Most people don’t realize this, but the new Chrome tab page, you know, the screen with the Google logo and the search box you see every time you open a new tab on your computer, are actually packed. Potential to increase productivity. . It is up to you to take advantage of it and turn that predetermined wasted space into an invaluable asset.
And man, there are many options. I tried tons of new tab page replacements over the years and constantly experience new possibilities to keep (ahem) tabs about what’s there and find out what works best for me. And while there are plenty of interesting ways to reconfigure your personal New Tab page, from a multi-source search panel to a cross-service document hub or even a home screen full of Android widgets, I found always this, for my own style of work, nothing is as practical as a simple and effective notepad.
For a long time, I relied on a spectacular extension called Paper to provide this. It was as simple as it could be, and it literally changed Chrome’s New Tab into a writing space with a small set of formatting commands and display options.
Unfortunately, Papier went bankrupt earlier this year (due to the fact that its creator closed the store and moved on). This led me to look for a suitable replacement, a task that turned out to be more complicated than I expected, as most new tab page replacements like notebooks were too difficult (and therefore not as difficult). effective as Paper) or too much. abandoned (and therefore not worth investing just to make them disappear in the near future) for my pleasure. No matter where I looked, nothing fit.
And then I came across something amazing. It is an open source extension that does everything Papier and many others have done, while maintaining the simplicity and ease of use that have made Papier such a commendable tool. It’s just fantastic and has quickly become my most indispensable and most frequently used tool for browser-based productivity.
Here’s how it works: By default, My Notes only appears when you click its icon in the address bar, but the most effective way to use it is to set the extension as your New Tab page, which it does every time when you open a new tab. There is a command to do this in the extension settings, which you can find by clicking the wheel icon in its interface or right-clicking on its icon in the address bar and then selecting «Options» from the menu. Which appears.
In terms of its looks, in essence, My Notes is just a giant open text field for your notes, at least once you narrow its menu, which can be done with the Ctrl-Shift-F hotkey.
Everything you type on the page will automatically appear in each new tab you open (after you activate the switch) and will remain present in your browser even when you restart your computer. By default, all such data is stored only locally for maximum confidentiality. But there’s a built-in option to sign in to your Google Account and sync it with Drive, which allows you to open it anywhere. other the computer you are connected to by clicking the same option there.
Once you’ve enabled Drive sync, the sync command is at the bottom of the menu you see in the screenshot above – yes, the same menu that can be turned on or off with the Ctrl-Shift- shortcut F we were talking about a second ago.
As you can see there, the menu allows you to keep multiple notes instead simply A single reusable area, if you are so inclined, is a little more useful for functionality. And at the bottom is a toolbar full of formatting commands, if you ever want to, including relatively advanced commands such as inserting images, creating blocks of code, and even adding tables to notes.
Other options in My Notes include the ability to change the default font, text size, and theme with a built-in light theme, a dark one-click theme, and a fully customizable CSS-based style sheet for true nerds. view my enthusiastic wave here).
My Notes is designed specifically for the desktop version of Chrome, but here’s the good part: Because it has this built-in ability to sync your data with your drive whenever you want, you can also Easily access notes from Android (or any other platform, by the way). All you have to do is open the old Drive app on your phone, find the newly created My Notes folder in your storage space, and look at the hippity hoppity hooves?
Here, directly in the Drive storage space, is a simple list of every note you have created in My Notes on your computer. All you have to do is tap on any of them and you can open and read it, with the format completely intact, right away.
As for the always important privacy area, what you write in My Notes never leaves your local computer unless you choose to sync it through your Drive account, and even then, it syncs only on demand, when you explicitly click on him. does this thing. It seems to me a good balance between confidentiality and functionality; By default, everything I write in my notebook is completely private and local, but when I want transport something to another device, I can do it at that time and no more then clicking a single button.
More generally, the fact that the tool is open source means that anyone can THROW A look at your code and see exactly what you do and what you don’t do (always good extra assurance when it comes to concerns about the proper handling of data). Your developer also has a clear list of exactly what permissions you need and why they are needed. (Short version: nothing bad).
For all the fantastic new tab tools you can find for Chrome, it’s just as handy, intentional and unpretentious. I’m still using an app more robust for note taking or a project management program For important thoughts and areas of the organization in progress, but when it comes to having a quick notebook for notes on the go and random things, you need to write down and keep a little time, it does not get better than this.