The little things can make all the difference in your average workday… that’s why today I’m sharing my favorite must-have Google Chrome extensions for designers! These little add-ons make a huge difference in my productivity on any given workday.
Below you’ll find a list of the tried-and-true Chrome extension tools I use on a daily basis; I hope they are as helpful for you as they have been for me!
ColorZilla is like a color eyedropper for your browser. You can use it to precisely pinpoint any color from your screen. Once you pick a color on-screen, ColorZilla automatically copies the hex code for you.
You can easily convert hex codes to RGB directly within the extension menu… and you can even save color swatches for future reference.
This is another extension that I use every single day (multiple times a day!). Match brand colors accurately, paste hex codes, and collect color palettes for inspiration. Install it now and thank me later! 😉
This extension is so helpful for website designers! It does exactly what the name implies: with a single click, download all the images from a website page to a zip folder on your desktop.
This is an easy way to save all the images from a blog post with just one click, or to save all the images from a client’s old website to your desktop.
Just one note: the extension can only save images at the resolution in which they appear on the website page. Because most websites are optimized with web-friendly image sizes, the photos you download will probably not be print-quality resolution.
This one is also super helpful for website designers! Screenshots are a web designer’s best-kept secret. But sometimes you need a longer capture than the size of your screen will allow. Instead of manually taking screenshots, try the GoFullPage or Full Page Screen Capture extension—it will take a full-length screenshot of the entire website page, which can then be saved as a .png or .pdf.
I take screenshots of every client’s original site (as an extra backup of their design, and for a great “before” picture). I also take screenshots of the new design we created for them, so I can drop them into mockups to be displayed in launch graphics featuring the new look.
Convertio is an easy way to convert filetypes directly within your browser. Change a .png to a .jpg or a desktop font to a webfont. You can even convert audio and video files, all within your handy browser extension.
LastPass is a secure password manager and I could not live without it. LastPass automatically creates secure passwords and then remembers them for you; it will auto-fill forms with saved usernames & passwords from the vault.
Not only is this essential for my own passwords… it also helps me manage client passwords. As a website designer, I am often handling passwords for my clients; LastPass allows me to securely store their confidential information in one safe place.
It’s no secret that I love Pinterest—and it has been a game-changer for my business too. But I’m always surprised to learn that a lot of people don’t know about the Pinterest Save Button Chrome extension! If you install the extension, you’ll see a small “pin it” button appear over all the images on any website you visit—allowing you to pin images from any website directly to your favorite boards.
I use Tailwind to schedule and manage Pinterest posts; if you use Tailwind, you can install a Chrome extension to function like a “pin it” button—but instead of pinning directly to Pinterest, your images will be saved in your Tailwind queue. Neat, right?
I’m a big proponent of time-tracking; it’s the best way to accurately understand where your time actually goes during a workday.
Understanding your time is the foundation to increased productivity, and it’s incredibly important for those of us in service-based industries who base our pricing on the amount of time spent per project. Time tracking sheds light on areas of business where I need to streamline or outsource. I even time-track my hours spent on laundry, cooking, and cleaning; it helps me better understand what can be outsourced in my personal life too.
Toggl is an incredible free time tracker that integrates seamlessly into your browser. You can easily categorize time spent into different projects or tags. and even better? It will also sync to Asana!
Prevent distractions and focus on deep creative work. Use Tide Focus timer to block distracting websites (inbox, anyone?) during focused work sessions. It also includes nature sounds if you’re into ambient noise while you work. I love this extension to help me work mindfully when I want to be really focused on creative design.
My friend (and sustainability expert) Kimberley first recommended Ecosia to me. Ecosia is an eco-friendly search engine that uses money from its ads to fund an environmentally conscious initiative to plant trees all around the world.
I’ve been pretty impressed with Ecosia’s functionality—the search results are accurate, and it integrates seamlessly into my browser. It is also more privacy-friendly than a Google search; Ecosia doesn’t store search data, and they don’t sell data to advertisers.
As much as Google adds convenience to my life and my business, I’m always looking for alternatives; Ecosia is one easy switch to support a cause much more meaningful to me than a corporation’s bottom line.
I hope these tools are helpful for you as you continue building your freelance career or graphic design business. Let me know if you decide to give them a try!
And… what did I miss?! I love hearing from other creatives and understanding their processes better. Tell me all about the tools you’ve found to be most helpful in your own design business. Feel free to reach out, and don’t forget to pop over to my Resources page for more recommendations.
Wishing you a week filled with creativity, productivity, and plenty of coffee!