25 Firefox Extensions to Make You More Productive

25-firefox-extensinons productivityFirefox is my weapon of choice when it comes to browsing the web. It’s fast, free, and gives the user the best feature ever: Choice.

The beauty of the Firefox extension is that it allows you to add a specific feature or function, fully customizing your browsing experience. For someone wanting to make the most of their online time, this is a huge opportunity. There are limitless ways to tailor your browsing with Firefox extensions. Here are 25 of my favorite extensions that help me save time while online.

  1. Autocopy – The name pretty much says it all. Instead of having to hit cmd+c (or ctrl + C for our Windows readers), every time you highlight text it automatically copies it to the clipboard. If you don’t want it on 100% of the time, you can toggle it on and off in the bottom-right of the browser.
  2. Better Gmail – A must-have for any Gmail user. Maintained by the legendary Gina Trapani of Lifehacker, Better Gmail adds some killer features that would make any developer at Google scratch their head and wonder “Why didn’t I think of that?!”. Keyboard macros, saved searches, right-click preview views and integrate Google Reader to name a few. (The keyboard macros are enough of a reason to install this little filly, in my humble opinion.)
  3. Better GReader – Another gem from Gina for Google Reader. Add feeds to GReader and bypass the default add page from Google, make the most of the reading area and take advantage of some great keyboard shortcuts, to name a few.
  4. No Squint – Finding yourself going cross-eyed form leaning too close to the monitor? No Squint can fix it. Specify a percentage to show all text that’s larger than the default for your screen resolution. You can either make all sites a default size, or only specify a few with different font sizes.
  5. Remember the Milk for Gmail – If you’re a fan of the todo list application Remember the Milk, you’ll love this extension. Fully mange your todo items inside of Gmail, instead of having to trek over to the RTM website every time you want to check off a task. You can also quickly assign emails as tasks. Very slick.
  6. Shareaholic– An indispensable extension for those who do a lot of social bookmarking with digg, del.icio.us, twitter, or maintain a tumblelog. In one click you can share the page you’re on with the previously mentioned services (plus a few more) without spending any more time than you have to away from the article.
  7. LeechBlock – If you’re feeling a little vulnerable to the addictive qualities of certain websites, use LeechBlock to literally force you from visiting them within a certain time period of the day. No joke. Not for the faint of heart, or those with problems with authority.
  8. Read it later – Don’t have time to really focus on an article you’ve found? This extension will enable you to quickly save the page you’re browsing until you’re able to read it. Once you’re ready to read your saved articles, the extension will open the articles in new tabs with the click of a button.
  9. Scrapbook – Much like the Read it Later extension, Scrapbook allows you to quickly save pages for later reading. However, it has a few more great features, like taking whole snippets of pages (like Google Notebook), searching within snippets, saving whole websites, and you can even organize the snippets like bookmarks. Perfect for researching or in-depth bookmarking.
  10. MeetimerMeetimer is a great way to get a handle on just how much time you’re spending on various sites around the web. You can group sites into categories (ie. facebook.com = “procrastination”), and track just how much
  11. Copy Plain Text– The name pretty much says it all. If you do a lot of writing in WYSIWYG editors (blogging and other word processors), then this extension can come in pretty handy. Copy Plain Text will leave all the bolds, italics and other unwanted formatting when you copy and paste into text fields.
  12. Ad Block Plus– For those obsessed with a zen-like minimalist approach to web browsing, this Ad Block Plus will surely keep you focused. Kill annoying banners and ads by simplying installing the extension and right-clicking the banner on the page. Once you’ve clicked the banner, you’ll never see it again as long as the extension is turned on.
  13. Gmail Conversation Preview – A nifty little Greasemonkey script that allows you right-click and see the body of the email, without opening it. Simple and slick.
  14. Invisibility cloakLifehacker’s solution to blank out certain time-wasting sites that kill productivity. This is a much smaller version of LeechBlock.
  15. Add a second inbox to your Gmail account – Quickly and easily toggle between Gmail inboxes. Perfect for those with a business and personal email accounts at Gmail.
  16. FEBE – On the surface, FEBE will quickly and easily backup your Firefox extensions. But the fun doesn’t stop there. You can also sync multiple computers with the same Firefox extensions, and even set up automatic backups, ensuring that you’ll never lose your Firefox configurations again.
  17. del.icio.us bookmarks – Save, search and share your Del.icio.us bookmarks easily inside of Firefox. Browsing your bookmarks is especially easy with the del.icio.us sidebar.
  18. Googlepedia – I find this extension extremely valuable for getting a more holistic Google search. Googlepedia splits the Google search results in half and shows the relevant Wikipedia page for the search alongside the Google results.
  19. Errorzilla Mod – This extension is pretty nifty for troubleshooting error pages that you might come across, giving you the Google Cache, Wayback Machine, Whois, and tons of other useful information about the site and page in question.
  20. PageaddictPageaddict simply shows your internet usage by website. It’s not as intrusive as Invisibility Cloak or LeechBlock, but it can provide a helpful look at where you really spend your time online.
  21. urlfixer – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve typed in “gmail.cmo” to get a frustrating error page. Instead of having to perfectly type in every url, urlfixer can usually guess where you’re trying to go, and will send you there anyway.
  22. Colorful Tabs – This extension is deceptively useful. Much like office file-folder tabs, colorful tabs gives a color to each tab opened in Firefox. Quickly find which tab you need without having to read it.
  23. Faviconize Tab – Save some serious tab bar real estate with Faviconize tabs. With a simple right-click, you can shrink each tab to only the size of the favicon (16×16px), giving you much more room for open tabs.
  24. Google Notebook- Google notebook is another bookmarking tool, except it can save whole excerpts from pages, images and links. Quickly save all parts of a page into an digital “notebook” for easily collecting. Not quite as nifty as the Scrapbook extension, but definitely a contender.
  25. Dictionary Tooltip – A perfect companion for any writer. Just highlight any word and hit Ctrl + Shift + D to see the word’s definition, without having to open a new window.

