With the majority of people working from home or placed on furlough, staying productive and motivated during these unpredictable times can be difficult.
Whether your office is also your living room, bedroom or your kitchen diner, staying focused on lengthy to-do lists while sitting in a distracting or unusual environment can leave you thinking: ‘what did I actually achieve today?’ Or ‘Gosh, that took a lot longer than I expected!’
If that’s been you over these last few months, you’re not alone. The good news is that Google Chrome has lots of free Chrome extensions which double up to help you stay productive at work - helping you to track your time, manage your to-do lists and provide motivational messages that keep you focused throughout your working day.
Are you working at home with children? Our PR Director Dave Beesley shares his top tips on staying productive while looking after children at home.
Below are our top five chrome extensions that will make you more organised and productive during your working day. All you have to do is simply click on the one you want below, press download and the extension will be added to your Google Chrome browser - it’s really that simple!
This is one of my favourite Google Chrome extensions because it enables me to personalise my web browser home screen with scenic backdrops and set my daily goals. It also keeps me motivated through random inspirational quotes.
The quotes, backdrops and goals automatically change each day, so you are inspired as soon as you open your laptop (I’ve found this very therapeutic when signing on in the morning or if I need a boost throughout my day).
The best part about this extension is that it doesn't need to be updated or managed, it simply keeps you focused every time you open a new tab or Chrome browser window (which for the majority of us is a lot of times throughout the day!). But for those who are looking to use the full features, there is also a to-do list tab in the bottom-right corner where you can add tasks to tick off throughout the day, while the settings tab allows you to personalise your homepage by, for example, setting your favourite backdrop(s).
More relevant than ever now most people are working remotely, Taskade is an online hub that allows you to manage your entire workload and connect with your colleagues.
This free Google Chrome extension has lots of great features, including:
- Task management
- Project collaboration
- Multiple workspaces
- Meeting scheduling
- Video calls and text messaging
See how our Global Marketing Director structures his day to stay productive here.
The useful thing about this Chrome extension is it allows you to have your own workspace to organise your daily tasks - with the tools to tick off items, mark tasks as complete, drag and drop files, schedule meetings - and also joint project workspaces, which allow you to collaborate with other members of your team in real time on notes and tasks just by tagging them!
The best bit? Taskade has a sleek, tidy interface with a nice selection of wallpapers to pick from, meaning you can personalise your workspace (unlike a lot of standardised, rigid software layouts).
This Google Chrome extension has one key goal: focus.
Like Chrome Momentum, Noisli is committed to helping you stay focused and calm - but it goes much further.
Noisli allows you to easily mix and match natural sounds - thunder, rain, ocean waves and fire crackling, for example - into a sound playlist, allowing you to create a perfect, personalised soundscape for focusing on the tasks ahead.
The extension sits at the top of your web browser, allowing you to click, play or stop your personalised soundscapes at any time, or choose from their ready-made soundscapes that have been carefully curated to help you focus.
For people who are easily distracted by the slightest of noises (and in the current climate, that may be your neighbours chatting, your housemate cooking or your children playing at home) or are unable to work to the background sounds of TV and music (something I very much struggle with), Noisli is your perfect productivity companion, providing the solution for either tuning out distracting sounds or helping you to relax.
On top of soundscapes, Noisli also offers a basic timer function to keep you aware of the time you’re spending on tasks and encourage you to break up your working day.
Looking for marketing inspiration but need a break from the screen or want to avoid the distraction of videos? Check out top 5 marketing podcasts to listen to while you work or on your lunch break.
Do you ever find yourself mid-way through a task and stumble across an article, news piece or video that you want to watch but know you don’t have the time to?
Then you’re in luck! The Save to Pocket Chrome extension allows you to quickly and easily add website pages or interesting content you find online into a “pocket” which lives at the top of your browser so it can be read at a later time.
With a clean interface, this extension allows you to easily organise all your saved material into groups through the use of tags, or by selecting them as favourites. This means whether you find a help article perfect for a work project or a funny video of an elephant rolling around in the mud, you can easily save them for a later date and stay focused on the task at hand.
This Chrome extension also syncs with its mobile app: Pocket: Save. Read. Grow, meaning you can read your saved content on-the-go or offline (whenever you have five minutes spare) and simply archive or delete it when you’re done.
If your problem is time management then this Clockify Chrome extension may be all you need to get back on track, complete your tasks and increase your productivity at home.
With a built-in Pomodoro timer - a timing system founded in the 80s proved to increase focus by breaking down tasks to 25-minute blocks - this extension is effective in helping you get the most out of your day, with added features such as an idle detector and analysis reports of your time (also brilliant for weekly timesheets!).
Simply download the extension and click and label a task you’re about to begin for the timer to track your time spent on projects. You can also invite team members to join you and track time together to see the total time spent on specific projects.
“Improved productivity means less human sweat, not more” - Henry Ford
There you have it: five Google Chrome extensions specifically designed to help you increase your productivity and focus. Hopefully, these free apps will make for a better, more productive remote workforce and keep you going during these uncertain times, when staying focused can be even more difficult.
Now you’ve mastered how to manage your time, why not download our free eBook to learn how a deeper understanding of customer relationship management (CRM) can unlock huge benefits for your company: 360° of CRM - Making Integrated CRM decisions.