If there's one thing entrepreneurs have in common, it's that they want to maximize results while minimizing their time investment. Technology makes this more possible than ever – and the right Google Chrome extensions can revolutionize your work experience. Unfortunately, there are thousands of them – and you certainly can't download them all.
I'll cut right to the chase: some extensions work better than others, some are more useful than others, and some slow down your browsing experience more than others. Which Google Chrome extensions are best for entrepreneurs? As a business owner who works with other business owners, I've heard of (and tried) just about everything.
Here are the 7 best Google Chrome extensions for entrepreneurs I've found so far, organized by most used to least used:
1.) MixMax – Stay On Top Of Your Inbox
If you download just one of the Google Chrome extensions on this list, MixMax should be it. When it came onto the scene the whole TCF team was using Boomerang (for email scheduling and automated follow up) and Sidekick (for tracking who opens emails and clicks on links), but MixMax replaced them both and we haven't looked back since.
If you don't already track your emails, you should start. On top of providing new insights into who reads your emails and how quickly, you'll get the added bonus of feeling like James Bond with your sweet new spy tech.
"If you don't already track your emails, you should start. We use ( and love!) @Mixmax" - The Content Factory
In addition to email scheduling, reminders and tracking, MixMax also lets you schedule meetings and events right within email. Instead of playing three rounds of email tag to figure out when the best time for a meeting is, MixMax will check your calendar, let you know when you're available and give the person on the other end of your email options for meeting times. They click to pick which time works best for them, and it's automatically added to both of your calendars.
Originally I didn't mean for the MixMax explanation to sprawl across four paragraphs, and the fact that I'm not finished with the description yet is a testament to how robust this extension is. Let me tell you about the in-email polls and surveys -- you have no idea how functional email can be until you start using MixMax. There's also options like password protection and a self-destruct mode that you can use for specific emails. If you're looking for the best chrome extension for entrepreneurs, this is it.
2.) Rapportive – Get to Know Your Email Contacts Better
Do you know who is really at the other end of your email? Rapportive does, and puts their LinkedIn profiles in a sidebar for easy viewing and access. Install can click to connect with them via LinkedIn, without ever leaving your email.
It also pulls the profile info of the LinkedIn connections that you have in common, which enables you to name drop faster and easier than ever. Rapportive makes quick work of building your network of connections, which is what makes it one of the best Chrome extensions for entrepreneurs out there.
3.) Hootlet – Streamline Your Hootsuite Workflow
If you use Hootsuite (and we recommend that you do), the Hootlet Chrome extension will be your BFF. It's has most of the functionality of Hootsuite, in that you can toggle between multiple accounts -- like your personal and business Twitter profiles. With a click of the Hootlet icon you can share the page you're on as you browse the Internet.
4.) Evernote – Organize Your Notes (And Your Life)
If you're not Evernoting, you're missing out. I use it for everything from remembering the code to my gym locker to organizing ebook and webinar content. Since I've started using Evernote, it's like I bought myself a second brain that takes exactly zero headspace. The Chrome extension lets you snip and save as you browse the Internet and read email. Saving PDFs or anything else is as easy as clicking and organizing into your pre-existing notebooks.
5.) AdBlock Pro – Declutter Your Browsing Experience
You know what's annoying? Ads. This isn't just a good Chrome extension for entrepreneurs, it's a good extension for everyone.
6.) Drag – From Emails to Organized To-Do Lists
Be honest: could your inbox be more organized? For most entrepreneurs, the answer is a resounding YES. If you’ve ever lost track of an email, wanted to save an email for later but didn’t know how or where, or thought to yourself, “wouldn’t it be great if I could archive this email without completely forgetting about it?” then Drag might just be for you.
Drag allows you to sort your emails into visual lists (to-do, doing, done), so you know exactly where you are with each message. Professionals lose hours a day, days a week, weeks per month, and months per year (you get it) on opening the same email messages again again. Reclaim that time and put it towards moving your business forward… or you know… finally taking a day off!
7.) Virtru – Encrypt Your Email and Protect Your Business Data
As a business owner, you often need to relay confidential information. While fax and snail mail are an option, who has time for that? Virtru is an email encryption software that allows you to share private information over email worry-free.
Virtru only takes a minute to install, and it works with almost every email client. Only recipients you have authorized are able to decrypt the information you send out, and they don’t need Virtru installed or any kind of password to access it. Virtru gives you the power to track when emails are received, revoke access to emails that have already been opened, set expiration dates on sent messages, and monitor and control message forwarding.
You may notice that aside from Hootlet, there are no marketing extensions on this list of Google Chrome extensions for entrepreneurs. Why? Because after installing Chrome extensions for Moz, Google Analytics and every other tool we use that has a Chrome extension, I found that it becomes overwhelming. And in the end, with the exception of Hootlet, I prefer to use the tool itself instead of the extension version.
The truth is, having more tools doesn't necessarily make you more efficient. It's about finding the right tools -- and sometimes less really is more. For instance, we've found that the best keyword research tool for SEO is a simple Google spreadsheet.
"Having more tools doesn't necessarily make you more efficient. It's about finding the right tools." - The Content Factory
It can take a lot of A/B (and C, and D...) testing to figure out which combination will work best for you. After going through the process myself, this is the set of Google Chrome extensions that works best for me. I'm always on the hunt for more, though, so if you have any suggestions or extensions that you swear by please leave them in the comment section or @ContentFac on Twitter.