Categories
Computing

Best Browser Extensions to Maximize Your Productivity

If you’re looking for a way to boost your productivity, cut out distractions, and get more stuff done during the workday, we’ve got just the ticket. For this article, we’ve handpicked a selection of browser extensions that can significantly increase your productivity if used correctly.

To make things easier, we’ve also included a link to each extension’s download page, so you can immediately install them on any Chromium-based browser, like Google Chrome or Brave. Many of the extensions in this list are are also available on Edge, Safari, Firefox, and Opera, but Chrome users can rest assured that everything below is definitely compatible with your browser.

Todoist

Todoist is basically a to-do list on steroids, and while it’s certainly not the only extension of its kind, it’s easily one of the most popular options for folks looking to better organize their time. The extension lets you create and manage tasks and projects for yourself, though you can also share them with others, including friends, family, or co-workers.

The extension features an attractive dashboard that includes progress information presented as charts. Todoist can be synchronized across your devices, too, enabling you to quickly review outstanding tasks wherever you are. The creators of Todoist claim that its extension will help you end each day in a position to “rest, relax, and recharge for tomorrow.” ToDoist for Chrome browser.

Momentum

Momentum screenshot.

Momentum doesn’t mess around. And it doesn’t let you mess around, either. Right when your browser’s start page opens, Momentum hits you with the message: “Good morning, what is your main focus for today?” This prompts you to immediately consider what’s most important for you to get done that day.

Typing in your main goal for the day adds it to your to-do list, which is accessible via a button at the bottom right of the page. New tabs that you open not only remind you of your main goal for the day, but also include relaxing images to calm your mind and inspirational quotations to keep you motivated. Momentum for Chrome browser.

BlockSite

BlockSite screenshot.

BlockSite promises to help you “stop procrastination once and for all.” If you’re a skilled time waster and BlockSite’s lofty claim elicits a self-satisfied snicker, then take note — the huge popularity of BlockSite suggests it may well help you out. Setup includes adding websites to your block list so that BlockSite knows when to step in to stop you from straying from important tasks.

The extension also includes a Focus Mode timer feature that lets you control your schedule using the Pomodoro Technique, a method that encourages greater productivity by helping you break up your tasks into intervals — often of 25 minutes — followed by a short break to relax and recharge. Focus Mode also briefly opens the door to your blocked sites before prompting you to get back to work. BlockSite for Chrome browser.

Noisli

Noisli screenshot.

Noisli is a neat little extension that uses sound to create a pleasant environment, whether you’re working, studying, or simply trying to relax. The audio tracks are drawn mostly from nature and include birdsong, falling leaves, rainfall, wind, and waves. Other options include a whirring fan, coffee shop chatter, and the gentle hum of a train ride.

You can choose to listen to a single sound or take a moment to create your own soundscape (don’t waste too much time on it, though!) using two or more of the available tracks. If you’re happy with your creation, you can save it for repeat plays. Noisli also offers its own playlists comprising premade combinations of particular sounds. For more variety, the extension also features a “random” button. Noisli offers Pro and Business versions for a small annual fee, but the free offering should suffice for most people. Noisli for Chrome browser.

OneTab

OneTab screenshot.

OneTab’s focuses is in its name: One tab. If your usual workflow involves opening numerous browser tabs, you’ll know how crazy it can get when they start to cram together at the top of the screen. This handy extension helps by holding all of your open tabs in a single tab. Click on it and you’ll get a drop-down list of everything you have open, with details of each page easily visible. Simply click on the desired tab to go straight to the page. The creators of OneTab claim the extension can save as much as 95% of your web browser memory because it’s designed to only use a single tab. OneTab for Chrome browser.

Workona

Workona screenshot.

