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 5 best Google Chrome extensions for entrepreneurs I've found so far, organized by most used to least used:
1.) MixMax — If you download just one of the Google Chrome exensions 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.
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 entreprenuers, this is it.
2.) Rapportive — 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 — 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 — 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 — You know what's annoying? Ads. This isn't just a good Chrome extension for entrepreneurs, it's a good extension for everyone.
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.
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.