Google Chrome is one of most popular web browsers in the world and, in some countries, the most used. Because so many more people are using it, there's a great market for guides to getting the most out of this browser. And, since greater productivity is many people's goal, a guide to Google Chrome productivity would seem like a natural. I'm always in favor of doing most everything most effectively, so I was happy to see The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide. Was it what I needed to quit piddling around with Chrome and really make it work for me? Let's see.
NOTE: Right now, the book is only available from the Guiding Tech web site and only in PDF format, here: The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide.
UPDATE: In my initial review I listed a few problems with the book caused by the PDF format. The author has fixed every problem and I’ve updated the review to reflect this. One problem I noted was mine, not the fault of the manuscript. I’m sure nearly all readers appreciate an author so immediately responsive to concerns!
The book and its goals
The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide starts out with several short sections that will ease the reader into the subject. Many of the first few suggestions may be familiar already, such as using keyboard shortcuts, restarting Google Chrome and clearing the cache.
Others may be new information. I had not experimented with pinning tabs or dragging and dropping files, for example. And although I've used Chrome for quite a while, I did not know it came with its own task manager. This is definitely useful.
The section that deals with Chrome sync came as something of a surprise to me. I'm probably like a lot of other people who thought I needed an add-on like Xmarks to sync all the bookmarks, passwords and settings, when Chrome itself can do that just fine.
The section dealing with Flash is also extremely useful. I don't want to give away too much of the content of the book in the review, but I think most people will find this particular tip to be well worth reading and heeding.
There are also all kinds of tips for customizing Chrome and excellent suggestions for add-ons that can make just about anything easier.
There's also a section that details the author's favorite extensions, all of which are definitely worth trying.
The book concludes with instructions for getting Google Chrome to block all your favorite time wasters (I'm definitely going to try this out) and, as one might expect from a book called The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide, a satisfyingly detailed section named Miscellaneous Chrome Tips to Skyrocket Your Productivity.
Clearly, the author has spent a lot of time customizing Chrome and making it work better, faster, and more productively.
The books is distributed only as a PDF, for now
Initially, I had commented on poor formatting in the PDF index that made it look very odd. This is no longer a problem and the index looks and works just fine.
The author also suggests putting the PDF in a convenient spot and "jotting down notes" as you read. I'm not sure this is the best approach to getting the most out of an e-book.
And, of course, the fact that the book is only available in PDF may be a dealbreaker for some people. I hope that future editions will be in multiple formats, perhaps using the excellent e-reader file creator available from Smashwords. This would also insure distribution of the book to major bookseller sites. Since the author's sales page unfortunately uses a template most often used by affiliate marketers, which some people may find off-putting, finding this book on more familiar websites like Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iBooks would help sales.
Fortunately though, after publishing the first version of this review, the author informed us that wider distribution is under consideration. I hope we’ll hear some good news in this regard, very soon.
Here are the pro's and con's I identified:
- Great collection of useful tips for productivity, ease of use and speed.
- Well written, by someone who clearly knows his subject inside and out.
- Sections are short and to the point, focused on their topics.
- Illustrations help with understanding of the concepts.
- Author very responsive to reader concerns.
- Only available in PDF, and only from the author's web site via its sales page.
- Perhaps a tad overpriced at $9.95 for a 140-page book.
The Verdict - A good buy for Google Chrome users
The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so there is no risk in trying it out. I found the hints and tips to be valuable and I learned several things I had not known before. If you're a Google Chrome user, I think you'll find this book to be a worthwhile read. As always, if you have opinions about the book we'd love to hear them in the comments.