It’s the end of 2021, and Chrome extensions are still a thing. Quite a big thing, actually — as the world continues to move from work-from-home to a hybrid work environment, the tools and customisations offered by Chrome extensions are perhaps more critical than ever. These browser add-ons help you work, save time, and stay connected — and some of them are just fun.
As it’s the end of the year, Google has compiled a list of the best Chrome extensions of 2021. And because these are Chrome extensions, they’ll work just as well on any Chromium-based browser — like Microsoft Edge, Opera, and Brave — in case you’ve already given Chrome the boot.
Loom is a must-have Chrome extension for anyone who works remotely, or anyone who works with a team of people. It’s an incredibly simple, one-click recording studio that works entirely inside the Chrome browser.
If you’re trying to help a new employee onboard to your company’s portal, or you need to show a couple of steps to a customer, Loom will come in handy. Recorded videos are automatically stored in the cloud, and you can copy a handy link to the clipboard. The app also makes collaboration easy using time-based comments and emoji responses.
Mote is an audio feedback app designed for students, teachers, and teams. Why type out long feedback, when you can provide element-synced audio feedback for shared documents?
You can do this for websites like Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Gmail, Forms, and Classroom. Click the extension icon, select any element, and then record a voice note. This will now be integrated directly into the document. Anyone who has access to the document can now hear your audio feedback.
You might already know about Grammarly — a must-have extension for anyone who works on the internet. But while Grammarly is great for correcting little grammatical mistakes, Wordtune takes it to a new level.
This is an AI-powered writing companion. It will help you improve your grammar, but it will also make thoughtful suggestions to improve your writing overall. Instead of changing just a word or two, Wordtune offers suggestions that change the entire sentence for the better. Give it a try to see how your writing can improve.
Struggling to focus on the task at hand? Why not try Forest? This extension helps you focus on your work by blocking distracting websites for 30 minutes at a time. As an added incentive, the more you focus on your work, the more your forest grows.
Yes, this is a gamified time management tool. And if you get distracted, your trees stop growing.
5. Dark Reader
Everything has a dark mode, except for your favourite websites, so Dark Reader is a free, customisable Chrome extension that expertly turns any website into a dark theme. No matter the website, you get a black background with white text. Plus, you can customise the theme if you want; and, of course, there’s a customisable white-list feature to disable dark mode on particular sites.
Drowning in a tab overload? Who isn’t? Instead of quitting all your six open windows and starting fresh, use the Tab Manager Plus extension to make sense of them.
This extension gives you a visual way to filter, move, and re-arrange all your open tabs across all your windows. Just click the extension button to see all open tabs on a single screen. Here, you can drag tabs to move them, and use the search feature to filter them. You can even delete open tabs or windows from the same view.
Need to send annotated screenshots? Or a walkthrough as a GIF? Nimbus will help you out. While Loom screen-recorder focused on sharing, Nimbus is all about annotation and editing. It’s a simple all-in-one app for capturing what’s on your screen and then annotating or editing it. You can export the result in multiple formats, including GIFs.
Kami is an interactive digital learning tool designed for teachers. You can upload any learning content to Kami, and then use it to teach your students. Kami also has an assignment component to it.
The best part is that Kami works on top of many popular learning management tools like Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams, Schoology, and Canvas. This means all the digital learning and assignments from Kami can be integrated directly into any system your school uses.
InsertLearning is an interactive learning tool designed for Google Classroom. Once the extension is installed, it will let you insert any question, video, discussion, or text, directly into the Classroom webpage.
Toucan is a Chrome extension that helps you learn new languages as you browse the internet, without the need for flashcards or transition tools. It’s quite a genius tool; as you browse, Toucan will automatically translate certain words in the language that you’re trying to learn.
So, let’s say most of an article is in English, but some words are in Spanish or French. When you hover over these words, you’ll see the transition along with the meaning. This way, you can learn new words in the language, along with the context of how they should be used in sentences.
If you’re into flashcards and learning new languages, give Rememberry a spin. This extension will translate words and create new decks for you. You can then test your knowledge using the pre-built decks, or you can create decks of your own.
Stylus is quite a popular Chrome extension that helps you theme any website. Although, technically, this extension is only for developers, as you need to customise the CSS component of the website. But you’ll find quite a lot of existing Stylus themes that you can just copy and import from the web.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could get paid for shopping? While not quite there, the Rakuten Chrome extension helps you get cash back deals for thousands of stores across the internet. The extension will also automatically apply the best coupon when you’re checking out. Cashbacks are stored in your account, and you can get paid using PayPal or checks.