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Must Have Browser Extensions


Joanna Yuen

Marketing & Content Specialist - 19 Apr, 2024


How would you rate your web browsing experience lately?

What if I told you there are some easy ways to improve that experience? Would you be interested? That was a rhetorical, because how would you not.

Over years of not only using the web but developing new technology and becoming immersed in the space, our experts have had plenty of time to try many of the browser extensions out there. While some are better than others, a few of them can actually elevate your overall internet experience and take even the most satisfied users to the next level. Here are the recommendations we would encourage users to take advantage of.

What is a Browser Extension?

A browser extension is a software module that adds new features or modifies existing functionality to a web browser. It is typically installed by the user to customize their browsing experience, and can add to or streamline a variety of online activities. From password protection to storage, writing help, accounting support, collaboration - and pretty much everything in between - there are extensions that can make your tasks easier and faster.

Most browsers offer a web store where you can view the different options available and install directly from there. On the other hand, you also have the option to add them manually, and what you choose to do may depend on the OS or browser that you use. For example, a Chrome user might manually add one by first finding the extension they’re interested in by clicking on the menu to the right of the address bar and then selecting “Extensions” from the “More tools” option. From there they would download the extension, extract and organize any files, and finalize the installation. If you use Shift as your browser, you can see the native integrations that work well within the system. We offer over 1500 integration options across an extensive amount of categories.

As mentioned, browsers can significantly improve your user experience. When you decide to use a browser extension, you’ll get:

  • Enhanced functionality - Extensions can add new features to a browser, such as ad-blocking, password managers, note-taking tools, and language translators, making the browsing experience more convenient and efficient.
  • Customization - Users can personalize their browser by adding extensions that suit their specific needs and preferences.
  • A Productivity boost - Extensions can improve productivity by providing tools for task management, time tracking, and content organization.
  • Improved security - Certain extensions can enhance security by blocking malicious websites, tracking cookies, or providing secure browsing options.
  • Accessibility - Extensions can help users with disabilities by providing accessibility features like text-to-speech or screen readers.

On the other hand, there are a few caveats to be aware of when it comes to browser extensions. Too many extensions can create clutter and slow down performance, so it’s important to be realistic about which ones you actually use and which ones add value. With too many extensions (or letting a bunch of them sit unused) you could be looking at:

  • Performance impact - Some extensions can slow down the browser's performance, especially if they consume a significant amount of system resources.
  • Privacy concerns - Extensions may request access to user data, including browsing history, personal information, or login credentials. Users need to be cautious and review the permissions requested by each extension.
  • Security risks - Malicious or poorly coded extensions can introduce security vulnerabilities, leading to data breaches or malware infections.
  • Compatibility issues - Extensions may not always be compatible with the latest browser versions or other installed extensions, causing conflicts and instability.
  • Cumbersome experience - With multiple extensions installed, the browser interface may become cluttered, making it harder to navigate and manage.

We recommend carefully reviewing and selecting reputable extensions from trusted sources, regularly updating them, and only granting necessary permissions to ensure a safe and efficient browsing experience.

Related Post: The 10 Best Browser Extensions for Productivity


The Most Installed Browser Extensions

According to the most recent data, it seems there are a few browser extensions that people simply can’t do without. If we look at Chrome as the browser of choice, the most integrated browser extensions are the following:

  1. Evernote - This project and task management tool is a powerhouse for many people. Designed to help you organize your work “declutter your life”, Evernote can be used on desktop or a mobile device to take notes, save and share information, and more. There are other browser extensions that go with this one to further enhance what Evernote can do, including the Web Clipper option for Chrome. It’s important to note that the legacy versions of Evernote have been discontinued as of March, 2024. Though this is a very small - tiny in fact - percentage of Evernote users, it’s good to be aware that their functionality has been significantly upgraded in recent years. Using the latest version will improve your overall experience.
  2. LastPass - A password manager that securely stores and auto fills your passwords across websites, making it easier to manage and protect your online accounts. Often considered the optimal password manager, it has a simple and secure interface and strong encryption capabilities. However, it’s worth noting that LastPass has been victim to a data breach in the past, so it’s not without vulnerability.
  3. Grammarly - A writing assistant that helps you eliminate grammar and spelling errors, improve your writing style, and enhance clarity and professionalism in your online communications. It works across any writing format so you can improve everything from emails to social media posts.

Some of Our Favorite Browser Extensions

Which browser extensions are worth your time? Without further ado, here is our short list of must-have extensions.

