We can all use a little help getting through our busy trading days. Plenty of free apps are now available to do just that. Many of them are extensions to the Chrome browser favored by most traders.
In fact, so many browser extensions are available it’s hard to pick out the ones that offer the most benefit to traders. The Chrome Store has thousands of extensions in categories like productivity, accessibility, communications, and more.
Today we spotlight a few of the apps most likely to be valuable to you as a trader. I think you’ll find at least one thing here to level up your trading day productivity.
What Are Chrome Extensions?
Chrome extensions are small software programs that add capabilities to the Chrome browser on your trading computer. Google allows both external and internal developers to create these programs.
As a user, you can go to the Chrome Web Store, search the store for the extension you need, and use the Add to Chrome button to start using it.
To manage your Chrome extensions, click on the three vertical dots (aka the kebab) in the upper right corner of the Google Chrome window. Navigate to More Tools —> Extensions. Click on the Details button to see all the options for any given extension, including removal and toggling on/off.
Here are some Chrome extensions that can make your trading day easier and more productive:
1. Chrono Download Manager
As you know, when you download a document, PDF, or image to your trading computer, a small bar appears in the bottom left corner of the Chrome browser. Once the download is complete, you can click on the bar to open the file. However, if you try to find the file later, you have to search for it in Windows Explorer.
Chrome has a default download manager. But it’s hidden under the kebab on the upper right side of the browser.
The Chrono Download Manager provides a more visual interface using a browser tab. This interface makes it super easy to keep track of your downloads.
Alternatively, you can search your downloaded files directly from the handy Chrono Download Manager drop-down menu.
2. Sortd for Gmail
Sortd for Gmail is an extension for better organizing your Gmail. You can visually arrange your emails into lists and put them into priority order.
It’s basically a mash-up of email and a personal Kanban board.
Sortd allows you to create a board of columns with your own custom titles. For example, you might have these columns: To Do, Follow Up, Read Later.
Sortd lets you drag and drop emails into these columns. You can see what’s important for your trading business at a glance. It will save you time and effort in both your business and personal communication.
3. HTTPS Everywhere
Traders deal with sensitive financial information all day. When you connect to a website using the general HTTP protocol, the information is exchanged through plain text. This means anyone looking at the network traffic can see your communication.
A better alternative is to use the HTTPS protocol which provides encrypted information exchange. However, not all websites implement it. (Chrome will tell you the site is Not secure.)
HTTPS Everywhere gives you control over the encryption. Even when you connect to an HTTP site, it will use HTTPS to keep your information as safe as possible.
4. Speedtest by Ookla
As a trader, I’m sure you’re very sensitive to the speed of your internet communications. You’ll quickly notice a slowdown on your trading laptop or desktop.
But you won’t know the cause. Is it your internet provider or a computer issue that’s causing the problem?
The Speedtest extension can help you answer that question. It will test and report your ping, download, and upload speeds. This makes it easy to spot a problem with your internet connection.
Grammarly is a great service that allows you to upload documents to its website to pinpoint and correct writing mistakes. If you are a regular Grammarly user, you’ll be happy to know you can install their extension directly on your Chrome browser for real-time feedback.
The Grammarly extension will improve the quality of your communications. No more sending emails with spelling mistakes or careless grammar errors!
6. Save to Google Drive
For Google Drive users, the Save to Google Drive extension saves time.
Without this extension, if you want to put a file or folder on your Google Drive, you have to use the Save As button and find the local folder connected to the cloud storage service.
This extension adds browser actions and a right-click context menu to help you save audio, video, and even page links directly to Google Drive. It’s particularly handy for saving PDF documents from the web.
7. Finance Toolbar – Real-Time Stock Tracker
Now you can continuously track stocks on Chrome with the versatile Finance Toolbar extension.
First, there is the stock ticker emulator. It adds a ticker toolbar below your address bar, showing real-time quotes for only the stocks you want to see (from the IEX Trading Finance website).
Then there are some other bells and whistles. Well, bells—as in opening and closing.
Finally, get overviews of your favorite stocks by clicking on a ticker symbol from the drop-down menu.
If you don’t have a lot of monitor real estate, this extension could be just what you need to keep track of your trading positions while you’re working on other things.
I hope the above information helps you start your journey with Chrome extensions. Try one or two and see if they make life easier. If not, you can always delete them.
Then, use this list as a jumping-off point to explore other options for leveling up your trading day productivity. Sometimes little things can make a big difference to your trading success.
Photo by Dave Ashton on Unsplash.com.