Chrome extensions are a great way to enhance your productivity and make the college experience a bit easier. Knowing which ones to use can really help you get ahead.
Cite This For Me is very similar to EasyBib but it allows you to cite a page you are on without having to copy and paste the URL. The extension adds a button to the top of your browser that you simply click, and it will automatically site whatever website or article you are on. Just like EasyBib it will create a citation in APA, MLA, Chicago or Harvard referencing style. It’s useful for when you want to quickly cite an article you’re reading without having to open another tab and fill out a form. Simply browse to the page you wish to cite and click the button to generate a correctly formatted citation. Then copy-and-paste the citation into your assignment, or add it to your online bibliography for safe keeping until later. The extension is free and will make those writing assignment a little bit easier.
Google Dictionary allows you to look up the definition of a word without having to leave the page you are on. It works the same way Google does when you search a word on their website, but the extension is much easier and faster to use. Just double-click or highlight a word on the page and the extension will generate a pop-up bubble with the definition. The pop-up bubble will also have a small microphone you can click on to hear the pronunciation of the word. If you every highlight a word that’s in a different language then it will automatically translate it to you default language. The extension can also be configured to store all the words that you use it with so you can look them up later. This is a great tool to have if you’re majoring in anything where you’re constantly introduced to new terms. Rather than taking the time to open a new tab and look up the word you can look it up as you’re reading saving yourself precious time.
You would never write a paper without spell and grammar checker because you don’t want to risk losing points for a silly mistake. It makes your paper more professional and helps you catch mistakes that you would otherwise miss. The Grammarly Chrome extension brings that power of a spell and grammar checker to everything you write. Whenever you’re typing something Grammarly will automatically check it and draw a red line under anything that is spelled incorrectly or grammatically incorrect. You can then hover over the error and a small bubble will appear with the suggest corrections. The extension checks for proper word choice, punctuation, sentence structure as well as spelling. Whether you’re sending an email to a professor, leaving a comment on or writing a blog post; Grammarly helps you write better.
In a previous article, I wrote about a mobile app which helps you stay focused by blocking distracting mobile apps. Block & Focus works similarly by keeping you away from distracting websites when using your computer. However, Block and & Focus does more than just block websites; it attempts to help you apply something call The Pomodoro Technique. This is a time management technique which uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes long, separated by short breaks. To use the extension just type a list of websites that you want to block and choose an interval of time. If you try to access the website before the allocated study time has ended the extension will block the site and instead show a motivational phrase. This extension is a great way to stop yourself from wasting time when using your computer to do work.
You’re going to be doing a lot of reading in college and sometimes it can be really hard to concentrate. You’ll often find yourself re-reading the same paragraph over and over again because you can’t concentrate. The SpeakIt! chrome extension is a great tool to help you get through large chunks of reading. As you might have guessed from the name the extension will read any text on your browser. Simply highlight the desired text you want it to read to you and click on the icon on the top right corner. The highlighted text will then be read out loud to you so you can listen and take notes. The extension allows you to modify the volume, speed and even accent of the reader. SpeakIt! works with multiple languages so you can also use it to help you with readings from a foreign language class.
In a previous article, I wrote about how you should never buy textbooks from the University bookstore. However, if you don’t want to waste time searching through other websites to find a better price Occupy the Bookstore will do it for you. Once you’ve installed the extension just navigate to your bookstore’s website and select the books you need. The extension will automatically search over 25 online stores at once and display the results right alongside the prices that your bookstore is offering. The extension is super light-weight and only activates when you are on your campus bookstore website. Occupy the Bookstore is a great way to save yourself both time and money.
MolView is a must have web-app for anyone taking Organic Chemistry or higher. It can be hard to visualize the structure of a molecule and the 2D sketches in your notebook are sometimes just not enough. Instead of buying a $40 molecule set and building the molecule by hand you can download MolView for free. The application allows you to sketch out a molecule in 2D and then render the image in 3D so you can examine its structure. You can also use the application to search and view compounds, proteins and crystal structures available within the app. It’s free to use and can be a great learning tool to anyone taking a Chemistry related class.