Chrome extensions can enhance your browser experience in so many ways. But which ones will save you time and won't cost you anything? In this video, Scott Friesen shares 7 Chrome extensions that will help you with work, school, or personal productivity and are absolutely free.
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Chrome extensions are one of the easiest ways to save time and get more done whether you are working online or just browsing the web. So in this video, I'm going to share with you seven free Chrome extensions that I think you should be using right now. Hello everyone, Scott Friesen here at Simpletivity helping you to get more done and enjoy less stress. Now, the first free Chrome extension on our list is called Scribe. Scribe is all about showing others how to do something, or maybe just remembering yourself how to do something online without wasting the time of watching a full video. So let me give you a real world example. Here I am within my QuickBooks online account and I don't know about you, but when it comes to something such as accounting or tax purposes there's many things that I only do once or twice a year. And those are so easy to forget whether I need to do it or I need to share this, perhaps with a personal assistant. So in this case, what I'm going to do is I'm going to record myself actually going through the actions. Up here in the Chrome extension window, you can see here is the Scribe icon. I'm going to select that and I'm going to say start recording. Now, it's going to tell me that the capture has started and now I just go about the regular order of events. So I'm going to say, we need to click new and then we need to come here and select the journal entry. That's going to open up a new screen. Now remember, we're actually not recording any of the video. What scribe is doing is recording my actions. So maybe I always forget to change the currency. We need to change that to U.S. dollars. And maybe I need a particular exchange rate, so I'm going to enter that in here. And I'm just going to list this as test entry for this purposes. Then I'm going to come down to account, find the account that I need to select here and put in the amount and then select perhaps the additional account that I need to use here. Again, things that I probably will easily forget if I'm only doing this a handful of times, or if I'm trying to teach someone else. Maybe lastly I want to throw something in the memo here, so this is just a transfer note, and then we can hit save. In the bottom left hand corner, you can see it is flashing. What I can do is click on this. I can either pause my recording, I can start again, I can move this somewhere else, but in this case I'm going to say complete the recording. What Scribe is going to do is open up that recorded steps in a new browser tab. So here it's called it an Intuit Workflow, but I can change that right away. I can say, actually, this is the a journal entry, journal entry example, for, for example, here, it took me about two minutes to record and there's a total of 19 steps. But remember I was explaining what I was doing. I probably could have done this in as little as 45 seconds. Down below, you can see all of the different steps and they're clearly numbered. So navigate to this website, of course, all of this is editable. So instead of maybe including this messy URL, if that's not what I need to send them to I can say, you know what? Just navigate to QuickBooks. Okay? In this case, especially if I'm teaching someone else maybe how to do this with their own QuickBooks account. But down below, here are all the recorded steps, click new, and you can see it highlights where my cursor was. Then click journal entry, then click U.S. dollars down below, then click this text field and type 1.25 and then click here. Now you'll notice I just clicked out of this field. This actually isn't a step. No worries. I can just come here and say, delete that step. Are you sure? Yep. Let's remove that one. Then I want them to click this field and type test entry. Yeah, that's what I want them to type into that field. So you can see it's recorded all of the different steps that I have input here. And unlike a video recording, I can always come back in here and make minor changes if I need to. When I'm ready to share, I can either select copy link or I can select this share button. And if I want to, I can even export it into a variety of different formats, including a PDF. So if you want a much easier way to create a visual guide and not a lengthy video, be sure to check out Scribe. Next on our list is an extension which is going to help us write a little more cohesively, but also give us some further ideas. Regardless if we're writing an email or writing in some other text field on the web. And for this, we're taking a look at a tool called Wordtune. Let me show you how it works. I'm going to open up this email message that I'm crafting here. And I have to admit writing is one of my least favorite activities and sometimes I could use a little help. So sometimes when I'm crafting an email or putting together a draft, I'm often second guessing myself and seeing if I could have put things a little bit better. Well, that's exactly where Wordtune comes into play. If Wordtune is installed within your browser, all you need to do is hover over a selection of text, such as this sentence, and you'll see you'll get this little Wordtune icon. If I select it, I am automatically given some suggestions as to some other ways in which I could say this, maybe something that's a little more casual or a little more professional or something that's just going to be that much more eye catching to the readers. So maybe how are you and your team doing? That's actually probably a little bit proper than the way I phrased it. How's the team? What's up with you and the team? Maybe that's a little too informal for me. Did you and the team have a good week? So if I've settled on this, all I need to do is select it. It will automatically replace it. And I can go to somewhere else, maybe I want to highlight this text and see, have you taken a look at the proposal yet? Have you seen the proposal? Did you review the proposal? Have you given the proposal a look yet? So a variety of different ways in which we can use this. Now the free version is going to give you a total of 20 rewrites per day. That may be enough for many of us, but if you need more and want more options, you can choose other tones as well. So there's a formal tone, a casual tone, for example, if you want to shorten or if you want to expand, but that is all with the premium version, but you can get 20 rewrites per day with the free version of Wordtune. Next up, we're taking a look at an easier way to view images in their proper size, regardless of where you go online. And for that purpose, we're taking a look at Hover Zoom+. Let me show you how this comes into play. I often spend a lot of time searching for images on Google images. And so you're probably familiar with a results page such as this, but if I want to take a closer look at this one, I need to click on it and it's going to show me a preview of the image here. But if that's not quite what I'm looking for, I got to close this and I got to come down here and I'm going to click on this one. And well, wait a minute. Is that really the full resolution? Is that how it's really going to look? Well, with the Hover+ extension