Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Chrome Nanny

I'd like to share one of my new favorite extensions for Chrome: Chrome Nanny. I'm always on the lookout for programs that will help me be more productive, and this one definitely accomplishes that. First, a quick primer on Chrome.

Chrome is a web browser, which is the program used to view web sites on the internet. Windows comes with Internet Explorer and Macs come with Safari built in. Other popular browsers are Firefox and Opera (the Wii uses Opera for it's internet channel). The difference between each of these browsers is the code used to render a web page. Each group has their opinion of the best way to show a webpage. Some, like Chrome, focus on speed. Other might focus on features. Each browser also has add-ons (or extensions), made by third party developers, which you can install to change how the browser works.

I use Chrome for three reasons. First, it's super fast at loading webpages. When I think about how long I spend on the internet, those seconds start to add up. Second, I like the minimalist look of the browser. This lets me see more of the page at once. Third, it has almost every other add-on other browsers have so I'm not missing out on features. So that's Chrome.

One add-on I really like is Chrome Nanny. I was finding that I'd have periods of time when I would spend too much time reading news or goofing off. It wasn't horrible, but I'm constantly looking for ways to improve. Most site blockers, like parental controls, block sites all the time, but I only wanted sites blocked part of the time. When I learned about this add-on, I decided to give it a spin. It does exactly what I want while being relatively easy to use.

In the picture above you can see I have a bunch of sites blocked at the time I took the screen shot. I can specify the day of the week, the time period, and the total amount of time I can visit the sites when they're not blocked. As you can see in the second section, Gmail is allowed but I only have 58 minutes left during this day (I allow myself 1 hour each day). You can also track the amount of time you spend on a site. It's currently empty since I haven't visited any of those sites yet this morning. I track how much time I spend on Pandora, Hulu and Netflix.

As I first mentioned, it's really useful for productivity. I block all entertainment sites from 7am - 10:30am and 11:30am - 4:30pm on week days (yes, I consider news as entertainment). When they're not blocked, I can only spend a cumulative 2 hours on these sites.

I've found that's enough time for me to keep up on news/friends while staying focused when I'm supposed to be working. In the mean time, I do what I'm supposed to do - which is work. I highly recommend trying it out if you find you sometimes get stuck goofing off when you should be working.

No comments:

Post a Comment