Thursday, 22 December 2011

Five Tips To Get Your Stuff Organised With Chrome Extensions

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I like Chrome because of its unfussy layout, and speed. It does have its problems, notably in my line of work - if you want to edit a VLE such as Moodle or D2L it fails  to support some editing functions at all, or only supports others with a tweak to the code (e.g. the WYSIWYG editor in Moodle 1.9+). This is a minor gripe though.

What I like about Chrome is the extensions that can be added to organise your online stuff with the click of a button in your tool bar. The extensions I use include:

1) Last Pass is a password manager. It save all of your passwords in a secure 'vault', and logs you in automatically when you open a password protected page. It creates secure passwords for you, or you can use your own. It synchronises your data so you can access it anywhere. Just remember to check the box to log out when you close down your browser!

2) The main curation tools also have extensions for Chrome. Tools such as Delicious, Diigo, Pearltrees and Evernote all have their own buttons that can save your stuff. I have been a bit of a gadfly when it comes to these tools, trying out each one. My preference though is for Evernote and Diigo. I use Diigo because it is used by colleagues at work and they have a shared account. Otherwise I would only use Evernote.

3) Tweetdeck is a great app for bringing all your social networking (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Buzz, Foursquare) newsfeeds  into one space. If you can't download the desktop application due to network restrictions, then use the Tweetdeck extension for Chrome. One caveat is that the extension doesn't seem to have as much functionality as the desktop app and the settings seem to be limited too.

4) There is an extension for Google Reader that puts a button in your tool bar and lets you know how many unread articles are waiting for you. There is a also a Subscribe button which allows to to add a subscription easily. There is a similar extension available for Gmail.

5) Speed Dial 2 organises your favourite sites and apps. It opens in a new tab and allows you to categorise your favourite sites, and add an icon. It is much easier to use than a drop-down list of favourites, and more visually appealing.

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