How much time of your day do you spend working online? How much of that time is spent bouncing between sites, emails, calendars, and notes? The internet gives us so many tools and so much information that we can find ourselves wasting time.
Luckily, there are tricks you can adopt that will have you browsing the web in ways that will give hours back to your days.
1. Use Chrome Extensions to Simplify Your Daily Work
If you aren’t using Chrome Extensions, you should start. Extensions make your favorite tools (and many you never knew you needed) more easily available for your browsing experience.
Here are some common daily tasks and the Chrome Extensions that can help:
You are about to call a colleague, or schedule a meeting for a remote team — but wait, what time is it in their part of the world? Chrome extensions can tell you what time it is wherever you want without leaving your current page.
Download one of these Chrome extensions to solve all of your time zone problems:
Video & Screenshares
Do you find yourself trying to teach your executive or your coworkers how to do something and wish you could do a quick video tutorial for them? Loom has a chrome extension that makes it easy to jump right into recording your screen whenever the need arises (bonus: this tool also has a Slack integration.)
You are researching conference halls for an event you are planning and find you are spending more time clicking back and forth between the venues’ websites and your Evernote page. Download Evernote’s Chrome extension and leave those woes behind. Most note taking systems have a webclipper extension that will allow you to put a screenshot, URL, article, etc. directly into your notebook with no extra tabs.
Do you live out of your task or project management system? Check to see if yours has a chrome extension to give you a quick view of today’s tasks and an easy add for new tasks. Here is a quick list of systems that offer handy extensions:
Nothing is worse than when you send research to a team of execs, only to re-read your work and find it riddled with grammar mistakes. Use extensions like Grammarly and Google Dictionary to help prevent this and many similar scenarios in any web application. Google Dictionary has the added benefit of helping you understand whatever you are reading. Have you found yourself trying to grasp a legal document that isn’t quite your expertise? Google dictionary will have definitions only a click away.
Sites like LastPass help you to securely store all of your logins and personal info. Using an extension helps make logging in even easier. See if your password service offers a chrome extension for easy and secure browsing.
2. Keep it Clean and Focused
The internet has endless possibilities, and if you use all the things, you will be bogged down. Here are a few Chrome tips to keep you focused and organized so your work online stays efficient.
Limit your extensions
In everything–moderation! I just gave you over 10 useful extensions. If you choose too many, you will overload your browser and find they are no longer useful. Think through the tasks you actually do often and pick the extensions that will make the biggest impact on your daily workflow.
Clean up your bookmark bar
Take a look at your bookmark bar — how many are there? If you are like me, you could fill the bar three times over. Take some time to clean those up and find time savers in your day.
Review your bookmarked sites
If there are any you don’t use weekly, it might not belong here.
Can you categorize your bookmarks? Create folders for the different categories (work, event planning, personal, recipes, etc.) and drop your bookmarks there. This will consolidate and organize your view.
Set a focus for the day, and let Chrome keep it top of mind
Download the Momentum extension, type in your focus for the day, and every time you open a new tab you will be reminded of that focus, while also being greeted with a beautiful landscape and inspirational quote.
Brighten up your browser
Go to the settings in your Chrome browser, and under Themes you can choose custom backgrounds. Your theme can be anywhere from an inspiring painting to just adding some bright color to your day.
3. Browse wisely
Chrome has many built in conveniences that will make your browsing simpler — be sure you know them and use them.
Did you know…
- You can start a new Google search on any word or phrase from the page you are on by just highlighting it and right clicking: You will get an option to “Google Search for XYZ”.
- You can add phrases or instructions directly to a task management system (if you have the chrome extension) by highlighting and right-clicking.
- You can search for open tabs: How many times have you found yourself with 20 tabs open and you can’t find the one you need, so you end up closing them all and starting over? You can use your URL bar to search for the open tab you are looking for and save the time of digging.
- You can re-open closed tabs by using the keystroke Ctrl+Shift+”T”. Same problem–too many windows open, and you accidentally close the wrong one! Instead of starting over, use this keystroke and get your closed tab back.
With all the time we spend online, finding the tricks and shortcuts that affect your regular work will truly have huge time saving impacts on your day. Pick the tips that work for you and start thinking about how you want to spend those five extra hours each week.