 

Photo by *keng

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Alex Robinson February 22, 2011, 5:14 pm

    A great set of plugins – I feel my productivity increasing already!

    To assist with the privacy of ones email address. We have developed some firefox plugins which inform users of the trustworthiness of a website and also protect their email address from spam. Have a look here: http://www.spamratings.com.

    Alex Robinson
    Spam Ratings

  • Adam February 3, 2011, 1:43 pm

    Great List,
    The only ones I’d disagree on are Delicious and Remember the Milk. I just prefer to a pen and a pad I guess.

    One that didn’t make your list is CraigsToolbox (www.craigstoolbox.com)
    It makes craigslist work & look the way it ought to. I can’t imagine working without!
    * text and images below the post title
    * save to favorites
    * search notifications

  • travesti December 24, 2010, 7:58 am

    Fine information, many thanks to the author thansks

  • travesti December 24, 2010, 7:57 am

    Fine information, many thanks to the author

  • Paulo Roberto December 14, 2010, 12:46 pm

    Olá,
    achei o site muito legal, porem não entendi nada, na real eu só tô qurendo e fazer meu jabazinho.

  • faiz October 9, 2010, 6:20 am

    really great plugin you have shown over here. i will try to use plugin that make my life easy. does firefox go slow if i download many plugins?

  • Social Software for Business August 24, 2010, 6:49 am

    Awesome list of tools, I had heard of most of these, but I’m definitely going to check out NoSquint.

  • dubovoyaleksandr May 3, 2010, 2:31 am

    cool list

  • Web Development Company April 20, 2010, 7:59 am

    Great list of plugins. Most are must haves for us firefox users

  • John March 30, 2010, 4:27 am

    WoW I have just read the other comments, and they where posted about 2 years. I have put it onto Stumble. This needs Stumbling. :-)

    John from Australia

  • John March 30, 2010, 4:24 am

    Mate Mate Mate, That is just Great. The first Plug, WHAT A TIME SAVER. Thank you, Thank you. Thank you.

    John from Australia

  • vinay December 12, 2009, 7:29 pm

    really very very productive plugins… thanks a lot for a wonderful list…

  • vinay December 12, 2009, 2:29 pm

    really very very productive plugins… thanks a lot for a wonderful list…

  • vinay December 12, 2009, 1:29 pm

    really very very productive plugins… thanks a lot for a wonderful list…

  • raghu21 September 8, 2009, 7:47 am

    cool finding

  • tony11 August 22, 2009, 7:37 pm

    Hey your kinda hot. Do you want to go out sometime?

