“The 20 Best Google Chrome Extensions for ADHD Brains”
Employ these “digital assistants” to stay on track and be more productive.
Whether you are a computer neophyte or a technology junkie, statistics show that Google Chrome is probably your browser of choice. Although Chrome has been the most used browser worldwide since 2013, many people don’t realize that you can leverage Chrome’s power by using plug-ins, which Google calls “extension(s).”
While there is no “change brain chemistry on demand” extension that you can activate and deactivate, there are Google Chrome extensions that can help you stay on track and be more efficient. By using the right extensions, you can put useful tools and systems at your fingertips. Think of it as adding bumpers to your ADHD brain‘s bowling lane.
On the other hand, be aware that not all extensions are created equal and some are designed to bring distractions front and center. Choose wisely because, as Spider-Man’s Uncle Ben says, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Here is how you can take that power and use it to your advantage using my favorite (and free) extensions.
Simplifiers and Time Savers
1) LastPass: Free Password Manager
Imagine if you didn’t have to guess at your passwords, get locked out after too many tries, and have to reset them by following what 15 steps? Adding the LastPass extension to your browser can help you avoid all that. When logging into a site whose data is not already in LastPass, the extension will ask whether you want to store the site’s username and password for future use. When you land on a website that you haven’t used in a while and have to reset your password, LastPass generates a secure and unique password for you.
This is a highly customizable extension that limits the amount of time that you spend on distracting websites. You can set the blacklist or whitelist, or, if you’re like me, and don’t want to take the time to figure it out, just install it and let it do its magic by default. It takes little time to get this up and running, helping me save a lot of time.
3) Adblock Plus and Adblock for YouTube
No one has time for ads (or impulse buys). Install these two extensions and you’ll save time and money without thinking about it.
Something tells me that if you’re reading this blog, there’s a good chance that you are easily distracted. When you want to read an article, just push the icon and Mercury Reader will create a pop-up that digests your current page into an easy-to-read format free of distractions. I really like this one.
Do you log on to Facebook to look at one thing quick thing or for your five-minute Pomodoro break, only to realize that it’s hours later, you’re starving, and you’ve missed an appointment? Me, too. Newsfeed Eradicator for Facebook completely removes your newsfeed so that you can follow up on notifications or search for the person or group that you wanted to interact with without getting stuck scrolling through your newsfeed. In it’s place, you’ll find a pithy quote on procrastination. Game changer.
Most of the commonly used tools for calling and conferencing offer Google Chrome extensions. Some of them will even help add the necessary information into a calendar event as you create it. Go ahead and install one to make your favorite way to connect easier.
Time and Task Management
If you use Google Calendar, this extension will create an icon on your search bar that shows the amount of time until your next calendar event. If you hover over the icon, it will expand into a little gray box explaining what and when the next event is. Even better, if you click it, you get a look at your upcoming calendar for the next few days. It can be a pretty handy reminder for those of us who tend to get stuck in hyperfocus or lost in time.
8) Toggl Button: Productivity & Time Tracker
This is a great web-based time tracking tool. Tracking time is important for those with ADHD because we don’t have a good sense of how long you spend on individual tasks. Once you set up an account on their website (oggl.com), adding the extension to your browser saves you from having to open a new tab every time you want to start or stop tracking a task. Since opening a new tab can lead to all kind of distractions if you’re not careful, being able to skip this step is nice.
Adding the Toggle extension to your browser allows you to name the task, categorize it, and start and stop the timer without having to leave what you are working on. You can also set it to alert you when you have been idle for a certain amount of time, or when you have been at the same task for a certain number of minutes and may want to take a break to manage your energy.
Asana is one of the most popular task managers and, like many of its competitors, offers an excellent Chrome extension as well as an app for iPhone or Android. If you already use a different service, check out your Chrome Web store and app store to see if they offer something similar.
No article on tools for people with ADHD is complete without a timer, so here are a couple that you might want to add to your Google Chrome. I really like Ultra Timer, which counts up or down and has an easy, clean interface. There are also several Pomodoro timers that you can try. The one I use is called Marinara: Pomodoro Timer.
Saving & Printing
If you use a cloud-based service, go ahead and add the extension to your browser for instant and easy access! Save what you need to with the push of a button.
This one is self-explanatory. Print or PDF any page directly from your browser by clicking this extension’s icon.
If you’re like me, you open a lot of tabs that stare back at you (when you should be doing something else) and seem to say, “Read me, read me.” If you have an Amazon Kindle, or use the Kindle App on another device, use one of these extensions to send whatever it is to your Kindle for reading later.
The Power of Sound
This is a cool tool that will read aloud to you from your browser. The voices are pretty robotic, but it knows a lot of languages and is great for those who have trouble reading or sitting still long enough to read. The tool has several different voices so you don’t get bored hearing the same one over and over.
VoiceIn is dandy little tool that will take dictation and do the writing for you in whatever browser window you have open. VoiceNote II opens a pop-up window where you can dictate your text. Once you are done dictating, you can copy and paste it into any document you like. (In fact, I used it to write the rough draft of this blog.) If your mouth runs faster than your fingers, this is a great way to increase your productivity. Just remember to proofread!
Download the Noisli Extension and follow the prompt to set up a free Noisli account so you can create customized mixes of soothing background sounds. Options include water, rain, leaves, fireplace, coffee shop, water stream, wind, seaside, summer night, thunderstorm, train, forest, fan, and three different kinds of white noise, adorably named white, pink, and brown noise(s). It will also create a mix for you based on your mood (relax, focus, or be productive ). Save whichever ones you like best to your account and use the Noisli Extension button to turn them on and off without leaving what you are doing in Chrome.
There are many extensions that will change your new tab page background, but Momentum is my favorite and one of the most popular. It will ask you at the beginning of the day what your main focus is, and it will remind you of it over a beautiful background image every time you open a new tab. It displays the temperature, weather, and time (digital format). Momentum also displays an inspirational quote, along with the option to add a to-do list. It does all of this while still looking clean and simple.
18) Hover Zoom
This is a great little extension that will enlarge the image that you hover your mouse over. That’s all you have to do: hover. Simple and easy.
Honey is the holy grail of shopping extensions. With a push of a button, it keeps track of which coupon codes are available for most sites. It will try them all for you and apply the one that results in the lowest price. Instant savings!
This extension gives frequent tiny pop-up reminders about your posture. This can be good or bad, but if, like me, you suffer from the after effects of poor posture at your desk, it is helpful. Plus, the range of goofy reminders will help keep you from getting bored and ignoring them.