installed, any image you hover over will show you that image in its full size and full resolution. So if I want to come down here, how big is this really? Oh, that's a much better preview of what's happening here. What about this image that I looked at earlier? Fantastic. Now I can just hover over those images and see them at a full size rather than having to click here, there, and everywhere. So, so perfect. I can see the resolution. I can see what that's going to look in its full size. This free extension can be especially helpful when you are visiting shopping sites. So if I just hover over some of these images here, I get the full size book cover. If I want to take a closer look at this product here, perfect, I'm just hovering over it and I can zoom in on it. Now if our last extension was all about seeing images more clearly, our next extension is the complete opposite. In fact, it's going to remove images when you don't want to see quite as many and maybe you just want to focus in on the text. And for that, we're taking a look at Text Mode. Let me give you an example. Here I am within a website which has an awful lot of images going on. And often we are drawn more to the images than the actual titles or perhaps the headlines if you are viewing a news site. Well, with Text Mode, we can simply select it here from our extensions in the top right hand corner and what it will do is convert that page and eliminate the images, it will actually turn it into more of a gray scale experience, so now we can just focus on those headlines themselves and not necessarily be persuaded by the fancy graphics and the digital images that are shown in front of us. So here I can go through and I can search through the actual titles and see what is more applicable to me and not just be enticed maybe by the images that are presented here. Now text mode gives us a few helpful options. So if we don't want to desaturate those colors, we can uncheck this box and also the white background. And you can also choose what it will look like for those images. So maybe I don't want something quite as intense, I'm going to choose this first option here, and now you can see the images are a little less obvious. I can still click on anything and treat this website like I would any other way, but now my eyes are drawn more to the headlines themselves not necessarily the images that accompany them. Now another great way to make it easier on our eyes and just a more enjoyable experience while we are online is by turning on dark mode. And for that, we're taking a look at Dark Reader which can turn absolutely everything into dark mode, but also give you some customizable options so if there are particular sites you would like to see in a different way, you can do so right here. So let's go back to Life Hacker for a second and you can see that we are in dark mode. If I jump over to Sports Illustrated or to Ticketmaster, it has taken everything and given it a beautiful dark mode experience. But let's say when I am on the Sports Illustrated page, I would rather this website be in its normal mode. No problem. All I need to do is come up here and select Dark Reader. And I am going to click on this, I'm going to click on that domain, and now Dark Reader will remember that. So I can continue to browse the rest of the web in dark mode, but I can set certain websites to an alternative view if I prefer it in another way. The other great feature within Dark Reader is that we can choose other options to slightly adjust the settings for either a particular site or the mode as a whole. So rather making these brightness and contrast adjustments on our monitor, I can adjust this throughout the day. I can dim both the brightness and the contrast here to make it a little bit easier on my eyes. So a lot of choice, a lot of options available to us here. If you enjoy dark mode and want to apply it to your web experience. The next free extension on our list is especially designed for those of us who shop on Amazon, eBay, or other popular review sites. How often, for example, have you been shopping on Amazon and recognize that really all of the ratings are exceptional. It's really hard to find something that is less than four and a half stars. These all look like fantastic products. Well with the Fakespot extension installed, you'll get some additional helpful information. For example, you'll notice here in the image, I've got a little check mark, that's the Fakespot, icon and a grade. This has a grade of B, this has a grade of B, but some of these have a grade of C and oh, this has a grade of A. What Fakespot does is it searches for fake reviews. That's right, because often some of our Amazon products and other shopping websites are flooded with fake reviews. When we click on the product itself, you can see that we have the fake spot review and grade over here in the top right hand corner, but we can also select this analyze reviews. And this is what I find is most helpful because it summarizes the pros and cons based on the information and the reviews that it has given down below. As a result, this extension can give you some great additional information and give you more confidence while shopping. For example, on this product here, it has an Amazon rating of four and a half stars, 4.7 to be precise, but Fakespot says that it's really should be more like a three and a half based on its grade and looking and weeding out fake reviews. In fact, it would say that this would only give this product a score of a C compared to the thousands of ratings which it has received. So if you want to be a smarter and more savvy shopper, you may want to install the Fakespot extension. Next, we have a tool for all of you who like data and numbers and wanting to find out a little bit more about the website you are currently browsing on. Similarweb gives us both traffic rank and website analysis for almost any website you come across. Let me take a look evernote.com, for example. And have you ever ended up on a website and wondering if you really are the target audience, or if it's worthwhile spending your time within that particular site? Well, with the Similarweb extension, all we need to do is click on it and it will give us some very helpful data. For example, the global rank, the country rank, and the category rank. As you can see, Evernote is yes, fairly high when it comes to computers and electronics, but you can also see the visits over time and how many other people are visiting that site. Something that I find very helpful is the geography. So in this case, did you know that United States are the number one share of visitors, but Japan is close in second place. So some interesting data which may be valuable to you especially if you may be a competitor to a particular site. Here, if I go to another one here, I'm on lifehack.org, once again, I'm going to click on Similarweb and I'm going to see things such as the bounce rate and pages per visit. So I can see how long are people actually visiting this website. And once again I can take a deeper dive at their target market also the traffic sources and how people are ending up and getting to this particular website. Now, if you enjoyed this video, you'll also enjoy the other content right here on the Simpletivity channel. So be sure to subscribe. Remember, being productive does not need to be difficult. In fact, it's very simple.
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