Workona is a more feature-rich version of OneTab that may better suit some users. This powerful tool endeavors to lower your stress levels by helping you organize and manage your work on the web. Workona offers a suite of features, including workspaces that let you keep a group of related tabs inside a single folder for easy access. You can create multiple workspaces for multiple projects, and switch between each one in a single click. When you select a workspace, all of the tabs that it contains will appear at the top of the browser. The extension autosaves these tabs, too, so you never have to worry about losing them.

Workona lets you work by yourself, but you can also hook up with co-workers and share workspaces if you need to collaborate. If you ever find yourself tensing up at the sight of endless tabs on your browser, then Workona can calm you down and put you back in control. Workona for Chrome browser.

Pocket

Pocket screenshot.

Pocket is a popular read-it-later service that can help enthusiastic procrastinators focus on the task in hand. Say you’re researching a topic online and you get distracted by other articles that threaten to take you down a rabbit hole. To stay on task, you can simply send them to Pocket and read them at a more convenient time on any synced device.

The service includes an app and an extension, with the latter allowing you to save a webpage by clicking on the Pocket button in your browser. You can also right click on a link to save it to Pocket. If you’re not already using Pocket, now’s the time to take it for a spin. Pocket for Chrome browser.

Mercury Reader

Mercury Reader screenshot.

If Pocket helps you to avoid a massive diversion from the job at hand, then you’ll have more time to deal with articles that you do need to read. However, the articles may be surrounded by all kinds of distractions, potentially causing both your mind and eyes to wander where they shouldn’t. That’s where Mercury Reader comes in.

This extension cleverly strips away all of the extraneous material from a webpage, leaving you with only the text and images connected to the article. A single button or quick keyboard shortcut lets you switch to the simplified view in a flash, with extra buttons allowing you to quickly adjust the font and text size. Mercury Reader for Chrome browser.

LastPass

LastPass screenshot.

Endless surveys suggest that people are still using ridiculously simple passwords for their online accounts, or the same password for multiple ones. Both methods risk a whole lot of bother down the road, so why not just use a password manager instead? They make the business of organizing and managing your online accounts so much easier, and mean you no longer have to remember gazillions of passwords or risk your online security by writing them all down.

While there are lots of password managers out there, LastPass is an established and reliable multiplatform option that means from this day forward you’ll only have to remember one password. LastPass for Chrome browser.

Extensity

Extensity screenshot.

Now, if you find yourself loading up lots of browser extensions, there may be a time when a website’s performance is impacted by one or more of them, preventing a page from behaving as it should. When this happens, you’ll want to temporarily switch off different extensions until you find the culprit. On the Chrome browser, for example, this is a somewhat cumbersome process involving multiple steps. But with the Extensity, you can turn extensions on and off in two quick clicks.

This is also great for extensions that you only want to use for certain tasks. In other words, you can turn it off once you’re done, thereby reducing the clutter at the top of your browser and preventing any issues that may arise with other websites and extensions. Extensity can also help ease the strain on your computer’s CPU. Extensity for Chrome browser.

Editors’ Choice




Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
Computing

How to Maximize Productivity in Windows 10

You’re likely spending more and more time at home on your PC, but did you know that Windows 10 has your back and can help you stay productive during your busiest times? There are a lot of tricks built right into Windows itself that are designed with productivity in mind.

From window tiling to window scaling to setting your favorite websites as progressive web apps and more, here’s a look at our top five ways you can maximize your productivity in Windows 10.

Tile and “snap” your windows

Our first tip is one that is sitting right under your nose in Windows 10. If you have a lot of windows open while you’re working, you might find yourself frequently switching back and forth between them by minimizing or moving them around. However, Windows has built-in keyboard shortcuts that can help you “tile” your open windows. You can follow our instructions below for how to do this:

  • Tile two windows side by side: In an active window, press and hold the Windows key plus the left or right arrow key to snap a window to the left or right side of the screen. You can select another window to fill the empty space.
  • Tile more than two windows: Drag and drop your first window to any corner. Then press and hold the Windows key, followed by the left or right arrow key, to snap the active window to the left or right. Finally, press and hold the Windows key plus the up or down arrow key to move the snapped window into the top or bottom corner.

