Chromebooks have earned a bad reputation for being useless without an Internet connection, but recent updates have improved the computer’s offline functionality and even allowed the use of some Android applications on the operating system. If you’ve got a Chromebook, but are missing your favorite Windows or Mac productivity apps, you’re in luck — there are some fantastic ones for Chromebook as well. Here is a list of our favorite productivity apps for Chromebook — some of which we use daily!
Flowcharts are an invaluable tool, whether you’re working with a team or just trying to keep track of your personal thoughts and processes. Gliffy gives you all the tools to create tidy and professional-looking flowcharts with a few clicks, all within the comfort of your Chrome browser.
It is also compatible with Google Drive, so you can easily upload your finished charts, or even collaborate with others on an unfinished project. The app for Chromebook is also completely offline, so if you don’t need to collab, you can work without an Internet connection.
Coding is one thing people thought was impossible using apps for Chromebook — until Cloud9 hit the Chrome Web Store. This app allows you to code easily and effectively on the Chrome OS, and even offers collaboration so you can work together with other users on one coding project.
The app is free as long as you’re not using more than a gig of server space and are working on your own. If you want to collaborate with other programmers, you will need to opt for one of the flexible subscription plans Cloud9 offers. This app is strictly online, though, so make sure you keep that in mind.
3. Office 365
Microsoft Office’s suite of programs offer some of the most versatile tools for writing, making spreadsheets and even putting together slide presentations. With a Microsoft account, you can use the Office Online Chrome extension on a Chromebook, but that only works if you’re online.
If you need to work offline, you can now use the Android Microsoft Office apps for Chromebook — but you will need a subscription to Office 365, starting at $6.99 a month, to use them.
Chromebooks don’t have a dedicated note-taking software, so if you need to take a lot of notes or save research for a project, Evernote is a fantastic tool. With one login, you can even synchronize all your information across your devices, so if you find something awesome on your phone, you can save it and sync it so you can access it on your Chromebook. You can use this app either online or offline, but if you need to upload more than 60 megabytes of data a month, you’ll need to opt for one of the subscription packages.
Have you ever found yourself feeling nostalgic for the old green-screen monochrome monitors from days gone by? Writer is the app for you — it’s a straightforward word processor for online or offline use.
The free version of the app can send files to Google Cloud Printer when you’re finished, but it doesn’t have any of the bells and whistles, like spellcheck. If you need a word processor with a few extra tools, but don’t want to mess with Microsoft Office, you can opt for the professional version of Writer, which costs $5 a month.
6. Typio Form Recovery
Working remotely has a lot of perks, but if you’re typing in a web-based application and your Wi-Fi goes out, you might lose all the hard work you just put in. Instead of risking your livelihood on bad Wi-Fi, Typio Form Recovery saves everything you’ve typed in a web form, and can reload it instantly if your Internet fails. This is a free app with open-source coding, so if you’re handy with a few lines of code, you might even be able to improve it.
Chrome’s built-in screenshot feature leaves a lot to be desired. If you need to take screenshots inside a browser, the LightShot app is perfect for that. It is a Chrome extension that works both online and offline. Just click the LightShot button, then click and drag your mouse cursor to select the desired section. From there, you can edit the screenshot, save it to your hard drive or even upload it to the LightShot servers and get a shareable link.
Working on an Internet-enabled Chromebook is incredibly versatile, but it also opens you up to the world of online distractions like social media and cat videos. StayFocusd allows you to limit the amount of time you can spend on time-wasting websites like Facebook or Twitter. Once your allotted time expires, you’re done for the day.
You can also customize the app to completely block certain websites, or even types of applications. The only way to get around the time limit is to uninstall the app completely, so it is an excellent tool to help you stay focused on the task at hand.
There are plenty of tools and toys on a Chromebook to keep you distracted for days, but there are just as many that can help you be more productive throughout your workday.
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