If you use Google Chrome to browse the web — and most people do — these must-have add-ons will make you more productive. Sent home with orders to stay productive during the pandemic, workers struggle to figure out the new normal. That last might well be answered by employers, of course. Now separated from whatever IT oversight had taken place in the workplace, employees may have considerable freedom in the choice of accessories that make remote existence bearable, even easier.
These should make work-at-home work time more productive.
This Microsoft-made add-on saves the steps it takes to open the office.com website and sign in to a Microsoft or Office 365 account. Like that Office home page, the extension provides quick access to all online apps available through the user’s subscription, from Word and Excel to PowerPoint and Teams. After installing the add-on, click the Office logo icon next to the address bar, and select the appropriate choice; those with access to a Microsoft or Office 365 account should pick the bottom-most of the pair — “Sign in with a work or school account” — and then enter the credentials if necessary. From the drop-down menu that appears when the icon is clicked, choose one of the apps available for that subscription, or one of the most-recent files accessed earlier from OneDrive.
2. Zoom Scheduler
If your company or organization now leans hard on Zoom to hold video meetings and relies on Google productivity tools, including Calendar, you’ll want to add this extension to Chrome. From the new Zoom-ish icon beside the address bar, you can launch a Zoom session on the fly, with or without video switched on to start, or schedule a later Zoom meeting on Google Calendar. For both immediate and future Zoom meetings, Calendar shoots an invite to named participants, giving them a link to click.
3. Chrome Remote Desktop
Small businesses that sent employees home to work may have little or no experience providing technical support to remote locations. The firm’s sole IT admin won’t be able to stroll down a hall to trouble-shoot a balky PC or Mac. Google’s Chrome Remote Desktop doesn’t do much more than automatically taking the user to the web UI of the search firm’s remote desktop and remote support tools, but that’s enough.
Didn’t have time to plunder your desk or the company supply cabinet for Post-it Notes or index cards before you headed home? Now all out of scratch paper, or saving it for other uses? Ahem.Papier is a brilliant use of Chrome’s new tab page, turning it into a place to jot down notes — short notes, long memos, whatever — while still in the browser. The results are stored within Chrome itself, so there’s no synchronization necessary, which is a relief as syncing so often goes astray no matter its form or format.
5. Checker Plus for Google Drive
Notably, Checker Plus pings its user with notifications when a shared file has been modified. Clicking the add-on icon also puts a pop-up on the screen that shows the linked Google Drive’s contents, which can be searched and sorted. Files can be opened or renamed, and links to a shareable file can be obtained, without having to create a new tab and open Drive the usual way. The same developer has also created Checker Plus for Gmail and Checker Plus for Google Calendar, two additional add-ons that put a slew of tools at hand from inside the browser for those web apps.