The 10 Best Browser Extensions to Increase Productivity and Avoid Distractions
We’ve all done it. You sit down at your computer and swear to be productive. The next thing you know, it’s 6 hours later, and you’ve been wasting at least half of your time checking Twitter and Facebook feeds and reading online news.
Luckily, there is an increasing number of browser extensions, and there are many great tools in the market to make our days more efficient. Start by reading the list of 10 browser extensions and find new favorite tools for blocking distractions and staying focused.
An interesting fact that came up when doing the research is that Chrome users are much more blessed with awesome browser extensions that Safari users. So if you’re looking to increase productivity, you might want to switch to Chrome for at least some hours.
What are your favorite productivity tools, apps, and extensions? We love the feedback from our readers so feel free to leave a comment and share your thoughts.
1. Noisli- ignore the background noises
How many times have you lost your attention because of the background noise in the office? With noisli, you can create a quiet personal space in a moment’s notice. It’s a go-to extension for office workers, freelancers, creatives, writers, and programmers.
Use Noisli to play background sounds like rainfall, fire crackling, birdsong, or even thunderstorm and use the calm atmosphere for increased focus in the office or a cafe. The extension has a built-in timer and text editor that you can use for working sessions, giving the opportunity to concentrate on highly efficient work.
Available in Safari, Chrome, and the web.
Get Noisli here.
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2. Strict Workflow – block distractions for a perfect balance between work and rest
This extension was clearly inspired by the famous Pomodoro technique – you work for 25 minutes and get a 5 minutes break. After that, you repeat the timing until everything’s done.
With Strict Workflow, you can set a 25-minute work timer for efficient work, and by clicking on a 5-minute break timer, you’ve got a break for relaxing.
How can a timer make you concentrate on work? The extension comes with pre-configuration, blocking all the popular websites. So no more checking Facebook when you should be working. You can personalize the app by whitelisting and blacklisting new website that kills your productivity.
Available in Chrome. For Safari, use Self Control. Firefox users can add the Leechblock extension to their browser.
Get Strict Workflow here.
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3. Momentum – a moment for yourself
Wouldn’t it be nice to be constantly reminded of our daily goals and the work that needs to be done? Momentum does just that with a special inspirational touch.
Every time you open a new tab on your browser, a personal dashboard with an inspirational quote, your to-do list and weather data shows up. Giving you a moment to reflect on your actual goals and focus on what’s important. Being constantly reminded of your achievements and goals makes your day so much more productive.
Available in Chrome and Safari.
Get Momentum here.
4. StayFocusd – limit the time spent on distracting websites
You start a demanding task and the next thing you know, it’s three hours later, and you’re liking someone’s travel photos on Facebook. How did this happen?
StayFocusd leads you to higher productivity by restricting the time spent on unproductive websites. Every day, you can set a time that you’re allowed to spend on distracting sites, and when the time’s up, the app starts to block your way to these websites.
High reconfigurability allows you to block entire sites, specific subdomains, specific paths, etc. and select different permissions for each day and parts of the day.
This extension is only available on Chrome. For Safari, try SelfControl.
Get StayFocusd here.
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5. Any.do – always remember what needs to be done
What started as a popular web app has also become a web extension to help people increase productivity even further.
Any.do works as a to-do list, allowing you to note down reminders, meeting agendas, tasks and notes even while browsing online. It synchronizes with the tool’s iPhone and Android apps, giving you quick access to your task list.
Available on iPhone, Android, as Chrome app, Chrome extension, and the Web.
Get Any.do here.
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6. LaterBox- save distracting ideas and notes for later
We all get tons of great ideas while working on demanding tasks. We also get reminded of small important things like something we need to buy on our way home. Instead of breaking your attention to writing down the notes, quickly type the thought to your browser extension.
LaterBox works as the collector of your ideas. You enter all your ideas to a little box and later in the evening you get an email with all the little notes you’ve written throughout the day. This leaves so much more time for work and helps to keep you focused on what’s important. You never forget small things you might need later.
Available in Chrome and as an Android app. Looking to make available a Firefox extension.
Get Laterbox here.
7. Pocket – beat the fear of missing out
How many times have you stopped working and started reading an interesting article that you accidentally found?
Pocket lets you save all the interesting websites (and articles) in one click and gives you access to them anytime. Here’s to never decrease productivity because of the fear of missing out on the latest news and trends. No great articles get lost, and you can focus on your work.
Also, try Instapaper and Evernote extensions for similar purposes.
Available for major devices and platforms including iPad, iPhone, Android, Mac, Kindle Fire, Kobo, Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera and Windows.
Get Pocket here.
8. Timewarp – be constantly reminded of distractions
What about a tool that constantly reminds you about procrastination? Timewarp does just that – each time you enter a distracting site, Timewarp directs you back to a more productive site.
For example, you can set up a “wormhole” for each time you go to Facebook. Instead of wasting time, you can be redirected to Google Drive documents or Wikipedia. Leading to increased productivity and less time wasted on random websites.
You can ask the extension to show you motivational quotes, redirect you from distracting pages or display the time you’ve spent on certain sites today.
Available in Chrome.
Get Timewarp here.
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9. Be Limitless – see where your time is going and focus on goals
This extension is a mix of some previously mentioned tools. If you like to keep the amount of your browser extensions low, get Be Limitless to cover multiple features.
The extension creates a dashboard view when opening a new tab. It gives you an instant overview where your time is spent and gives productivity suggestions. You can also add your to-do list and notes to the dashboard to be reminded of your daily goals and, for example, events. Add inspirational images and quotes for further motivation.
Available on Chrome.
Get Be Limitless here.
10. Extensify – access and manage your browser extensions in one click
When a load of browser extensions starts to get overwhelming, Extensity comes to your aid. It allows you to manage all your extensions and switch them turn on or off in a single click.
By creating a quickly manageable list of all your browser extensions, Extension gives you a complete overview of activities running in the background. Never again waste time on finding the extension settings and increase efficiency by using multiple extensions at a time.
Available in Chrome.
Get Extensify here.
As you can see, there are so many great browser extensions out there, just waiting to be added to your browser and increase your productivity. You may not be interested in downloading all of them at once, but give one or two a try, and once you get good results, also get the others.
And don’t forget to leave a comment about your favorite browser extensions.
Craving for more? See the list of 12 productivity tools that will save you hours every day.