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Ben Issenmann
 

Must have Chrome extensions for designers

8 Chrome extensions to curate, share and create designs online.

Disclaimer: I am not paid by any of the following companies to promote their extensions. I just think they're super cool and wish more designers knew them :)

1. Share feedback to clients with Loom

Loom is a personal favorite. In just a click I can record my screen with my camera on, explain something to a client or give feedback, and send a link directly to them. Sending a Loom video, instead of a written text, feels more customized and valuable. People love to receive looms! Here's a recent feedback I gave to a friend's app.

It's free until you reach 100 recorded videos. But when you reach 100, just delete your old videos and you should be good again.

Add Loom to Chrome here.

2. Personalize links and track when they are opened with Bitly

We now share links instead of files. But these long-ass links don't look friendly though. I use Bit.ly to make these links short and customized. I'll usually include my client's name or the name of the project in the link to make it feel more personalized.

So instead of receiving an ugly https://figma.com/file/ked9efea8dz link, my clients receive a nice bit.ly/fashion-figma link. I can also track when, where and how these links are tracked. Nifty!

Add Bitly to Chrome here.

3. Find that font, that color, that image with CSS Peeper

I used to have 3 different chrome extensions to check the fonts, colors and image sources of websites I liked. But I found CSS Peeper recently and it includes all these functionalities in one extension.

When your mouse hovers a specific website element, the extension reveals its size and spacing properties. That's especially useful for web designers who want to learn more about inspiring websites.

Add CSS Peeper to Chrome here.

4. Build your own inspiration library with Raindrop

Having your own place to collect and curate inspiring designs is essential for professional creatives. Organizing inspiring ideas creates value, but keeping them private is an opportunity cost. Chrome bookmarks may be simple to add, but they can't be shared.

The best alternative I found to bookmarks is called Raindrop. Here's my growing list of 724 websites I love, curated using Raindrop. It's great for saving and curating lists of websites. It's free, it's simple, it works.

Add Raindrop to Chrome here.

5. Focus on your work with Intention and Tab Snooze

It's 10am, not the right time to check Twitter or Instagram... The deadline is in 8 hours goddamnit!

We're always just a tab away from distracting websites. Fighting the urge to be distracted is tiresome. Intention helps with that. Whenever you visit a website on your blacklist (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit and Youtube by default), a popup appears. 

You can either close the tab completely or "unlock" the tab for a small amount of time. Using Intention is effective, I calculated, using FocusTime, that I spend 85% less time on distracting websites during work hours. 

Add Intention to Chrome here.

When I want to focus on my work but I find interesting articles or videos, Tab Snooze is my good friend too. 

Tab Snooze is a simple extension that helps avoid having too many tabs. It just saves them for a later time. 

Add Tab Snooze to Chrome here.

6. Schedule client calls easily with Calendly

The Calendly Chrome extension is useful to avoid the usual back-and-forths to find a time for a call. From the extension, you can easily find your meeting types as well as create ad-hoc meetings that can be shared with a link.

Like Loom, Calendly is a free service that makes remote collaboration much easier and enjoyable. I consider Calendly as my sort of personal assistant, helping me schedule my days effortlessly.

Add Calendly to Chrome here.

7. Download assets without getting spammed with TempMail

Most articles and guides on the web will now want to trade their content for your email address. TempMail generates a new email address whenever you need and sends you a notification when you receive an email.

This is useful to try out new tools and products without getting spammed afterward. 

Add TempMail to your Chrome browser here.

Bonus: organize your favorite websites visually

This is not a Chrome extension to download, but a nice visual way I found to organize my bookmarks. I arrange all the websites I visit regularly by their favicon color. Look at it...

🌈Double rainbow all the way 🌈

Here's how to do it:

1. if you don't see the bookmark bar below the Chrome search bar, press Cmd + Shift + B.
2. Now add a new website to your bookmarks by pressing Cmd + D.
3. Remove the name completely, it should be empty, and put it in the Bookmark bar folder.
4. Finally, rearrange the bookmarks by dragging and dropping them where you want.

Loom, Bitly, CSS Peeper, Raindrop, Intention, Tab Snooze, Calendly and TempMail. I hope these extensions are as useful to you as they are for me. If I missed any, please tweet it to me, I will keep this article up to date.

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Last edit: 
Sep 22, 2020

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Ben Issenmann