runs Chrome plugin.
Like the look of the chat software on the site? WhatRuns will tell you which product the site uses. Want to know which WordPress theme runs on a good-looking website? What about the fonts? Does the site use heat map tracking software? Find out all of this juicy information and more.
Grammarly – Grammar and Spelling Checker
If you’re not already using Grammarly, listen up. This tool will make you look smart, make it easier for people to read your content and emails, and help you discover what aspects of your writing need improving.
Wow, that’s a lot. It is, but Grammarly delivers. And there’s a free version for Chrome which automatically highlights spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. Once you’ve installed it, you will be fearful of writing on the internet without it.
ProWritingAid – Your own personal writing assistant
An alternative to Grammarly is ProWritingAid, an all-in-one stylistic editor and AI writing coach. This writing tool can be used in many niches, industries, and styles.
Get automatic grammar and spelling checking, and stylistic recommendations in creative writing, academic writing, and business correspondence.
ProwritingAid’s account gets you the text Text Expansion feature, which is super handy for when you regularly use the same replies, intros, email addresses and other snippets of text when writing. For a more advanced text expansion tool see the next extension in our list.
TextExpander – Save time typing
A must-have Google chrome extension for business owners, marketers, and freelancers that spend much of their day typing the same replies.
Snippets and shortcuts are the way to save hours of your time every week. You’ll be a whole lot more productive once you remove the drudgery or repeatedly typing the same thing. Sure, you can copy and paste from a text file. But that’s the old school way of doing it. And it’s not much faster either.
The new way is to use the TextExpander.
How does it work?
Turn anything into a snippet and then use a shortcut to bring paste that snippet into the focus area, which could be an email, signup form, blog post, or pretty much anything else.
Maybe you always start a blog post with the same template, or you have favourite emojis. If you write complicated web searches on a regular basis, save time and mental energy by adding these search queries as snippets and call them up with a few keystrokes.
TickTick – Simple & Effective To-Do Lists
I’ve been using TickTick for over a year now since I moved from Todoist. Tick Tick’s nicer and more intuitive interface, together with the Pomodor timer, calendar, and better pricing makes it a winner.
The TickTick Chrome extension lets you sync data across your devices, convert Google emails into tasks, share task lists for collaboration, and a lot more. You can easily manage all of your tasks and projects in this one app and extension.
ContentStudio – Save time on Social Media Marketing
While social media has its merits (brand building, connection building, lead generation), it can also be a complete time-suck.
ContentStudio helps business owners, social media managers, and virtual assistants create content, create fresh content and schedule posts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google My Business.
The chrome extension is a simple way to share content from the internet. Click the chrome extension on any content (including from your own site) and select the accounts to post on. Schedule for any time in the future, automatically add saved hashtags, UTM parameters, or short links.
A huge timesaver.
Evernote Clipper – Save, Format, & organize the internet
Evernote has been one of the internet productivity tool successes of the last decade. Everyone’s used it and millions of people still use it to organise their business and personal lives. The fact that the core product is 100% free makes it quite attractive to businesses without massive budgets,
The Evernote Web Clipper is great for saving clips, images, quotes, and even entire webpages to your personal filing system for later use.
Found an article you’d like to reference in a post? Clip it to a folder on Evernote. Found some content that you’d like to save for later reading? Simple click a button and save it to the cloud. Want to save a recipe without the sidebar, ads, and extraneous content? Evernote Web Clipper can do that.
I use it to strip out everything from a webpage apart from the content and save it for reading later.
The Great Suspender – Save RAM
Love the name. The Great Suspender is a simple extension that helps you save computer RAM by suspending browser tabs that you’re not using. We all open too many tabs when we’re working and this can lead to your Mac or PC ram getting chewed up quickly.
Set a time (or leave the default) for when tabs should be suspended and when you want to return to that URL, just click on the page to reload it. You can whitelist URLs or domains to prevent suspension of important pages and the The Great Suspender will auto-detect audio and input forms to prevent these URLs from being suspended.
A really easy to use extension that will improve performance for little effort.
Toby – A Better Bookmark Tool
This tool is billed as “better than bookmarks”. Toby lets you organise your browser tabs visually for easier and more intuitive access. Essentially, it takes the place of a brand new tab and shows your bookmarks organised as you would like them.
AdBlock – Remove annoying ads from webpages
Ads are part and parcel of the experience these days. Google and Facebook make most of their money from advertising so they aren’t going away anytime soon.
But you don’t have to put up with intrusive and annoying ads all over the screen. Tired of those long YouTube ads before and during a video? Get rid of them all with Adblock.
Not only will you save time, you’ll save bandwidth. Work faster on slower connections by removing slow-loading advertisements.
Install from the Microsoft Store (if you’re using Edge)
Install from the Chrome Store:
Keith is the founder of Fat Frog Media. He has worked in the tech, fitness, food, and hospitality industries. Keith helps businesses improve their marketing and conversion rates.