Wednesday, July 11, 2012

My Google Chrome Extensions

I have bounced around in my web browser preference over the past several years. I used IE for the majority of my K-12 life, then switched to Firefox during undergrad. With my new position and my grad school both being Google campuses, I can now say that I've made the switch to Google Chrome.

Since switching to Google Chrome, I have downloaded and used several extensions. Here are my tops picks, which are also my most used extensions.

Google Extensions

Google Calendar Checker (by Google)

This extension is as useful as it is simple. The Google Calendar Checker displays a small calendar icon next to your address bar that informs you how long you have until your next Google Calendar event. This is a fantastic extension for time management. Don't miss that important webinar or meeting because you got caught up in work... or surfing the web.

Google Reader Notifier (by Google)

The Google Reader Notifier is similar to the Google Calendar Checker. A small reader icon is displayed with the number of unread items. When the icon is clicked, it will provide the title of the unread item as well as a drop-down menu which allows you to filter based on your collections. You can then open Google Reader directly from the extension.

Chat for Google 

I just recently added this extension, and honestly haven't seen much difference from the chat that opens in my Google Mail. I suppose the fact that I always have my mail open has something to do with the multitude of chat boxes that open for one message. I could see this being useful for those who don't leave their mail open.

Social Extensions


I highly recommend TweetDeck for anyone who has multiple Twitter accounts they would like to manage. TweetDeck has a user-friendly interface and a small learning curve. You can also connect a Facebook account, which is helpful. Posts can be set to send at a specified time, making your social media use seem second-nature. This is a must have extension!! It should be noted that this extension does not appear as a button on the browser, but rather as a button on a new tab.


I think it's obvious that I am a TweetDeck fan over Hootsuite. Hootsuite does have a perk of linking with a LinkedIn account. However, the interface is cumbersome and makes you feel like you are doing just as much work as signing into separate accounts. I haven't even had a chance to delve into the features available (although I know that you can time your posts as well as link to Facebook and post to multiple places) as I was discouraged by the complexity and overall slowness of posting.

Pinterest Pin It Button (by Shareaholic) 

I've only recently taken to Pinterest. However, in my short time pinning, I found that my pins increased dramatically after installing this extension. This extension places a button in your browser. When clicked, the button grabs all available images from the current webpage that can be pinned while hyper-linking the page. A must-have for Pinterest users!

Productivity Extensions

Evernote Web Clipper

While my colleagues swear by Evernote, I haven't entirely made the leap yet. However, I do have an account and have added this extension. The Evernote Web Clipper allows notes and webpage URLs to be saved in different Evernote notebooks. I have found this useful for organizing important URLs for projects that need to be addressed later.

Diigo: Bookmark, Archive, Highlight & Sticky-Note

Diigo allows annotation of webpages. I have found this extremely useful during my research on different topics. Your annotations are saved on the Diigo website. When returning to a previously annotated page, the Diigo extension will notify you that you have a saved annotated copy of the webpage. Your annotations can be shown on the page and you can continue to add notes.

Screenshot Extensions

Awesome Screenshot: Capture & Annotate

Awesome Screenshot allows a person to capture the visible part of a page, the whole page, or a portion of a web page. The image can then be annotated and shared on The annotation screen is extremely user friendly and provides an undo and crop button. The image can also be temporarily saved on, saved as a jpeg, copied to the clipboard, or be printed. I highly recommend this screencapture extension for Diigo users and those creating instructions, as most annotations are done in another program.

Screen Capture (by Google)

Screen Capture by Google is similar to Awesome Screenshot in that it allows you to capture the visible part of a page, the whole page, or a portion of a web page. Screen Capture also allows a user to capture a screen region. The annotation features are a little clunkier than that of Awesome Screenshot, but provides more colors an options for annotation. Screen Capture can be saved to your computer or shared to Picasa Web, Facebook, Sina Microblog, or Imgur. I recommend Screen Capture to those sharing with Picasa Web, Facebook, and Sina Microblog.

Download Extensions

Download Master

Download Master downloads all files linked on a web page. All files are placed into a .zip folder that can be opened later. I found this extremely useful for Moodle Assignments when the Download All button is not displayed. A button is placed on the browser that will display the number of available downloads on the current webpage.

Soundcloud Infinite Download (Currently Not Available in Chrome Web Store)

The Soundcloud download extension is not a button on the browser, but rather created a button on Soundcloud songs that allows them to be downloadable.

YouTube Downloader: MP3/HD Video Download 

The YouTube Downloader allows any video from YouTube to be downloaded as an MP3 or HD video. Like the Soundcloud extension, the download button will display on YouTube videos.

FVD Video Downloader

FVD Video downloader allows easy video, MP3, flash game, music, or HD download. A button is placed on the browser that will display the number of available downloads on the current webpage.