Tag Archives: productivity

6 Chrome Extensions I’m Lovin’ Right Now

When using the Chrome browser, it’s nice to snag a few free “Extensions” from the Chrome store to make life easier.  When you add them, they appear on the top right of your browser window.  Any time you want to disable an extension or find details about it, you click on the “hamburger” (3 horizontal lines) on the top right,  choose “Settings” and then “Extensions.”

I have multiple personalities on Chrome, so the extensions I use vary with which identity I happen to be claiming at the time.  Some extensions (like “Share to Google Classroom”) are better suited for School Terri.  And some (like “Pin It”) get utilized more by Home Terri.  Here are some that I’ve been using lately that you might want to try out:

  • “Save to Pocket” – Used by every part of my schizophrenic self on every device I have, Pocket is my favorite bookmarking tool.  On my school and home computers, I can instantly add and tag any website link I like so I can look for it later. (You can find out more about Pocket in my digital curation posts from earlier this summer.)
  • “goo.gl URL Shortener” – Instantly shorten and create a QR code for any site.  Great for use on Twitter, sharing URL’s in e-mails, etc…
  • “Tab Cloud” – By the end of every day, my Chrome Browser has so many open tabs that I start hyperventilating.  Some of those tabs need to stay open because they have to do with something I may be planning to blog, or they might all be sites I’m using with my students that day – or every day.  You can instantly save your tab collection by clicking on the Tab Cloud Extension.  Give it a name and any time you want to access it, just click the extension to find your tab group.
  • “Share to Classroom” – This is a relatively new extension that allows you to instantly share a website link to all of your students in any of your Google classrooms.
  • “Page Eraser” – This one is kind of fun.  Let’s say you want to show your students an article on a website, but the site has some distracting ads – or maybe you want them to figure something out so you want to take off some of the items on the page.  With Page Eraser on, you click on pieces of the page and they will disappear.  I will caution you, however, that one of my colleagues tried this on a page she uses a lot, and then couldn’t get the items to reappear.  I’m guessing this had something to do with a cookie trail, as restarting the browser solved the problem.
  • “CraftyText” – This may be my new favorite.  Ever wanted to share something, like a link or a group code, while on a website – but the text is too small?  This extension puts a text box right on top of the website that you can add text to.  Need students to join Google Classroom?  Just stick that group code in your CraftyText box so all can see it! You can see an example below.  (First, I used goo.gl URL shortener, then clicked CraftyText and pasted into the box.  Then I hit enter so it would appear larger than life.)  When you are done using it, just click on the extension again to make it disappear.
CraftyText used with goo.gl URL Shortener
CraftyText used with goo.gl URL Shortener

So, do you have any favorite extensions?  Share them in the comments below!

Digital Curation Step #4 – Learn a New Code

Okay.  So let’s recap here.  This week we are talking about how to overcome your digital hoarding addiction.  Here’s what has happened so far:

  • Step #1 – Admit You Have a Problem
  • Step #2 – Restore Sanity
  • Step #3 – Examine Your Past Errors (such as thinking one tool would solve all of your problems or thinking another tool won’t help you at all.) My problem was that I couldn’t “Pocket” screen shots b/c they need to have a link.

For Step #4 you are going to learn a new code.  Don’t worry; it’s easy…

IFTTT

IF This, Then That

IFTTT is THE essential tool.  It’s the  Leatherman of the digital world. In brief, it will let you connect practically anything to anything.

I’m not going to spend this whole post shouting out the virtues of IFTTT.  Just go ahead and sign up for a free account and then:

*Note: These steps might be easier to do on a computer than a mobile device.  No worries, though.  You only have to do them once.

  1. Go to “Channels” and search for either iOS Photos or Android Photos.
  2. Click on the appropriate one.  You will need to give information to connect your Photos to IFTTT.
  3. Go back to “Channels” and search for Bitly, and connect that, too (If you did Step #3 yesterday, then you should have a Bit.ly account already.) Connect it.
  4. Go back to “Channels” and search for Pocket.  Connect that one as well.
  5. Next, click on “My Recipes” at the top.
  6. Click on “Create a Recipe.”
  7. Your first recipe will be

IFTTT Recipe #1

Of course, if you have an Android device, choose that instead of iOS. And this, my friends, is how confident I am that you will get IFTTT right away.

I’m not going to show you how to make the recipe. 😉

8.  You aren’t done.  You’ve basically just told IFTTT to make a public hyperlink for any screenshot you take on your mobile device.  Now, you need to tell IFTTT to send the link from Bit.ly to Pocket.

IFTTT #2

Now, you’re done.  I do need to warn you to give IFTTT a little time to rumble through these new recipes.  After about 15 minutes, try taking a screenshot.  Don’t expect it to show up on your Pocket list right away.  It will probably take another 10-15 minutes.

But when it does, you will see how super cool IFTTT is.  From now, every screenshot you take will be added to Pocket for you.

It will look something like this on your Pocket list (you probably won’t have a bulldog in your screenshot, though).

IFTTT Pocket

Now if you’ve followed instructions on these 4 posts, you should have everything streamlining into Pocket, where you can then search, tag, and curate to your heart’s content.

If you want, check out the other Channels on IFTTT.  You can send things to Evernote if you prefer – or even Google Drive.  I’m not claiming my way is the only way to gather info effectively.

It’s just the only way that has preserved my sanity 😉