Productivity week : The best chrome extensions to increase your productivity.

We continue our Cross platform productivity week posts this week and focus on that one little application we use the most on our computers these days … The browser. (or the World of Warcraft Executable, depending on your taste). Chrome is a little bit of a cross platform blessing since it not only straddles most of the Operating systems we talk about, it also has access to a wide range of extensions. We listed a couple that help you to be more productive.

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Writebox for Chrome.

When I write blogposts I hate to be distracted. No matter how advanced my laptop is, or how multitask-friendly my operating system tries to be … when it comes down to doing some writing I want something plain and simple. Writebox is just that : A text editor in a window that gives you text on a plain background. You can tune the colors to your liking (amber letters on a black background for me) and start typing. Writebox syncs with Dropbox and your Google drive so you can ‘pick up’ where you left on on another computer or on another OS altogether.

Dictate with Dictation.io

All the cool bosses of the 70’s had secretaries. These girls would sit behind giant typewriters while their bosses dictated all kinds of important letters to their management (or mistresses) So why don’t WE do that ? Forget the typewriter and the mistress part, how about you start talking to your computer right now. Dictation.io is a great website/extention that lets you dictate whatever you want to write and spits it out in plain text. Copy – Paste – Done. No matter what OS you are on.. as long as you are running chrome. https://dictation.io/

Mindmup

Whenever I need to prepare a podcast or do a presentation I use a mindmap to organize my thoughts. Some people type stuff out, but I have found out that my brain just doesn’t work that way. After a little looking around for a great (free) chrome friendly Mindmap tool, I stumbled across Mindmup. It lets you create as many mindmaps as you like and store them on your Google Drive or in Dropbox. Unlike Mindmeister we mentioned a while ago, Mindmup does not have a restriction on the number of mindmaps you can create using the free service.

File system for chrome os.

This is actually a collection of several applications/extensions for those of you using a Chromebook. With this extension you can connect your Chrome file structure with either Dropbox, Onedrive or a webdav service; tying the different locations where you store your data together. Gone are the days of having to upload files and open websites/services to get to your teletubby wallpaper collection.. Enjoy !

Links.

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Talk to your tech : Dictate your terms in Apple Mavericks.

There is not a lot that is really “New” in OSX Mavericks. Aside from braking a lot of stuff (Like for example Wiretap Studio, Mountain Lion-server, mail and more) there are a couple of interesting new tricks hidden under the hood.  The voice dictation has been around in both IOS and OSX for quite some time. Unlike on Nexus devices, this worked by sending up whatever you “said” to the computer to Apple servers to be analysed, translated into text and sent down again. It was pretty cool to do once or twice, but depending on your internet connection it could be a little laggy. It would also keep breaking my concentration (and conversation) as the words on the screen would not ‘keep up’ with my trail of thought.

In OSX Mavericks you can now have that “voice dictation” ability available “offline”. No more sending your deepest thoughts towards a giant datacenter for analyzing .. Just a quiet one on one between your computer and you.

Do do this :

  • Open system preferences – Go to ‘Dictation and speech’ – Select “use enhanced dictation”
  • Select the correct language and wait for OSX to download the speech pack (about 700 meg)
  • Open the text editing field of your desired application (Mail, Textedit, The blank form on your ‘I-still-love-hannah-montanna blog on Myspace)
  • Press your function key (fn) twice and .. start talking.

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How to let it work for you ? 

  • Great for typing out quick emails
  • also nice for tweets and chats .. you are really FAST on IRC this way.
  • Dictation of boring text
  • Fantastic if your fingers are covered in peanut butter and you don’t want to ruin your keyboard.

So how do YOU talk to your tech ? Tell us in the comments section.

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