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Get productive with Chrome extensions and Drive add-ons

Chrome Extensions and Drive add-ons

This blog will handle the topic of Chrome Extensions and Drive add-ons, after reading this blogpost you will have a decent notion of what these things are, how to manage and install them and how they can benefit you and your business.

First things first

Let’s get comfortable by defining what Chrome extensions, Drive add-ons and Chrome apps are!
A Google Chrome extension is an extra piece of functionality that users can add to their Google Chrome Browser. By installing an extension you can customize your Google Chrome with the functionalities that you like.  keeping your browser free from things you don’t use or want to use.
In a sense, this keeps your browser very light weight, because it doesn’t contain a gazillion features you don’t need.
Tired of those adds when opening a youtube video? Find out how to block them using an extesion in the “Show me the goods” section.

A Google Drive Add-on is a tool created by a third party that can be used in Google Document Formats. These documents include Spreadsheets, Documents and Forms. With little knowledge about Javascript and HTML, everyone can easily create Google Add-ons using Google Apps Script. This makes add-ons extremely customizablebecause with Apps Script, you can integrate those customizations with the Google Apps you are already using. The concept of Add-ons is fairly new, as Google launched it in March 2014. Use add-ons to stay focussed on one screen, instead of switching every 2 minutes. Add the tools you need, directly into your Drive files by installing Add-ons.

Chrome Apps
Chrome Apps are web applications that give the user the experience of a native app, combined with the safety of a web page. These applications are also created by using HTML and Javascript. The difference is that they have access to Chrome API’s where traditional websites do not. Chrome API’s make it possible to interact with network and hardware devices, media tools and much more. Be sure so check out the Offline Gmail Chrome App in the examples below.

Why do you need this?

As stated in the previous chapter you can use extensions and add-ons to customize your Google Chrome browser in a way that it only contains the extra functions that you want.

For most people the previous sentence is just a long list of hollow words; the chrome browser works just fine, people don’t really crave more functionalities because it’s just a browser!

So why would you even bother?
The answer is that these convenient tools can help you be more productive by getting things done easier and faster.

Show me the goods!

Below you can find some examples of tools that can help you to be more productive.

Google Chrome Extensions

If you don’t have this extension yet, you’ll be sweeping away tears of joy when you have installed it. Adblock makes sure that advertisements are blocked from webpages, you can even customize it even further by picking the pages that can or can’t show you advertisements. This amazing extension also works for youtube videos. One important thing to keep in mind is that a lot of websites that offer free content, are powered by the financial income that these adds provide. That being said, you can now start enjoying your add-free browser experience.
If you are tired of switching between your computer screen and your phone whenever you receive a text, I can only advise you to install MightyText. This extension will synchronize your Android phone through an application, allowing you to send and receive SMS and MMS messages to your phone contacts through Google Chrome. You can even receive notifications like missed calls or low battery warnings. It’s also very easy to backup your text messages by using this powerful thing called MightyText.
If you feel like you are wasting too much of your precious time on social media platforms or other unproductive websites, you might consider using StayFocusd as your ally in overcoming this struggle. With this extension you can allow yourself a time allowance for particular sites and timewasters, once you cross your limit StayFocusd will blocks access. You can configure this piece-of-gold tool in many ways to make the proces of losing less time as easy as possible.

Google Documents Add-ons

Google Translate Add-on
Instead of switching screens, you can have Google Translate in your Google document straight away, which can save you heaps of time. Only downside is that not all languages are currently supported, nevertheless it is worth checking out. 
HelloSign Add-on
As far as electronic signatures go in Google Documents, HelloSign is one the simplest to use. You can simply draw your signature in a box and drag it to a Google Document. Downside of this Add-on is that the free version only supports your signature on 3 Documents a month, if you want unlimited it will set you back $15 a month.
DocumentMerge Add-on
By using an easy step-by-step wizard you can generate prefilled Google Documents based on the data collected from a Google Spreadsheet. This is very convenient when you need to write for instance the same letter to a bunch of people, and you want some fields to be customized.

Chrome Apps

Gmail Offline Chrome App
Tackling one of the basic weaknesses of webmail services comes the Gmail Offline Chrome App. This Application enables you to work on your emails without the need of an internet connection. From the moment you reconnect to the internet, Gmail Offline will sync your offline activities and all your work will be carried out. 
Chrome Remote Desktop
Access other computers or allow another user to access your computer, safely over the internet. This Chrome application will work on Google Chrome and on Google Chromebooks. You can configure the app for short- or longterm remote access.

How can I install these tools?

To find and install Chrome extensions/apps you’ll have to go to the Chrome Web Store.
Let’s say that you want to install Adblock:

  1. Go to the Chrome web store on
  2. Search for Adblock in the search box above:
    Blog - addblock
  3. Click on the Adblock extension, a window should popup now
  4. In the window click the “+” button in the right top corner
    Blog - free
  5. You have now succesfully installed Adblock 

To install a Google Add-on, the steps to take are slightly different:

  1. Open a Google Document, Spreadsheet or Form
  2. Click on the add-ons menubutton and click on Get add-ons
    blog - add-on
  3. Once in the add-on store, you can find and install add-ons just like the in the Google Chrome Web store

That’s all there is too it!


There is a whole lot that can be said about security, because most of these tools will need some kind of access to your data. A rule of thumb is to never install a Chrome extension or Add-on from another location then the Chrome Web Store or the Chrome add-on store (unless you’ve created one yourself). Another level of security was added by Google; extensions and add-ons always need your permission to use your data. One of our next blog posts will handle the Security topic in more details.