This week, we are featuring a post from 3L student Grace Williams. Check out her suggestions for Google Chrome Extensions that make law school life a little easier:
I am huge fan of google chrome and the whole google suite. I wish the suite was commonly used by legal profession but at least it’s really helpful now. Here are my favorite chrome extensions that make life easier in law school:
Lastpass: Do you ever feel like the hackers and everyone else in the world can get into your account? Or like you have no access to your account because of the password requirements on websites? With lastpass, you can use the app and the extension to manage all your passwords for you which allows you to securely login with one click.
Boomarang: We all get so much email and it can be hard to manage! Boomarang is an email extension that is compatible with our @my.okcu.edu outlook accounts. Boomarang will track emails that haven’t received responses in a specified amount of time and remind you to follow up. It can also send emails at a specific time. You can draft the email at 3am and set it to be sent to your boss at 3pm when you know she schedules time to check email.
Grammerly: Are you tired of hearing the story about the missing the comma that decided a case? The Grammerly extension is even better than spell check and it will provide explanations and suggestions on how to improve your grammar. I’ve actually learned new grammar rules from the extension correcting a certain mistake I’ve made many times.
Zotero Connector: Westlaw folders are great if you only need sources that are available through Westlaw, but if you are using multiple databases, Zotero is a great way to keep all of your sources in one place. If, for example, you are on any website that has an article that you need to cite, simply click on the extension icon and it will take all needed information from the webpage and send it to Zotero Standalone. (Once the extension is added, it will prompt you to download Zotero Standalone.) Standalone allows you to organize all of the citations to keep everything categorized. You can even keep a research journal on the platform.
Strict Workflow: If you constantly look at Facebook, go online shopping, or have trouble staying focused, then this extension will help you study and stay focused during classes. The default setting follows the Pomodoro technique of staying focused on one task for 25 minutes and then taking a break for 5 minutes. It blocks all websites that you might be tempted to peruse during those 25 minutes and also reminds you when your 5 minute break is over. You can also adjust the time limits to better fit your task. This can be beneficial for those with low self control, like myself.
Momentum: This one is a productivity booster. Momentum is a homepage for chrome that has a beautiful photo, an inspirational quote, and asks you to write your goal for the day. It pops up with your goal everytime that you open a new tab. It also has a lot of customizable features like adding countdowns to events/deadlines, making percentages of worktime for each day, incorporating to do list and calendar apps. This extension is like a planner that you can look at every time you open a tab.
Timewarp: This is another helpful extension for keeping you off time wasters. My favorite part of the extension is that it will put a time on the corner of your screen when you are on specified sites. Sometimes I need to get on Facebook to post about an upcoming student organization meeting but it reminds me that it only takes a minute or so to do so and I’ve now been on Facebook for 10 minutes. It can also reroute you away from sites so when you click a bookmark or type in the URL for Etsy and it takes you instead to TWEN.
Morphine: My final extension recommendation for avoiding websites that take away from studying is called morphine. When you try to access a site that you have listed, it will ask you how long you want to be on the site. Then after you have spent that specified amount of time on the site, it kicks you off. You can set it to where you have to earn the amount of time for the time waster websites by waiting a certain amount of time without accessing any of those sites.
I use multiple extensions that all have the goal of avoiding time wasting sites because I find different ones to be effective for different lapses in motivation. These only assist your willpower because, of course, you can get around them but these nudges help me make my computer an asset.
There is no place like Chrome.