  • Phaoloo June 12, 2009, 12:20 am

    Great collection. Just like colortab because it groups relative tabs together. Copy plain text is another good one esp. when pasting it onto Window Live Writer.

  • blufindr April 28, 2009, 7:19 am

    I find NoScript to be a hugely useful extension. It helps to get rid of most popups and ads and things that would otherwise steal all my screen real estate.

    StatusbarEx, too, comes in handy quite often. It lets me know when I need to run SweepRAM because FF is eating 200MB+ of RAM.

    I do have one issue with your list, though. #1 would not be helpful at all for people like me, who highlight instead of scroll as they read. It’s a horrible habit I’ve picked up, unfortunately. While I had that extension, I always accidentally wiped out huge chunks of code from my clipboard.

  • Garth Braithwaite February 28, 2009, 9:24 am

    Ubiquity is awesome. It is highly extensible and amazing for accessing some useful webservices easily.

  • Tug December 1, 2008, 2:32 am

    I’m a huge fan of Read-It-Later.
    I hated having to create/delete bookmarks for things I only wanted to read once… :]

  • Hoelper November 26, 2008, 11:30 am

    I would also suggest “COLORFUL TABS” for Firefox…Instead of having all the same color tabs this makes every tab a different light colored tab, still including the text on the tab just each colored differently, so that when multiple tabs are opened its a bit easier to depict which page you want to move from instead of merely having to read the text on the regular tabs

  • wtf? November 24, 2008, 1:13 am

    Keyboard Macros have always existed in Gmail. I enabled them day one.

  • Robert November 21, 2008, 7:49 am

    Split Browser is favourite of mine. It allows you to open multiple pages in one tab. It is surprisngly handy and useful. Especially if you use online word processors – you can have the editor in one pane and use the other pane for research.

  • Sergey Brin November 1, 2008, 5:46 pm

    Good work guy!

  • fornetti August 30, 2008, 8:30 pm

    I do not believe this

  • çocuk bak?m? August 6, 2008, 4:52 am
  • oktay usta August 6, 2008, 4:51 am
  • mukul June 7, 2008, 5:54 pm

    gr8 post! all in one info abt the firefox add-ons..i tried many of them..thanks again!

  • Jakub June 6, 2008, 2:35 am

    hi, nice list. i didn’t know about FEBE ext , its very usefull.
    my add-ons list: http://www.myaddonslist.eu/user/master

  • Leap Year Photography June 4, 2008, 9:33 am

    No Squint was a big help. Thank you!

  • website design May 6, 2008, 6:45 am

    Great idea.

    Regards http://ooyes.net

  • Samantha April 10, 2008, 1:08 am

    I’m ashamed to say I will be investigating and downloading nearly half your fabulous suggestions. Some I’ve already tried — didn’t care for the colored tabs but that’s just me. Google is such an enormous powerhouse I’ve wondered — while I love Gmail — why I couldn’t add a second inbox! DUH! On the other hand I ADORE Adblock Plus. Many thanks to you for going to so much trouble for us.

    :hugs:
    PalominoGirl

  • Cant Live without FireFox March 29, 2008, 4:15 pm

    i dont have any idea that there is googlepedia till i stumble here. thanks for the list

  • Raven March 14, 2008, 8:06 am

    Thank You for the Great list. I found it to be very useful.

  • 3S2 March 8, 2008, 8:38 pm

    Realmente é uma lista surpreendente, gostei muito, só faltou um dos meus favoritos o easyGestures.

  • sorin frumuseanu February 21, 2008, 2:15 pm

    Thank you for FEBE (FEBEwill quickly and easily backup your Firefox extensions). I’ll try right now. I really need something to save my multiple firefox accounts, inlcluding extensions.

  • Joakim February 20, 2008, 12:36 am

    Thanks for the great list .. I found using three very helpful new extensions .. favorite is defintely tabmix .. Cheers Joakim

  • Joakim February 20, 2008, 12:29 am

    Extremely helpful extension list … thanks a lot as I am applying at least three of them now permanently .. Cheers Joakim

  • mewt February 17, 2008, 7:26 pm

    Great list. Might try some of those.Thanks!

