Ten years into its life, Chrome is the most widely-used internet browser in the world. But the stock features aren’t what make it so popular. There’s also a thriving community of developers adding onto the browser with extensions, little pieces of software that add features Google hasn’t dreamt up yet.
The Quartz staff like their extensions. After all, we all spend a borderline unhealthy amount of time on the internet, whether it be researching, writing, or fact-checking stories. Here are the ways our favorites have helped us out:
If you’re like us, you have way too many tabs open. The holy trinity of tab maintenance can help: The Great Suspender pauses tabs after a certain amount of time so they don’t use processing power in the background, OneTab is great for condensing all the tabs you’re keeping open “to read later” into one summary tab, and Clutter Free makes sure you don’t have duplicate tabs open.
Sometimes you want to jot down a quick note but don’t want to open a word processor. Papier turns each new tab’s homepage into a notebook for recording quick thoughts or distraction-free writing. And everything is backed up to Chrome, so you won’t lose it later.
The Personal Blocklist extension, made by Google, filters out certain domains from your searches, so if you don’t like a certain site you don’t need to see it. (Keep qz.com please.) A Quartz developer says that it’s useful to block out certain unhelpful sites when Googling through a web development problem.
Sometimes a hand you need with grammar. Grammarly.
Use Pocket to save good stories and NewsGuard to fend against bad ones. Quartz science editor Elijah Wolfson also sends longer stories he really wants to read to his Kindle using Push to Kindle. It’s distraction-free reading at its best, with no notifications or ads or messages.
A password manager is just basic internet hygiene—use one to maintain strong passwords for every one of your internet accounts. The most popular ones are 1Password, LastPass, and Dashlane— there are pros and cons to each, and the Quartz staff uses them all. Just remember the master password—your digital life depends on it.
Once it’s on the internet, it lives forever. That’s pretty much due to Archive.org, which stores decades of revisions to websites, as well as preserved copies of sites that don’t exist anymore. The Wayback Machine extension allows you to see saved versions of webpages that have been either taken down or are otherwise unavailable, a boon to any internet historian.
Get around academic paywalls with extensions like Kopernio and Unpaywall, which search for accessible PDFs of the paper online. Or, find out if you’re actually getting a good deal with a price tracker like CamelCamelCamel.
My trustiest Chrome extension is called MakeGIF, and it’s very simple. It makes GIFs. It’s particularly good at capturing and converting YouTube videos.
Inject a little bit of simple internet nostalgia into your life with Tabogotchi, which makes a game out of how many tabs you have open, or Tabby Cat, which generates an internet cat you can virtually pet for every tab you open.