I call myself a Digital Minimalist. That means I keep apps and extensions to a minimum. On Chrome, I regularly check my installed extensions and uninstall anything I no longer need.
That leaves me with only a handful of extensions on my Chrome browser.
Keeping it minimal
I always look for opportunities to remove Chrome extensions. For example, I was using a Chrome extension to watch videos in Picture in Picture mode. Recently, Chrome’s Global Media Control got the Picture in Picture mode icon.
That’s one extension less.
I also hide extension icons to keep the toolbar clutter-free.
For example, I use the Grammarly extension. It runs in the backgound and makes recommendations while I write. I don’t need Grammarly icon on my Chrome toolbar all the time.
Unpin the extension icon from the toolbar, and we are good.
Pinned or unpinned, here is a list of Chrome extensions I currently use. This changes very regularly. However, the majority of them have a permanent spot on my browser. We should revisit this list next year to see what changed.
As a blogger and a technical writer (in that order), Awesome Screenshot & Screen Recorder is a Chrome extension that I cannot live without.
It is easy to take screenshots and annotate them right from the browser. It has everything that I need to make my screenshots user friendly.
The only option I miss is the ability to add number counters to annotate steps in a single screenshot.
Recently, I discovered that Awesome Screenshot & Screen Recorder makes better screen recording videos compared the paid extension that I was using. If you noticed a slight improvement in the video quality on my YouTube channel, you now know why.
I use English for majority of my writing. Yet, it is not my mother tongue. I use the Google Input Tools extension to type in my mother tongue, Malayalam.
I can switch between these two languages using a keyboard shortcut. This is useful when talking to friends using WhatsApp.
Grammarly is my faithful writing companion. It has a long way to go when it comes to integrating with the WordPress editor.
Still, I am a fan and a Premium Grammarly user. I don’t think I’ll ever get rid of this extension from Chrome.
I recently started exploring Notion. I am not fully invested in it yet. However, to immerse in the Notion world completely, I decided to install the Web Clipper.
I currently use Trello to manage blogging ideas for Chrome Story. I am considering switching to Notion because it can hold notes, tasks, and much more.
For now, the Notion Web Clipper stays.
One of the install-and-forget extensions. The Password Checkup extension helps you resecure accounts that were affected by data breaches.
Google Chrome recently added a security check for stored passwords. So you may not see this extension on my list when we do this next year.
I am a huge Pocket fan. I add tonnes of content there and listen to them using the Test to Speech option. Articles are available for offline reading. The Listen feature uses offline voices, so that’s available offline too.
These days, I listen to audio books through various apps. I spend less time on articles. This does not mean that I can go away from Pocket. I occasionally assign a week to two to go through all my saved article and hit the proverbial Inbox Zero.
This is a recent addition. I am yet to see any message from the extension asking me not to a website.
This is an official Google extension. I’ll let it stay for now. It will most likely be killed by Google. I won’t have to do it.
I use Trello to track blog-related tasks and article ideas. This article also tarted as a Trello card.
Notion the most recent productivity/task management ask that I am trying out. If I successfully move my blogging workflow to Notion, I might reconsider the Trello extension.
This the newest acquisition. I listen to audiobooks and Pocket articles at 1.5 speed or more. One of the YouTubers I follow recommended this extension and it was an instant install.
If you listen to spoken audio at more than 1.x speed, I highly recommend this extension.
YouTube has a built-in control, so why a separate extension?
You need to click the gear icon and go to playback controls to change the speed. If you want to reduce the speed, the same set of steps again.
Youtube Playback Speed Control extension adds an icon at the top-right corner of your YouTube video so that you can increase or decrease the speed with a single click.
I don’t use this with all types of content. However, I have moved through a lot of non-entertainment content using this extension.
What did you think of this roundup? Let me know your thoughts in the comments. I would love to know your feedback, and some ideas for similar posts in the future.
PS: In case you noticed, I was never a Dark Mode fan. However, I have turned this on for my phone, work PC and my Mac. I am getting used to it. I will be prepared when Chrome OS gets Dark Mode.