Microsoft officially calls this “snapping,” and it lets you snap your Windows side by side, up and down, and in many other orientations. This might be useful if you’re working on an external monitor with a high resolution or with a newer laptop with a 4K screen.

If these keyboard shortcuts aren’t working for you, then you might have to open the Settings app in Windows 10 and search for Multitasking. Make sure the toggle switch for Snap Windows is turned on.

Decrease your window scaling

If you own a Surface tablet or a laptop and can push your screen resolution beyond the minimum Full HD (1920 x 1080) standard, it is likely that a lot of the text on your screen is super large by default. This means you’re probably not able to multitask effectively as we just described above.

No worries, though, as our second tip has you covered: You can decrease your window scaling to make items on your screen smaller so more items fit on your screen.

To decrease window scaling, right-click on the desktop and choose Display Settings. From there, you should see a box that says Change the size of text, apps, and other items. You’ll want to choose one that’s lower than the suggested or default value on the list.

You should automatically see everything on your screen become smaller, letting you fit more on your screen. It’s best to quickly log out and log back in to ensure that apps can scale properly after the change.

Turn on Focus Assist so apps don’t bother you with notifications

In a Teams or Zoom meeting? Working on something important? The last thing you want is an app bothering you with a notification and for you to get the annoying “ping” sound from Windows when you have an incoming notification.

Well, just like do not disturb mode on your iPhone, Windows 10 has your back with a feature known as Focus Assist. It’s the third item on our list.

To turn on Focus Assist, toggle to the Action Center in Windows 10 by pressing the Windows key plus the A key on your keyboard. You should then look for the crescent moon icon in the bottom list. When you toggle this, Windows will silence all app and system notifications.

You can right-click the icon and choose Go to Settings to see more ways you can customize Focus Assist. From here, you can set automatic rules, add apps to a priority list, and a lot more. Go ahead and play around with it! The sky is the limit!

Create progressive web apps for websites you frequent to get quick access

If you find yourself always going to a specific website (say Twitter, Microsoft Teams, Instagram, or Facebook) you might favorite it in your web browser of choice so you can quickly access it. But did you know that you can create a progressive web app (PWA) for that website so you can “pin” it to your taskbar or Start Menu for even quicker access?

Progressive web apps also look cleaner and can feel a lot like a dedicated system app rather than a website with traditional window and menu controls up top. We’ll cover the top two major web browsers when talking about creating a progressive web app — Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge.

  • In Google Chrome: Visit the website of choice, then click the three downward-facing arrows at the top of your screen next to your profile icon. Then, look for the Install [Website name] button. This should launch the website in its own window as an app, free of regular Chrome controls. You can then see the website listed as an app in your Start Menu. Right-click it to pin it if you want.
  • In Microsoft Edge: Visit the website of choice, then click the three horizontal dots at the top of the screen next to your profile icon. From there, look for the Apps button, and then click Install [website name].Your website will then pin to the list of apps in the Start Menu, and the next time you launch it from there, it will be free of regular Edge controls.
Arif Bacchus/Digital Trends

Note that in some instances, you might not be able to create a PWA through those settings in Chrome. If this is the case, you can force a website to become a PWA by creating a shortcut. Just visit the website and tap the same menu button, select More Tools, and then Create a Shortcut. Make sure the Open as Window button is toggled. The website will then save to your Start Menu on the list of apps.

Chose different battery plans to get the most battery life out of your PC

The last thing on our list involves saving battery. After all, productivity involves staying unplugged so you don’t have to worry about running to a power outlet while you’re in the middle of work. Well, Windows 10 has a built-in feature that can help.

