10 tips to boost productivity in Google Chrome

RentPro, like many modern office applications, is entirely web-based, requiring no software to be installed on your laptop or mobile device other than a web browser such as Google Chrome or Internet Explorer. Using a web browser is almost as simple as it gets, and most of us in the RentPro office are big fans of easy to use and blazingly fast Google Chrome. But it could be even simpler if you’re familiar with a few quick and easy time-saving and productivity-enhancing tips to unlock powerful features many personal and business users are not even aware of within Chrome, and indeed in many other mainstream browsers also.

1. Open pages in a new tab

Let’s start with one of the commonly used tips which is deceptively simple but can revolutionise your browsing experience – opening additional pages in a new tab. Right-clicking a link within a web page, whether a website or a web application such as your property management software, or holding down the Shift key on Windows (Cmd key on Mac) will open the new page in a tab of its own. You can do this with multiple pages, tiling them inside your browser and then quickly clicking through to the relevant one without losing your place on the original. Then close unused tabs and leave the original intact.

2. Add most used sites to bookmarks bar

Add the most frequently accessed websites and cloud-based applications directly to your main bookmarks bar. My own browser has about ten sites I access all day every day, from my Gmail account to the BBC news website and Facebook, to our intranet homepage and our internal bug tracking system. I don’t have to even think when I want to jump onto any of these, it’s a single click in the bookmarks bar along the top of my screen. Of course you can further organise your bookmarks into folders but that requires a degree of thought, and this tip is all about maximum productivity.

3. Re-open a tab you closed by mistake

Having multiple tabs open at the same time can improve your use of your screen real estate and make you more efficient, but it also increases the risk of closing the wrong tab when it comes to cleaning up unused panes. We’re all familiar with that expletive-ridden moment when you realise you’ve clicked the wrong X icon and lost that page it took ages to find. Ctrl-Shift-T (Cmd-Shift-T on Macs) to the rescue; tab and sanity restored in an instant.

4. Drag a link to the desktop as a shortcut

With traditional installed software you open the package by double-clicking the appropriate icon on your desktop, whereas with web-based applications such as RentPro you access these via your web browser. You can have the best of both worlds. Go to your RentPro account (or any other page for that matter) in your browser, highlight the web address and drag it onto your desktop. In future clicking the desktop icon will open your browser and take you directly to your account, just as easily as if you had clicked to open Microsoft Word.

5. Use key commands to navigate through tabs

With your newfound knowledge of opening multiple tabs in the same browser, you might find yourself wanting to quickly skip from one to the other. You can of course just click the relevant tab, but you can also use the keyboard by pressing Ctrl (Cmd on Macs) and a number from 1 through 9 to jump to the corresponding tab.

6. Calculate and convert in Chrome’s omnibox

It used to be just the address bar where you typed the URL of the required website. From there it evolved to allow you to type Google searches directly into it without having to visit the search engine homepage. But many people don’t know that you can quickly do calculations and conversions into it also. Just type a mathematical formula or a feet-to-metres conversion and voila, no need to reach for the calculator.

7. Open a specific set of pages on startup

On a typical day, whether at home or at work, most of us visit the a certain small set of pages first thing in the morning or each time we step back to our laptops. In Chrome you can preset the pages you want to open by default, with each appearing in its own tab each time you open your Chrome browser afresh. Go to chrome://settings/startup and choose your startup pages to make the start to your day even easier.

8. Drag a word into the search bar for its definition

Remember the days where every bookcase had a chunky Oxford dictionary and every schoolbag had its miniature pocket companion. With us being always connected it’s easy now to just go to dictionary.com. No need to go leave the page any more. When you encounter an unknown or unclear word while reading in your browser, double-click to highlight it and drag it to the search bar for a full definition. Or simply right-click the word and choose the Look Up option.

9. Access your computer remotely with Remote Desktop

Need to get access to your work computer from home, or vice versa, in order to get access to files or open applications? Enter Chrome Remote Desktop. Install the Chrome Remote Desktop extension on each machine, set up a PIN and you be able to hop onto any enabled computer from another, or even from your mobile device. This can also be handy if a colleague or family member is struggling to get something working. Amaze them by gaining access to their machine from your location and helping them out. While we don’t use this actual extension at RentPro, if you’ve had remote support sessions with our support team you’ll have experienced the magic of remote access.

10. Block ads

Advertising makes the world go round, from a seller’s point of views certainly. But they’re often the bane of the consumer’s online existence. Pop-up ads and other obtrusive forms of ads which interfere with your browsing or work can be blocked by software such as AdBlock installed directly into your browser as extensions. Ads won’t be downloaded, allowing you to get on with the task at hand.

Since you spend so much time each day in your web browser, using RentPro for work or Facebook for play, these handful of tips will make you more productive and efficient, and most importantly able to get your work done faster.

If you’re a new agency looking for property management software then why not try RentPro’s 14-day no-obligation, fully functional trial to see how it can help grow your business?

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