30 May 2013

Top 10 Chrome Apps To Improve Productivity


Barry Chignell

Barry Chignell

Barry Chignell worked in Ciphr's marketing team from 2012-2020.


Performance Technology


There are thousands of apps available for Chrome in the app store, but which ones are worth adding to your browser? Below are 10 of the best apps to enhance your productivity and make your life easier. If you have any apps that you feel should be added to the list, let us know in the comments.

Gmail Offline


Gmail offline enables users to read, search, respond and archive Gmail messages whilst offline. The app synchronises your Gmail account when an internet connection is available, queuing email actions until it is possible to process your mail.

“Gmail Offline beta is a Gmail app built to support offline access, allowing mail to be read, responded to, searched and archived without network access. After first start-up, Gmail Offline will automatically synchronize messages and queued actions anytime Chrome is running and an internet connection is available. More than just an offline app, the streamlined user interface, based off Gmail’s popular tablet interface, provides extremely fast response time with a pure, email-focused experience.”



StayFocusd limits the time you can spend on non-productive websites. Once you have allocated the time wasting sites you will only be allowed a certain amount of time to view them, after the time has expired the sites will be blocked for the rest for the day. With no distractions, you can concentrate on the productive sites to get the job done. Highly configurable, the app allows you to block or allow entire sites, specific subdomains, specific paths, specific pages, or specific in-page content (videos, games, images, forms, etc).



Use Yast to track how long certain tasks take to complete. Especially useful for you own time management and tracking time spent by subordinates on tasks. Features include:

  • Single Click timers
  • Unlimited projects, sub projects & tasks
  • Color coded time line
  • Track time on your mobile
  • Add notes & edit tracked times
  • Print timesheets for any project, task or period
  • Enter time before or after you do something
  • Project, task, day & week sub-totals on dash
  • Share projects & tasks
  • Private projects & tasks
  • Report by user or entire team
  • Easy administration
  • Simple overview for managers


Google Keep


Google Keep is an ultra simple notes app, perfect for quick, efficient list building, photo saving and actions that can be checked off. Google Keep also allows voice recording for audio reminders. Anything recorded on the app will automatically sync to the app on your phone (if you have it installed) and vice versa; if you are not connected to the internet then the app will sync the next time it has access to the web.



Vyew adds a web conference room to Chrome allowing real-time collaboration via web cam, whiteboard and documentation. Vyew is a great alternative to premium web conferencing services. Benefits include:

  • Work and collect content and conversations continuously around a specific objective
  • Meet and have discussions in real-time and at anytime
  • Import and integrate any type of digital content
  • Track and filter all conversations and input over the course of an activity
  • Runs on all browsers and platforms without any installation of client software
  • Duplicate content and track usage and rights management
  • Integrate with other tools and build plugins with their API




Cacoo is an online drawing and diagram creation app with a difference, it allows multiple users to edit the diagrams in real-time. A great collaboration tool, especially when preparing a joint presentation. Some of the diagram variations include:

  • Sitemap
  • Wireframe
  • Freehand
  • Wireframe
  • Web Service
  • Flowchart
  • UML
  • ER Diagrams
  • Basic
  • Balloon
  • People


Print Friendly


Have you ever printed an online document or web page and found extra pages full of information not useful to you (or an extra page with only a couple of words on)? Print Friendly redesigns the print layout to only include useful information from the page you’re printing. You’re also able to manually remove areas of the page in the print preview to further narrow down what you print. This not only saves time printing (and reading the printout) but also provides a greener option, as the app also provides you with the option to save as a PDF.



As cloud storage becomes more a more popular, the number of services offering space for your files is also increasing. Many people have documents and files stored on multiple clouds. Otixo provides a dashboard from which you can manage all of these storage clouds in one place. Otixo currently links to the following services:

  • Google Docs
  • Dropbox
  • Box
  • SkyDrive
  • SugarSync
  • Picasa
  • MobileMe
  • Amazon S3
  • FTP sites
  • WebDAV drives




Tomatoes uses the ‘Pomodoro technique’ to optimise your personal productivity. “The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. The technique uses a timer to break down periods of work into 25-minute intervals called ‘Pomodori’ (from the Italian word for ‘tomatoes’) separated by short breaks. Closely related to concepts such as timeboxing and iterative and incremental development used in software design, the method has been adopted in pair programming contexts. The method is based on the idea that frequent breaks can improve mental agility.” – from Wikipedia

Best productivity Apps


As the name suggests, Best Productivity Apps displays a regularly updated list of the most popular productivity apps in the Chrome store.