Thursday, 11 August 2016

I use these Chrome extensions. You should too.



Buffer (or Hootlet)




Nobody wants to see four Facebook posts in a row. Even on Twitter, multiple re-tweets from you on your follower's timeline can lead to a quick ‘unfollow’.


Buffer gives you the option to schedule for later and on the free version, you can add two accounts. I have my personal Twitter and Facebook pages linked. There are paid options to add more accounts and analytics.


The extension is probably the best I have come across both in terms of functionality but also in ease of use. When you find a webpage you want to share, simply hit the extension button and it will open up a post composition box. If like me, you have Facebook and Twitter connected, it will have two boxes. Each one completely set up for optimal posting on each channel, i.e. Twitter character limit, Facebook link preview etc. It even lets you edit the Facebook link preview right within Buffer, which I think gives it major kudos.


I also mentioned Hootlet, as this is the one I use at work. It’s not quite as great as Buffer but works on the same basis and is satisfactory if you are doing most of your stuff on Twitter.


Account required? Yes.


Pin It




I love Pinterest. And before anyone starts with the ‘only or middle aged women’ stuff, please stop. It’s boring and wrong. Follow me if you like and see how wrong your assumption really is.


Pinterest is positioning itself in search more than as a straight up social channel. But it is still super fun to use and does have elements such as ‘liking’ and comments on pins. I simply enjoy ‘pinning’ cool stuff I see for my own collection.


The ‘Pin It’ extension is essential then because it means that no matter where you are on the net (with a few exceptions) you can hit the extension button and pin an image from a page onto your Pinterest profile. As much as I love Pinterest, I spend the majority of my time on Facebook and Twitter. I don’t have as much time to go on Pinterest every day and have long pinning sessions, so being able to do it as and when, makes it much easier.


Account required? Yes


MediaCore


I have been using MediaCore Capture for a while now at work to record some on-screen tutorial videos. I know there are more powerful options out there but this is both free and super easy to use. It also records in HD and gives you the option to add audio as you record.


When you finish your recording, you can preview the video before naming it and downloading the file. The file can then be directly uploaded to YouTube for editing and publishing.

Account required? No.

Lightshot



Screen grabbing using your keyboard is okay to a point. Unless you use two screens, in which case it is a colossal pain in the ass (it grabs both screens, which means cropping etc.).


Lightshot is great because it lets you specifically pick the area of the screen you wish to grab through cursor selection. Once you have your selected area, you can add annotations and text as well as print your selection or share it via social media. I’ve found it useful lately as I’ve been creating some ‘How-To’ documents in work and it has saved me a ton of time.


When I think back to the dark days of Microsoft Picture Manager…*shudders*.


Account required? No.


Grammarly



Do not make a spelling mistake or use poor grammar again. There is no excuse with ‘Grammarly’. This free extension will highlight any instances of a misspelt word or punctuation errors.


The free version will also offer up synonyms as well as giving you the option to switch between British English and American English.


Account required? No.


Update: As I’ve just found out, Google Drive is not supported so it won’t work with Docs.


Save to Facebook


It does what it says it does. I do a heck of a lot of reading now using Facebook and I really don’t want to be dragged off the app to read an article elsewhere. This neat little extension allows me to save articles from anywhere online into my Facebook saved articles folder to read later.


You might also want to try out Pocket or Evernote but, you know, Facebook is taking over, so get with the programme.


Account required? Yes.


RiteTag
If you love making sure your hashtags are relevant to topical issues or trending lists then this extension is ideal. As you hit the ‘#’ and start typiing it will recognise your word and tell you whether or not it is widely used or not.


This is also handy for those of you who love hashtagging #absolutely #every #word #you #can #think #of. Because it will show you first hand what an arse you are being.


Additionally, if you click on the extension button it will take you to the RiteTag website witha list of current trending topics.


Account required? Yes.


Giphy for Chrome


Liven up your Facebook post or tweet with a ‘gif’. These are the wee looping images, usually with witty text overlaid, you see across social media.


A gif can transform your boring status update to something more fun, comical or even dark. Simply hit the button and search for whatever’s relevant to your post and paste the link into your post.


Account required? No.


Wunderlist


I have a terrible memory and so I write reminders. Having a desk cluttered by post-it notes however, is good for nobody and it’s 50/50 whether or not I look at my notebook.


Similarly, apps such as Evernote and Keep are great but often get cluttered by other documents and so the to-do’s get lost.


Wunderlist is a simple ‘to-do’ listing app for Chrome and mobile. The benefit of having the Chrome extension is that you can quickly add To-Do’s based on anything you come across on the web, e.g. a content idea for social that you want to revisit.


Both mobile app and extension are free.


Account required? Yes.


The Great Suspender


Finally, the Great Suspender is a practical little extension for Chrome, which ‘suspends’ any tabs you haven’t been using in a while. When you go back to the tab, you simply need to click the page and it will be restored.


The benefit is that your browser is not slowed by multiple tabs running lots of operations on your internet.


Account required? No.

Have you got any great recommendations?

Note: I got some inspiration for this post, and indeed, some extension tips from a Hootsuite blog recently. Read it at: https://blog.hootsuite.com/google-chrome-extensions/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=owned_social&utm_campaign=social_hootsuite&Last_Associated_Campaign__c=701a0000002JXk5&hootPostID=2cd4ee12a52b40ab661b1a533810bea7

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