  • purple_frogs February 12, 2008, 1:30 pm

    My favorite extension is NextPlease! – http://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/390 .

    A very simple extension, it finds the “Next” and “Previous” buttons on a page, and clicks them for you when you hit Ctrl+Shift+Arrow (or your configured choice). Using it I can read a whole article, or browse through comments, or loop through search results, without taking my hands off the keyboard! If I don’t have this extension installed, I feel truly lost.

  • Love February 12, 2008, 4:51 am

    This is really good and ifactive news….

  • Michael February 12, 2008, 2:42 am

    How about the extension “reload every,” it allows you to tell firefox how often you want to refresh certain webpages, this way if you’re watching a live blog or something you don’t have to manually refresh the page.

    Or maybe Google browser sync, I use it to keep bookmarks in sync between multiple computers, this way I’m never wondering where the heck it was that I found a link, as long as I bookmark it, it shows up in every firefox browser I use.

  • Earle February 11, 2008, 5:46 pm

    my list:
    blocksite
    colt 2.3.0
    cooliris
    copy plain text
    deskcut
    fasterfox
    gbutts
    image zoom
    link checker
    mr tech
    nightly tester
    no squint paste email
    reel new media bar
    remove it permanently
    status bar clock
    unplug

  • CFA Level 1 February 11, 2008, 10:50 am

    Good list of plugins but i’m sure quite a few useful ones are missing as well.

  • Dan February 11, 2008, 8:37 am

    Nothing new to me here. You might rename the article to “Best gmail related firefox addons”.
    #8 and #9 are totaly useless because bookmarks are much more handy.
    #17 and #6 are in conflict, roughly said but as same as #1 is whit #11.
    Hmm… 25 extensions for what ? slowing down your browser and eating your time ?
    You might wanna check this tutorial that will explain how to have multiple profiles syncronized and your increase your productivity.

  • anglictina February 11, 2008, 8:32 am

    Very good article, thank you very much

  • marc February 11, 2008, 8:07 am

    i just start installing!

  • Jason February 11, 2008, 7:39 am

    Excellent List!

  • debu February 11, 2008, 6:03 am

    I’ve tried lookitup, but like drag and drop zones better http://tinyurl.com/2kfdtc sexy, powerful, and doesn’t bog my system down.

  • kaly February 11, 2008, 6:01 am

    Great article, keep up good work.

  • Logan February 11, 2008, 3:00 am

    Re: #25:
    I use the Greasemonkey script LookItUp for the same thing, with MUCH more power. By selecting text and hitting a key, I can bring up dictionaries, Wikipedia, torrents, Froogle searches of that word in a side-window. Very powerful and completely customizable. I use it many times a day.

  • Jim February 11, 2008, 2:48 am

    One frustration I always had with websites was the inability to have a shortcut to select the ‘Search’ box on a webpage, as often these are hidden away and can be hard to find. So I wrote one, and do find it incredibly useful on a day-to-day basis.

    It’s at http://blog.devzero.net/2007/10/announcing-insearch-11.html

  • Al February 11, 2008, 12:52 am

    Hi,

    Nice list.

    An all-in-one add-on I find useful is Hyperwords
    http://www.hyperwords.net/index.html

    You will be surprised at the functionality.

    Al

  • Robin February 10, 2008, 10:42 pm

    Great post. Thanks!

  • Andy MacDonald - SEO & Marketing Blog February 10, 2008, 10:11 pm

    Nice post. i have downloaded a few of those extensions, lets hope they help to my productivity, or just give me more tools to play with. lol.

  • Leo February 10, 2008, 9:59 pm

    Man, I thought I had my Firefox tricked out, but this list puts me to shame. :)

    Great resource, Glen. I won’t be adding all of these, but I’m going to bookmark it as I’m sure I’ll want to try almost all of them out at some point.

  • Jeff F. February 10, 2008, 9:02 pm

    Great list… never heard of PageAddict Extension. Sounds interesting. Just downloaded it to give it a test run!

    Thanks!

  • Jay Meattle February 10, 2008, 8:59 pm

    I’m glad Shareaholic is one of your favorite extensions!

  • Sonny Gill February 10, 2008, 8:52 pm

    Awesome list – didn’t know about many of them. Dugg!