If you go to the taskbar and look for the battery icon, there’s a slider for different power plans that can be helpful in various productivity scenarios. We’ve explained these below:

  • Best Battery Life: This setting puts your laptop into a battery saving mode and reduces power consumption. It’s good for getting the best battery life when you’re in a pinch and when a power outlet isn’t nearby. Usually, it will automatically toggle on when your battery goes below 20%.
  • Better Battery: This setting lowers the amount of power your laptop uses to ensure that you can get the most out of your battery, without going into reduced power consumption mode. Good for when you’re below 40% battery and want to save battery.
  • Better Performance: This represents a mix of better battery life and good performance. It’s useful for ensuring that your laptop isn’t throttling and you can get the most power out of your laptop when multitasking.
  • Best Performance: This setting uses the most battery but ensures maximum performance. It’s good for gaming on battery power or when video editing and doing other CPU-intensive tasks.

If you’re not seeing these power options, then it’s likely your laptop is too old and doesn’t support the various power modes. You can try heading into Windows 10 settings and searching for “battery.” From this settings page, there’s a lot of suggestions, showing you which apps are using the most power and how you can improve battery life.

Editors’ Choice




Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
Security

Intel Clover Falls: Using A.I. to Maximize Battery Life

The good news is that new Intel-powered laptops can benefit from even longer battery life thanks to Intel’s new artificial intelligence-powered co-processor called Clover Falls. The not-so-good news is that Clover Falls, at least initially, will be limited to commercial notebooks, so consumers will have to wait just a bit longer for the technology to trickle down to popular laptops such as the XPS 13, Spectre x360, and ZenBook Flip S.

Intel describes Clover Falls as “a secure companion chip that helps make PCs more smart and secure through the power of Intel artificial intelligence.” Intel added in a company blog post that the chip will help laptops sense and adapt to their surroundings. One example of how Clover Falls works is that the laptop could automatically turn up the display brightness when it detects a user is present or turn off or dim the screen when you walk away.

It’s unclear what other features and experiences Intel and its partners will be able to deliver through Clover Falls. The company is taking a platform-level approach to computing, and it is bundling Clover Falls with its Intel Evo platform, which was previously referred to as Project Athena. At its core, Evo delivers a set of requirements for responsiveness, battery life, instant wake, and fast connectivity, and the company claimed that these guidelines help users to understand what they can expect out of a notebook with Intel Evo branding.

Targeting battery life could help laptops with Clover Falls take on Apple’s new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air powered by the M1 silicon.

In terms of battery life, Intel and its partners had previously stated that Evo-certified laptops will deliver at least nine hours of battery life with a 1080p display. It’s unclear how much more battery life Intel will be able to squeeze with artificial intelligence-tuned settings, For comparison, Apple claims that the new M1-powered MacBook Pro delivers up to 20 hours of battery life. and with a stated battery life of 18 hours for the MacBook Air, Apple’s M1 processor delivers roughly double the battery life of Intel’s current Evo numbers.

For its part, Intel did not reveal when Clover Falls will arrive on commercial or consumer laptops. From its platform approach detailed in the company’s blog post, we expect systems with Clover Falls silicon to trickle out, as Intel will likely be working in close collaboration with partners to hit key metrics, as it did with the original Evo targets for performance and battery life. With Dell’s vice president of Latitude also offering commentary on the blog post, we can expect Dell to be a key partner and future Latitude commercial notebooks to come with Clover Falls co-processors.

“Working with Intel is so much more than buying a processor that will work with our product,” said Dell’s Meghana Patwardhan. “The co-engineering effort involves Intel’s dedication to tackling unique product challenges together and taking the entirety of the system into consideration — all so we can deliver amazing new platform features to business users.”

In addition to Dell, other laptop manufacturers like Acer, Asus, HP, Lenovo, and Samsung are also part of Intel’s Evo program. Whether laptops from these manufacturers, like the HP Spectre x360 or Lenovo Yoga 9i, will get refreshed down the road with Clover Falls co-processors is unclear. Intel also did not give any examples of how Clover Falls will add to a laptop’s security in its blog post.

Editors’ Choice




Repost: Original Source and Author Link