Google Chrome and G Suite come packed full of great features straight out of the box, but there are some impressive extras available with a little help from extensions and other 3rd party tools. With Christmas just around the corner, we thought we would compile a list of our favourite digital gifts for you to unwrap and use throughout the coming year.
These stocking-fillers suit a wide range of online wish-lists; from security to productivity and convenience to content creation, there’s something for everyone.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve once again left it until the last minute, or if you’ve been naughty or nice this year; all of the tools below are free and can be installed in just a couple of clicks.
LastPass securely stores all your passwords in one place and allows you to log into accounts automatically. Using secure passwords everywhere is a vital part of online security, but remembering long strings of characters or a wide range of password variations can be tricky. LastPass solves this by automatically generating a new password for every website and then encrypts it until automatically filling web forms and logins as required.
Grammarly is one of the most powerful Chrome Extensions around, as it works across so many different platforms to check the spelling and grammar of everything you write online, automatically. So once you install the extension, it works across all web pages, saving you from silly typos in emails, social media updates or in your Google Docs. As well as pointing out the errors, it also offers accurate suggestions based on the surrounding content.
We’ve all been there – having spent far too long completing a huge online form, pressing submit and finally being presented with an error page. Maybe your session timed out or you got cut off from the internet, but whatever caused it; it’s a huge waste of valuable time spent. Typio Form Recovery can help you regain this precious time by saving your form data as you type. The data is encrypted and is stored locally on your machine so that when you get reconnected, it completes to save you going through the same laborious process again.
4. Pocket & Save to Pocket
Simply put, Pocket acts as a digital version of its namesake, allowing you to store articles, pages, images and videos for reading or viewing at a later date. It then syncs all of these across your devices so you can pick up where you left off. Save to Pocket is a Chrome Extension that lets you save these directly from the browser.
Awesome Screenshot is a great tool for capturing and annotating sections of or even full Web pages. Screenshots can either be saved directly to your local storage or uploaded to their website for sharing and editing.
Loom allows you to record and narrate what’s happening on your screen, then instantly share the video with other apps. You can choose whether to record just the current tab or your entire screen. There’s also an option to include a thumbnail of your face on webcam while you’re narrating. What’s best is that there’s no limit to how much you can record — and it’s free!
7. Pixlr Editor
Pixlr Editor is about as close to a web-based Photoshop replacement as you’ll find anywhere. There are a number of photo editing Chrome Extensions around, but Pixlr provides a well-rounded editing experience that’s 100% cloud-based – no download required and while of course, it doesn’t offer the same depth of features as Photoshop, it is 100% free!
Link shorteners make it nice and simple to deal with huge URLs, but they’re also a bit of a security risk, as you can never be 100% sure where a shortened link might take you. The Unshorten.link Chrome extension introduces an extra security page when using shortened links, which displays the URLs in full so you know exactly where it leads before deciding on whether to follow it or not. The extension also warns you of any known associated malware and tracking cookies on the webpage.
9. WOT – (Web Of Trust)
Unsure of some of the websites you’re visiting for research or online shopping? If you add the WOT Chrome extension, you can just click on the button to find out the site’s reputation and whether it can be trusted or not. It’s a very simple and easy to use system, displaying either green or red symbols to make it clear for users.
Cite This For Me is a Chrome extension that allows students and writers to easily create correctly formatted citations for a range of styles, including Harvard. These can be easily saved or copied to the clipboard for use in your documents.
If you find yourself wasting too much time on Facebook, this is the extension you need. It blocks out the News Feed and prevents you from aimlessly scrolling through, which is the most addictive part of Facebook. The best part is that it doesn’t block the site entirely, which means you can still use Messenger and other features.
This is one of Google’s many Chrome Extensions that offers a great integration for Google Drive and G Suite users. It allows them to easily save images, videos and even full web pages to their Drive with just a couple of clicks.
Google Dictionary provides definitions for any words you find online simply by double-clicking on them. You can also adjust the settings to define full phrases and to store your previous definitions for future reference.
Google Calendar has one of the most convenient Chrome Extensions of all the G Suite apps. It allows you to easily create new events while browsing other websites. After adding the extension, you can create events or set notifications in a couple of clicks which can add up to being quite a lot of time saved.
Chrome Remote Desktop allows you to take control of your PC via your phone or tablet. Just install the app on your Android device and make sure the Chrome extension is installed on your PC. After doing so, you can access, or allow others to access your PC securely over the internet which can be a great solution for IT support. As the extension runs in Chrome, you can use it across multiple platforms, as long as the user has Chrome installed.
5. Data Saver
Google’s Data Saver extension uses Google’s servers to compress website data before sending it to the end user, which results in huge data savings over time. For security purposes, HTTPS pages or anything accessed through Chrome’s incognito mode will remain uncompressed.
Boomerang is an excellent addition to Gmail’s already impressive functionality and allows users to schedule their emails to be sent at specific times, set up automated follow-ups and postpone emails until they’re ready to action them. This makes it much easier to stay on top of all your project deadlines and ensure you never miss another sales opportunity. The add-on has both free and paid versions, with Free users being limited to schedule up to 10 messages per month.
Gmail has a great list of keyboard shortcuts that can save you loads of time while working through your inbox, but it can take some time to work out which are the best options for your work-flow. This is where KeyRocket comes in – it tracks all of your actions within Gmail and automatically suggests new shortcuts for you to use the next time around.
Gmail already provides some contact details for those appearing in your inbox. But, not all of their information is available as it’s taken only from within Gmail. The FullContact add-on integrates with Gmail and other services such as LinkedIn to provide details of their social media profiles and other useful details they may have stored elsewhere.
The way we communicate is always evolving and so too is Email. More and more often we use emojis and images to convey the tone of a message or to communicate feelings that would be hard to put into words. GIPHY brings the power of animated gifs to Gmail, allowing you to search for and insert the perfect GIF to your email in just a few clicks.
G Suite provides core tools like email, calendar and file storage that are essential for most organisations. Beyond this core, there are hundreds of 3rd party tools that extend the functionality of these essential apps. From CRM to accountancy to design, there’s an unprecedented number of options to meet a business’s needs. Most of these apps and Chrome Extensions seamlessly integrate within G Suite and you can find a number of the ones we swear by on our 3rd Party Tools page.
If you would like to find out more about any of the Chrome Extensions or 3rd party tools mentioned above, or would just like to learn more about G Suite and what it can offer your organisation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org. We would be delighted to have a chat about how we could help.