The 15 Best Chrome Extensions for Small Business Owners
When you own your own business, your time is money - we know that! So we love any tools that can help us be more productive, save time and help us streamline our business activities. At Little Bird HQ we use a heap of tools to help us deliver work for our clients, from Planoly (to schedule our Instagram posts) to Google Drive (to store docs in the cloud).
But we also use some awesome Google Chrome extensions that are both free and super useful in our day-to-day business. So we wanted to share with you the extensions we use, as well as a few others we've come across that might be helpful to your small business and your productivity.
If your day is all about meeting after meeting, then Assistant.to is the extension you need. Cut out the back and forth emails you currently send trying to find a time that suits everyone and instead use Assistant.to to check your Google calendar, directly from your inbox, select the times that work for you and drop them into your email. Then you contact just has to click on the time that suits them, and your meeting is booked! Rescheduling is also supported, so tick!
2. SAVE TO POCKET
This awesome little extension allows you to collect content to read offline later, so you don't need to try remember where you saw that great article, or bookmark a million pages to go back to later. Pocket lets you collect articles from links, tweets, blogs and more, and then you can read them later offline, or even listen to them.
3. STREAK CRM
Streak gives your inbox the best features of a CRM software, free and within your Gmail. Using this extension, you can build "pipelines" from your list of contacts and customise emails with personalised information, like your contact's name or business name, making mass emails seem more one-to-one. You can track opens, make specific notes against contacts, move them through the pipeline based on their responses, and create email templates.
If you're anything like us, then procrastination is a big problem for you. Facebook, Instagram, emails.... you name it, it's there sucking us into a big black time-wasting hole. That's where Blocksite comes in, to help you stay focused by letting you add all of the sites that distract you and prevent you from opening them. You can set a schedule to have them blocked during working hours only, or just juggle the blocks as and when you need them. It can also let you know how many times you've tried to visit a blocked site so you can see just where your Achilles heels of time-wasting are.
We LOVE Momentum. This is the best "new tab" you'll ever see - it is beautifully designed, uses gorgeous images that get refreshed often, has inspirational quotes and a minimalist approach to helping you stay productive by showing you just the current time, your to-do-list and the goal you have set yourself for the day.
So, my grammar and spelling is usually pretty good - I am an English major after all. But sometimes, I'm in a hurry and send that email off too quickly, only to realise it has an error in it after I've hit send. Embarrassing.
Queue Grammarly, the spellchecker extension that works everywhere! Whether you're writing an email, a Tweet or a Facebook post, Grammarly works through your browser to pick up any spelling and grammar mistakes you make. As I type this it has actually picked up its own name as a spelling error - oops!
7. EVERNOTE WEB CLIPPER
Evernote is a fantastic tool in itself- you can make notes on your desktop or mobile device and then sync it to your other devices so you can access your notes anywhere. It's fantastic for on-the-go business people. And the Chrome extension - Evernote Web Clipper - is just as good - it allows you to snip and save information while you're browsing the internet or reading emails. Just clip pages you want to keep, save them in Evernote and access them from any of your devices.
Todoist is one of my favourites - I'm a list maker, and it is so satisfying to tick a job off once you've completed it. And that is what I love about Todoist - this to-do list task manager integrates with all of my devices so I can keep track of my tasks on the go. I can track important projects, set reminders, schedule weekly tasks, add due dates and easily collaborate with my biz partner. Tick, tick, tick!
Little Bird runs off Asana - with each of us working from home, one in the Sunny Coast and one in Logan, it's vital that we keep track of client work and projects efficiently and Asana helps us do just that. Then add the awesome Chrome extension into the mix, and using Asana and managing our work becomes even easier, because we can quickly add tasks to projects and calendars from any web page!
10. TOGGL BUTTON
The ultimate watch guard of productivity - the Toggl button. This lets you put a timer on to any web tool you use - Salesforce, Trello, Todoist, Asana, Google Drive etc - and tracks your time on the site, collecting data on your productivity. You can then login to your Toggl account to see where you've been spending most of your time, and where you may be wasting time.
Signing paper documents is so archaic these days, and this free extension will help you get rid of the headaches involved in printing documents, signing them, scanning them back in and emailing them off, to only have to repeat the process on the other side. With DocuSign you can just electronically sign the documents right from your Gmail, Google Drive or Chrome browser.
This isn't an extension we have used ourselves yet, but we probably will when the time calls for some screen or browser sharing with clients! CrankWheel makes this super easy to do - you don't need to download anything for anyone to use it, and no prep is required on either end of the screen share.
When you're running your own business, you are the Director, the Administrator, the Bookkeeper, the Marketer and everything in between. Buffer will help make that marketing role a little easier, but allowing you to share content and publish updates to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ etc from anywhere on the web, in just one click. It can also track the results and analyse everything you share to see what's working and what isn't.
14. MAKEGIF VIDEO CAPTURE
Using fun GIFs can be a great way to add some life to blog and social posts, and this extension makes it really easy to make awesome GIFs. You can capture frames from any HTML5 video and convert it into a GIF animation, and then drop it into your next blog post.
Been inspired by a font you've seen online but don't know what it's called? WhatFont lets you hover over the text, and it will automatically give you the name of the font, and the size, line height and colour hex code it's been used in.
These 20 extensions are really just scraping the surface of the great tools out there to help small businesses owners stay productive and focused. Do you have any others you use? We'd love to hear about them and give them a try at Little Bird. Hopefully, some of these will be as useful to your business as they have been to ours!