  1. Adblock Plus - Blocks annoying ads and pop-ups, providing a cleaner and faster browsing experience while also enhancing privacy and security.
  2. Pocket - A bookmarking tool that allows you to save articles, videos, and web pages for later reading or viewing, even when you are offline. It’s perfect for downloading a reading list before a flight, for example.
  3. Evernote Web Clipper - This is a must-have for any Evernote addicts. It lets you clip and save web pages, articles, and images directly to your Evernote account, making it easy to organize and access important information from the app.
  4. HTTPS Everywhere - Automatically encrypts your browsing sessions by forcing websites to use a secure HTTPS connection, enhancing privacy and protecting against data theft. Essentially, it works by providing authentication of the website’s identity, connection, and data integrity, and encrypting all information shared between the website and a user (including any cookies exchanged), protecting the data from unauthorized viewing, tampering, or misuse.
  5. Honey - If you spend much time online shopping, you’ll want to install this one immediately (and if you shop online a lot, you may already be using it)! This extension automatically finds and applies coupon codes and discounts when you shop online, helping you save money on your purchases. There are a lot of options for this type of extension, but we think this is the most user friendly.
  6. Momentum - Replaces your browser's new tab page with a beautiful and customizable dashboard that includes a to-do list, inspirational quotes, weather updates, and more, helping you stay focused and motivated. While we find this extension visually appealing and helpful, if you’re a Shift user, you can use the native functionality to design your ideal Workspace complete with tabs, accounts, etc. that you need each day without adding any extensions.
  7. Pocket Casts - A podcast player that allows you to discover, subscribe to, and listen to your favorite podcasts directly from your browser. It has a powerful search and discovery function so that you can discover highly curated podcast options, along with a great review engine so you can get a real feel before committing to listen.
  8. Pushbullet - In our constantly connected world, helping your devices to speak to each other is hugely helpful. This option lets you send links, files, and text between your devices seamlessly, enabling easy sharing and synchronization across different platforms.
  9. uBlock Origin - A powerful ad-blocker that not only blocks ads, but also prevents tracking scripts and malware, enhancing privacy and security while browsing. If you’re a person that really doesn’t like ads following you, this will prove valuable.
  10. OneTab - Mainly for Chrome and Firefox, this tool allows you to convert all your open tabs into a list, freeing up memory and improving browser performance, while also providing a convenient way to restore tabs later. If you tend to get out of control with tabs, this one's for you.
  11. Google Translate - Translates web pages and selected text into different languages, making it easier to understand and communicate with content from around the world. Google Translate can significantly improve the efficiency of anyone who needs to conduct business or communications with different language-speakers.
  12. Dark Reader - Enables dark mode for websites, reducing eye strain and improving readability, especially in low-light environments.
  13. Delivra - Delivra is a comprehensive email marketing platform that empowers businesses to create, automate, and track personalized email campaigns, enabling effective communication with customers and driving engagement.
  14. Figma - Just plain fun to use, this tool can help you turn ideas into products faster. You can design, prototype, and collect feedback on options all within one place with this tool.
  15. Leadpages - A must-have for any small business marketer, this technology helps companies to connect with their audience, collect leads, and eventually close sales. Use it to create things like websites, landing pages, pop-ups, alert bars, and more marketing elements with an intuitive interface and simple tools.

Related Post: 10 Browser Hacks to Simplify Your Life


Take Advantage of Integrations and Extensions

Extensions can be hugely helpful but they can also use up resources and slow your systems down. It’s important to be selective with your browser extensions and keep looking for other ways of improving internet optimization and performance. To make things easier, add Shift to the mix as your power browser.

Think of Shift as your hub for everything. It’s the place where you can keep all of your favorite apps and tools right at your fingertips. By bringing everything together in one browser window, you’ll have access to all of the platforms that you like to use - whether you use them every hour, every day, or just a few times a year. You can create a custom workspace that encompasses everything you need in one space.

From Asana to Slack, WhatsApp, Trello, and all the rest—Shift works with everything you need, so you can work faster than ever before. Users can also work faster using extensions like Boomerang, Grammarly, LastPass, and many more. Review the entire list of apps and extensions that work seamlessly with Shift for inspiration. There’s More to Shift

The right browser can help you to take advantage of the apps you use, without contributing to overall app clutter. For example, one of the most annoying aspects of app overload is being exposed to too many notifications, which can limit productivity. With Shift, you can streamline notifications so that you get them all in one place, and only in the way that you want them to appear. Shift makes it easy to customize the notifications that you get from various platforms, so that they can actually be helpful rather than cumbersome.

Additionally, Shift allows you to set up Workspaces that contain your favorite tabs, bookmarks, and accounts. This makes it simple to have important tabs on-hand and organized by workspace, then bookmark them for quick access later on. You can even add your favorite extensions and make sure they are set up with the programs you use most in your browser. Leveraging Workspaces is a great way to cut down the logging in and out process that can be so time-consuming. With Workspaces, you can personalize your online environment so that it’s most effective for what you want to do. For example, in a Workspace for your job, you might have Slack, Trello, and your company intranet, while a personal one has your banking accounts, Instagram, and your child’s school site.

And that’s just the beginning. There are plenty of intuitive features that make Shift a power browser, including:

  • Seamless App integration -  Choose from over 1,500 integrated apps and connect each of your accounts for convenient access.
  • Epic Search - Search across all of your accounts, apps, files, and tools to find exactly what you’re looking for, all in a single search.
  • Unified Calendar - Sync each of your calendars into one convenient view.
  • Bookmarks Manager - Organize and save your most-used websites into a focused and customizable bookmarks bar.
  • Notifications Management - Customize notification settings to schedule quiet hours, mute alerts, or show/hide unread badges for focused browsing.
  • Email Management -  Manage all of your email accounts across Gmail, Outlook, and Office 365 in one centralized window.
  • Workspaces - Whether it’s for work or personal, Shift organizes your apps, accounts, tabs, and bookmarks into dedicated workspaces for focused browsing.

Which extensions do you use regularly? Which have you tried? We would love to learn more about what is out there that users find valuable. In the meantime, download Shift and pick a few select extensions from the list of over 1500 options, and see how much you can streamline your efforts for maximum efficiency.

Related Post: Mastering Browser Features to Supercharge Your Day