Throughout the duration of the school year, finding the best Chromebook extensions and apps for students can really help to make or break the semester. Many school districts are providing some of the best Chromebooks to students since they're powerful enough to handle schoolwork and won't break the bank. Whether you're looking for the best Chromebook apps or just a new extension that you've never seen, there's something here for everyone.
While some apps and extensions can enhance Chrome, on the whole, there are others that you should be using, even if you move away from a Chromebook. Whether you need a password manager or want to keep your hectic life in order, these are some of the essential tools you should be using.
The de-facto choice
LastPass excels at being one of the more well-rounded password management apps, along with offering quite a robust free option. There's also a family plan available, capable of being used with a total of six members. When it comes to passwords, using Security Challenges ensures you're creating the best password possible.
Quick and easy
Save to Drive
Google Drive is an invaluable tool at your disposal, and the obvious productivity toolbox to take advantage of on a Chromebook. The Save to Drive extension makes it easier than ever to save content from a webpage directly to your Drive account, regardless of what kind of format is being viewed.
Eyes on the prize
Blocksi Web Filter
Sometimes the best way to keep your eyes on the prize is to cut out all of the distractions. With Blocksi, you can do just that by filtering content across the web, including the likes of YouTube, so you don't fall down a never-ending rabbit hole.
Organize your life
Classes, assignments, due dates, and meetings will quickly fill up your schedule, and you might need some help not forgetting about any of them. Just fire up the Google Calendar extension, add the event and time, and it's saved to your account. The extension also provides a quick breakdown of your upcoming events so you can see what's on the docket.
Reference and Research
From writing papers to just trying to teach yourself about something you saw in class, you'll want to add some extensions and apps to make the entire research process a bit easier. Some extensions let you save tabs for later, while others can be transformed into your default search browser.
Don't lose information
It can be really frustrating to be in the middle of doing research, only to accidentally close out Chrome and lose some important tabs. Session Buddy makes it so you can save your tabs and bookmarks, and can recover them if Chrome happens to crash.
Ask any question
If there's a question you need an answer to, Wolfram Alpha is the place to find your answers. This extension either turns your Omnibox into a Wolfram Alpha-powered search engine, or you can just use the button in the toolbar.
Easy on the eyes
Long nights staring at a screen is bad enough for your eyes, and not all websites have a built-in dark mode. Enter Dark Reader. This extension adds a customizable dark mode to any website you visit, and you can switch between Light and Dark Mode with a simple keyboard shortcut.
Free up RAM
The Great Suspender
Having more tabs open than you can count isn't the greatest way to keep your Chromebook running smoothly. With The Great Suspender, you can suspend tabs that you aren't actively using so you don't lose your point of reference while speeding up your Chromebook's performance.
Get rid of clutter
The problem with some websites is that there can be a lot of clutter on the page, ranging from ads to links for other articles. Mercury Reader gets rid of the clutter with a single click, and you can even send formatted articles to your Kindle.
Save it for later
Save to Pocket
Whether you're trying to gather some articles to use for reference, or just find a new recipe for dinner, you'll likely want to save some articles to read later. With Save to Pocket, just click the icon in your toolbar, create a custom tag, and save it for later when you need to go back to it.
Keep track of those assignments and projects
Task management is an annoying necessity, even if it's for something as simple as packing or s grocery list. Thankfully, with these to-do apps, you'll be able to manage any project, big or small, easier than ever from your Chromebook.
Notes, lists, and more
Google Keep is fantastic at being the place to dump things hanging in your head. Whether it's a list, website link, or just a basic note, you can do it all with Google Keep. Plus, with the customizable cards, you won't forget where your notes are.
Powerful or basic
Regardless of if you have a big project or basic task list, Todoist can handle everything you throw at it. Premium members get additional features like Tags and Reminders, while the Free version will be more than enough for the majority of users.
At some point in time, chances are you're going to need to annotate some PDFs or other documents. Kami makes it easy to do this. It turns whatever you're looking at into an editable document that can be marked up and saved for later.
Track your time
As much of a pain as it might be, time tracking can be a helpful and useful way to keep your focus, along with seeing how much time is being spent on different projects. Clockify is a great time tracker that doesn't require much setup. Click the toolbar icon, enter the name of your project and a description, then press Start.
Sit and focus
Keeping your focus can be a rather tough task, especially when you have a deadline looming. Noisli can help by providing unique sound environments that are not only designed to help you focus but also to help you relax.
