Imagine this scenario. Sit down at your desk with a cup of coffee. Open up your laptop, with a blank desktop except for a clean Google Chrome icon. Click on Google Chrome. Your browser fires up, and all of this happens instantly:
– Chrome welcomes you back by your name
– Gives you a beautiful scenic background
– Immediately plays your favorite music for getting work done
– Shows you your to-do list for the day
– Launches your calendar for a list of events that week
– Shows what sent emails were opened while you were gone
– Starts Drive, with all your synced files, docs, and spreadsheets
– Begins tracking your time spent on any chosen project
– Blocks access to any distracting sites (and ads)
Sounds like Jarvis from Iron Man, doesn’t it? All of these features, plus a few more we will outline, are easily available through Google Chrome settings, plugins, and some cool websites. In this post, we’ll walk through exactly how to set this up. Let’s rock and roll.
STEP ONE: GET GOOGLE CHROME, DUH.
If you ain’t talking Chrome, I don’t wanna talk. Google Chrome is one of the best browsers on the market. There are some drawbacks, like taking up active memory, but it’s completely worth it. Google Chrome plays nice with almost every website, comes with tons of cool plugins, and has the development power of Google behind it.
STEP TWO: PRODUCTIVITY PLUGINS GALORE
Google Chrome comes with a marketplace, filled with games, apps, and plugins. Many of these plugins are extremely useful for when you are trying to get stuff done. Here are a few of the highly recommended.
This is one of the most essential and beautiful plugins you can have. Momentum brings the Jarvis element to life, with a clock, weather, beautiful background, to-do list, and motivational quote. It’s a fantastic thing to see when you open up your internet browser.
When you start your day, Momentum will ask you “What is your main focus for today?”. Type in your answer, and each time you open a new tab with the intention to get distracted, you can be reminded of your goals.
Momentum has a simple to-do list feature in the bottom right that makes checking things off a breeze. It will remember your task list, so you can pick up where you left off each time you open up Chrome.
This is an unpopular opinion, but we don’t think advertising is bad at all. It’s pretty amazing that we can have a service like YouTube for free, due to the support of advertising. What we don’t enjoy is invasive, un-targeted, overwhelming advertising that ruins the user experience.
Make advertising a great part of your product, like where Snapchat’s new Discovery feature is heading (This prediction came true). Install uBlock for Chrome, and the plugin will do it’s best to clean up web pages from advertising to keep you focused on the article, video, or search results.
One of our absolute favorites, News Feed Eradicator is for those who compulsively type in facebook.com to the URL bar every five minutes. This plugin replaces your news feed with a quote. Usually, that quote has something to say about wasting time and taking back control of your life.
With Block Site, you can set days and times that websites are off limits. You can choose a list of sites or keywords that will redirect to a better website of your choice each time they are typed into the URL bar. For most people, all they need is this gentle reminder to get back on task. For those that need even more monitoring, Block Site has a nuclear option, that makes it extremely difficult to turn off or uninstall. Use at your own risk!
This is another favorite, and it’s extremely helpful for those who communicate through email, work in sales, or just like to keep a pulse on the flow of work. With Sidekick, each email you send out is tracked. You’ll get a notification about who opened your sent email, when, how many times, and if they clicked on any links. How cool is that?
(As a side note, you will also need Application Launcher for Google Drive. It allows you to edit documents offline along with some other cool stuff. You’ll be prompted to install this when you create your Google Drive account.)
There are tons of other amazing plugins for Chrome. Project management, sharing, music, and everything else under the sun. Make sure to leave us some of your favorites in the comments.
STEP THREE: CUSTOMIZE YOUR LAUNCH MODE
When you launch Google Chrome, it will automatically launch all the installed and activated plugins, sign you into your Google account, and open up any windows and tabs you’ve told it to. The default is to go to your most visited websites, but if you are a normal person, those are definitely not where you want to go when you are trying to get work done.
Instead, head over to settings in the top right corner, and click on “Open a specific page or set of pages on startup”. Here is where you can program any website you choose to launch when you open Chrome. Here is our setup:
-New Tab Window (So Momentum shows up first)
-Pandora (Instantly starts playing the last station)
-Google Drive (Everything we do is in Drive)
–Toggl (Easily track your time for billing or personal analysis)
STEP FOUR: MANAGE YOUR ENTIRE LIFE IN A SINGLE SPREADSHEET
Time for 100% optimization. We have an in-depth guide to running your entire life out of single Google Sheet. Everything from your work projects to your personal network is available at the click of a button. Download the FREE complete template and a link to the extensive setup guide below.