For businesses, the internet is used for collaboration, setting agendas and communicating with individuals about business-related issues. Unfortunately, it can also be a massive time suck: It's easy to fall down rabbit holes of the latest news or non-work-related sites.
Luckily, browsers like Firefox come with extensions that can be added to help you squeeze every bit of productivity out of your workday – or at least prevent you from straying from a task. If you're looking to increase productivity or implement some safeguards to keep you and your employees, on task, try these 9 add-ons for Firefox.
Even the most productive individuals can be tempted by the occasional meme or GIF. RescueTime can help you prevent that. This add-on tracks and analyzes your browsing habits so you can view analytics on your activity. Once you've viewed your browsing habits, you can set goals for time spent on certain sites, and even set alarms to remind you not to spend too much time on others, like social media sites.
LeechBlock is a tool designed to block time-wasting sites during the work day. You can choose which sites to block as well as when to block them. This tool is flexible – you can specify the time and day when a site is blocked. If you're implementing different blocks on sites during the workday, you can still browse those sites on the weekends.
If you've ever written an email or typed out a tweet and wondered if you're using commas correctly, Grammarly can help you. This add-on will check everything you type for spelling and grammar. You can also add it to Firefox for free. Grammarly offers a premium version, which includes tools like vocabulary suggestions, plagiarism detection and writing style suggestions for academic, technical and creative writing. Otherwise, you can download and install the regular version for free.
Firefox Multi-Account Container
Firefox Multi-Account Containers is an add-on that color codes your tabs so you can keep your personal and professional lives separate as you browse. It also keeps cookies separate, which allows you to use different web accounts on the same site simultaneously. This is ideal for small business owners looking to stay current on work-related issues, while also being dialed into personal email accounts. It's also ideal for freelancers or other workers who have multiple email or Trello accounts. By separating cookies into containers and color coding tabs, this add-on can help you manage your professional and personal online life without muddying the two.
Momentum is an add-on that will customize your new tab page to include a calming image, an inspirational quote and a snapshot of your to-do list. While the quote and image are nice features to have when opening a new tab, the to-do snapshot can help you keep important tasks in mind as you browse the web and do your job. You can also set a daily focus, which you'll be reminded of every time you open a new tab.<p>
You can customize font and color themes, add your own quotes, integrate it with your favorite to-do app – like Todoist, Asana and Trello – so you stay up to date on everything you need to manage. It also supports further customization – you can add things like the weather or an autofocus mode, which pulls tasks into your daily focus, for a more personalized experience.
LastPass is a password management platform where you can securely store account information. In an age where there's a username and password for pretty much everything, LastPass stores all your information in one place under a master password. In addition to storing information, you can easily access account details directly in your browser when you're filling out forms. Lastpass has strong encryption algorithms and two-factor authentication, so there is an extra security step you need to complete to access various account information. You can try LastPass for free and upgrade to "Teams," the small business model that costs $2.42 per user per month.
HTTPS Everywhere can help you stay secure as you browse. It automatically enables HTTPS encryption on sites that support it. Many sites offer support for HTTPS encryption, but it can be difficult to access depending on how you are linked to the site or the structure of the URL you type in. This add-on will ensure that you're operating on the HTTPS version of whatever site you're visiting. It's a good way to keep your information secure as you browse the web.
This add-on blocks annoying ads on Facebook, YouTube and other sites. While it may not have a direct correlation to business productivity, it's a good add-on for blocking out annoying ads and staying focused on the task at hand. A new feature on Adblock Plus 2.0 allows for the user to set filter preferences, so you can control the type of ads you see.
Disconnect blocks websites that track your search and browsing history, enhancing privacy. It also claims that, once it's installed, it will increase page load time by 44 percent, while saving 39 percent bandwidth. It's compatible with other filtering add-ons, like Adblock Plus.