Creating a workflow on a ChromeOS device is the first hurdle in full time adoption.

Over the last few years I’ve moved to using the following software.

This is the software I’ve ended up using in my daily workflow, this might be handy for someone. If its not handy for you, just close the tab and move on. Thats fine…

As with all posts, the spelling and grammar are not perfect, its a post with content, not the lost works of shakespear.

Text Editing

Code Pad Text Editor
An multi-language code text-editor crafted for the Chrome OS. Completely free to use and to modify under the GPL!

For basic Notepad like text editing I use codepad, its quick and easy, its native to ChromeOS and if i need to create a bash script or a yaml file it will also help with those. Out of the box its actually a fully featured code editor for multiple languages.

Download Visual Studio Code – Mac, Linux, Windows
Visual Studio Code is free and available on your favorite platform – Linux, macOS, and Windows. Download Visual Studio Code to experience a redefined code editor, optimized for building and debugging modern web and cloud applications.

When I’m doing some homelab development and using git and other features however I use the Linux .deb version of VSCode in the Linux shell. Its very stable, works well and has plenty of plugins to either visually enhance your code or workflow the code for testing.


Polarr Photo Editor
The most powerful photo editing tool on Chrome. Works offline.

I find over a very packed space Polarr to be the standout and most thought out editor on the platform for my needs. I love not only that its a nattive ChromeOS App but that it works offline as well. There is a good help system and the interface is well designed.

Snapseed – Apps on Google Play
Snapseed is a complete and professional photo editor developed by Google. == KEY FEATURES== • 29 tools and filters, including: Healing, Brush, Structure, HDR, Perspective (see list below) • Opens JPG and RAW files • Save your personal looks and apply them to new photos later • Selective filte…

While Polarr is great, i’m also a big Snapseed user on the phone, as both of my ChromeOS devices are touch screen I do have Snapseed around for some quick colour edits and filters. It is a bit fiddly navigating the files menu however the app works well.


Spark Email – Connect Google Mail, Yahoo & Outlook – Apps on Google Play
Spark brings great email experience for professionals and their teams. It’s an effortless, beautiful, and collaborative mail app. 🚀 📨 TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR INBOXWith intelligent mail prioritization, noise reduction, and the most advanced email tools, Spark is the best email at your disposal. Reac…

This ones a bit strange as this app is available for my Acer Chromebook Spin 713 but not on the HP Chromebook X2. I use the Android app on the Spin, my phone and historically on Apple Macs as well. Its two features which do it for me are the ability to single login to the app and all my mail accounts (4) are already setup and on the Spin it scales properly on a second screen.

On the HP X2 i’ve ended up using the PWA for Outlook and the Gmail apps in the browser.

Note Taking

Bundled Notes

For the type of notes i was using Keep for i ended up moving to the Bundled notes app on my Android phone and the web browser for. Its a simple note taking app, with everything stored to the cloud. Uses a google login to login to the service.

A specific feature i like about the application other than the way it (as its name suggests) creates groups (Bundled) of notes is the built in Kanban board feature. This makes creating simple shopping lists and todo lists for the week really easy

I covered the application in a previous post here

Bundled Notes
A good note taking app is a thing of beauty. Finding a good not taking app canbe difficult as its a very personal workflow thing. I’ve used various over the years from the heavy hitters like Evernote or OneNoteto the lighter weight like Google Keep. I stumbled over Bundled Notes by accident and …

Best Note Taking App – Organize Your Notes with Evernote

I use evernote for filing of bills, documents, papers, anything which comes in paper form gets scanned in and put into Evernot. the webapp works like a dream and cannot fault the new (for me, as i’ve come back to evernote) design works well.


Chat apps are a difficult one as they are only useful to you if you have people to talk to on them. These are the ones i use the most.

Unofficial WhatsApp for Chrome

The only people i communicate with on WhatsApp are family, i made a personal choice to keep as far away from Facebook as i could, however the “Family group chat” won’t migrate to signal or telegram so i’m stuck with it. Of all the Whats App web apps i’ve tried this on has been the most stable for me.