View and edit
While you may come across a lot of Google Drive documents, there are still those who rely on Microsoft's Office suite. The Office extension makes it possible to easily view and edit documents from Word, Excel, OneNote, and even PowerPoint presentations.
Stick with Google
Office Editing for Docs, Sheets & Slides
If you happen to run into those Microsoft Office formats, but don't have a subscription or Office installed, this extension from Google is here to help. Office Editing for Docs, Sheets & Slides makes it possible to still view and edit those Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files with ease.
The tomato method
Those who want a more robust task management system, along with a Pomodoro Timer, should check out Focus-To-Do. The extension will not only help you keep track of tasks, but also takes advantage of the Pomodoro Technique to help with focus. Then, you can view a detailed report of how you are spending your time and how efficient you are with completing tasks.
You don't have to be an English major to need to write a well-formulated paper. These extensions will help improve your grammar and might even teach you some words in the process.
What does that mean?
It happens to everyone at some point, where you come across a word that you just have no clue what it means. The Google Dictionary extension makes it easy to view the definitions of words without firing up yet another tab and breaking your train of thought.
Switch it up
Sometimes you need to find a different way to say something, especially if you happen to be repetitive in your writing. Power Thesaurus can help by making it possible to quickly view synonyms and antonyms from the toolbar. You can also right-click a word and see the options.
Fix your grammar
Let's face it; even Shakespeare needed an editor, so why not let Chrome and Grammarly do the work for you? Grammarly will give you suggestions while you write, and quickly let you know if your grammar is off or if there's a misspelled word in that long email to your professor.
Cite your sources
Citationsy - Cite Websites and Papers
When performing research for a paper, you're going to need to properly cite the sources so you can avoid plagiarism. Citationsy allows you to create collections of referenced websites and add them to a project that you are working on.
Making Chrome even better
Chrome is already an amazing (yet resource-heavy) browser, but there are always ways that it can be improved. With these extensions and apps, you can transform Chrome into more of a powerhouse than it already is.
Expand your tabs
The ability to work with multiple windows and tabs is extremely convenient, but there's no way to resize those tabs easily. Tab Resize changes that by providing a way to create custom layouts along with moving tabs to a specific area with keyboard shortcuts.
Screenshots are a pain unless you have a tool like Awesome Screenshot. Nobody wants to always take a screenshot of their entire computer only to have to edit it and annotate it after the fact. This extension provides a suite of screenshot tools right from your browser, and even includes screen recording.
CrxMouse is one of those extensions that can completely change how you interact with your Chromebook. With this extension, create a few custom gestures and enjoy more effective and productive interactions while browsing the web.
Zoom for Google Chrome
Video conferences are all the rage and Zoom has taken off as one of the most popular options. Users can host meetings with up to 100 people for free, and up to 300 if you sign up for a paid account.
Being able to quickly translate something is an underrated ability, and we've seen Google make huge strides on our smartphones. The Google Translate extension is almost as valuable since you can translate an entire webpage, sentence, or a single word rather easily.
The New Tab Page is rather boring, so why not spruce it up a bit with some motivation? Momentum provides a new photo every day, an inspiring quote, and a single line asking what your daily focus is. But you can expand on that even further and a list of tasks you need to complete. Then you'll see those, along with the words of encouragement, every time you open a new tab.
Play some games
Sometimes you just need to take a break for a few minutes but don't want to actually get up from your desk. Chrome is unique in that you can even play games in your browser, removing the need to go down the path of enabling Linux support just to play something.
Jump the boxes
Boxel Rebound is a fun box-jumping game that features more than 50 different levels and cloud backups to sync across devices with Chrome installed. If you're having a lot of fun, you can download the game on your smartphone too.
BattleTabs is a unique game that lives in a new browser tab. Battle with Viking ships against your friends and play a few rounds easily. There are multiple game modes providing either quick battles or longer ones.
A classic game
The goal of 2048 is straightforward: Combine the numbered blocks to try and achieve the 2048 block. However, the real goal is to get as high of a score as possible, and this game will provide hours of fun, right in your browser.
Solve the puzzles
This simple puzzle game has been around for years, primarily on your smartphone, but now you can enjoy Unblock It in Chrome. There are almost 50 different levels, ranging from beginner to expert so you can try and keep your brain sharp by figuring out the way to free the red block.
Andrew Myrick is a Senior Editor at Android Central. He enjoys everything to do with technology, including tablets, smartphones, and everything in between. Perhaps his favorite past-time is collecting different headphones, even if they all end up in the same drawer.
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