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Best Free Time-Saving Chrome Extensions

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We only have so many hours in the day to get things done. So any chance to compress that time by doing things more efficiently is more than welcome. And if you spend most of your day in a web browser, you’re probably missing out on valuable time-saving opportunities that, little by little, can lead to a lot of time savings.

In that vein, these five Chrome extensions, which also work in Chrome-based browsers like Microsoft Edge, can work wonders when it comes to earning precious extra minutes throughout the day.

Read for speed with SwiftRead

Browsing through long articles in half the time SwiftRead extension, which flashes short snippets of text in an attempt to suppress your brain’s efforts to make each word sound individually.

It may sound a bit crazy, but it works. You become so focused on capturing every bit that you absorb the message much neater and faster. Give it a try: I’m not doing it justice here, but you could probably have just finished this whole article and got on with your day.

The extension is free for reading web-based articles, and there is a pro version for reading PDFs, Kindle books, and more.

Paste notes on the web with Note Board

So many interesting sites to annotate, so little time to do it.

With the Note board extension, you can leave a trail of permanent sticky notes on the web whenever you find something interesting. You can also upload current website content such as images and screenshots, all of which are then available in virtual bulletin boards, where you can move items around, insert additional notes and share them with others.

Note Board has a free, ad-supported version that allows up to seven boards and 50MB of storage, as well as a $36-a-year version with unlimited boards, more storage, Kanban boards, and extra features.

Gmail at a glance with Checker Plus

If you still have Gmail open in a tab all day, you’re doing it wrong. Grab the Checker Plus for Gmail extension instead.

It allows you to view your inbox, read individual messages, reply to and compose new messages, all without leaving your browser or opening Gmail. If you spend a lot of time struggling with email, this is the extension for you.

It’s free and very fully featured, with the option to make a one-time or monthly donation to the developer.

Treat it later with Tab Snooze

You’re down a rabbit hole of real crime conspiracy theories when that little voice pops up in your head and says, “I should be working. I should be working. I should be working.”

For that, there’s the Tab Snooze extension, which puts anything you have open in a tab on ice and automatically pops it back up for you later.

The free version limits the number of times you can snooze tabs and the number of tabs you can snooze at once, while the $3 per month Pro version offers unlimited snoozing, the ability to snooze groups of tabs, and more.

Ditch your mouse with Vimium C

Ask anyone who has mastered keyboard shortcuts and they’ll tell you your mouse is slowing you down. With the Vimium C extension, you can navigate your entire web browser, including elements on the page, using nothing but your keyboard. Once you’ve found the basic keyboard shortcuts, you can link multiple key assignments together and even sync your settings across multiple computers.

Vimium C is a free, open-source project, so you have everything you need right out of the gate.

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