Discord – A New Way to Chat with Friends & Communities
Discord is the easiest way to communicate over voice, video, and text. Chat, hang out, and stay close with your friends and communities.

I’ve just found discord because of the ChromeOS/Reddit channel and I love to hang out there, help where I can and because of that I added Space which tells me when there is a live Space Launch on Youtube or something cool happening like a space walk. I use it only in the text capacity however am looking to have discord channel for this blog so researching what I can do with it.

Rocket.Chat – The Ultimate Communication Platform
Lead with open source and keep your workflow going with the right team collaboration platform

I host my own Rocket chat server and again its the web interface in Chrome all the way here. this was a replacement after Slack got bought out by salesforce and I have to say its simple to run, got 2FA and it links really well with JitsiMeet for Video calls when needed on the fly

Messages by Google – A simple, helpful text messaging app
Messages is a simple, helpful messaging app that keeps you connected with the people who matter most. Text anyone from anywhere across devices.

While most would see this as an SMS app, Google are using it and promoting features in it which put it firmly into the chat realm. However with the release in ChromeOS 89 of the Phone hub i’m not sure how long i’ll have a need for this.


Meet Google Drive – One place for all your files
Google Drive is a free way to keep your files backed up and easy to reach from any phone, tablet or computer. Start with 15 GB of Google storage – free.

As a Google One and Google Workspace subscriber the only place i work on documents is within Google Drive. I’ve got plenty of space to do so.

Nextcloud is the most deployed on-premises file share and collaboration platform. Access & collaborate across your devices. Your data remains under your control.

However I’m also acutely aware Google will at the spin of a hat possibly change all of that. So I also sync all the documents to a self hosted NextCloud server.

I do the sync using CloudHQ as an off site sync once a week to pull all the new Docs from Google and Google Workspace over to the Nextcloud server.

I covered how to do this here.

Syncing the Cloud
I recently saw one of those posts on LinkedIn where the marketing was around thenumber of interlinked SaaS products which are used in a stack to get developmentdone, apparently its 60 odd.. While I’m not sure about the legitamacy of that figure I think something I canattest to is the number of c…

Office Suite

Free office suite for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS
Work offline on documents stored on your PC or Mac with ONLYOFFICE Desktop Editors

While Microsoft does a good job at offering methods for linking to the Office web apps, and Google Docs is what i personally use. the world has it bad for Office365 right now. Only office runs in the Linux shell and is the only Office suite i’ve found outside of Microsoft Office to open all the documents I’d need to.

the Linux app scales well, its very stable and will work with Nextcloud if you have the integrations setup.

File Management

While I use the Chrome Filemanager for many things I recently started having issues with SSH mounts and started using Solid Explorer the Android App.

Solid Explorer File Manager – Apps on Google Play
Solid Explorer is a file management app inspired by the old school file commander applications. It will help you:🗄️ Easily manage files in dual pane layout🔐 Protect files with strong encryption🖥️ Manage files on your cloud storage or NAS☁️ Backup apps and files to any desired destination Ex…

This app scales well on the screen, works well on ChromeOS with a mouse or the touchscreen and supports a lot of remote service types out of the box


Chrome Remote Desktop

I’ve tried a lot of Remote access software from TeamViewer to and what i’ve learned is I acutally only ever need to be able to gain access to 1 desktop on my network and the Chrome Remote Desktop lets me do that. Its quick over public Wifi, it just works and with a few tweaks Copy and paste works..

Termius – SSH platform for Mobile and Desktop
The #1 cross-platform terminal for Windows, macOS, Linus, iOS, and Android with built-in ssh client which works as your own portable server management system in any situation.

The main reason for only using 1 desktop is i spend most of the time on servers which run SSH and a VPN/Termius is the way forward for me here. Termius has the same killer feature as spark email in so much as you setup the environment, lock it behind a cloud login and 2FA and Termius can be installed on any device I have Android, Mac, windows Linux and i’m ready to go.

On ChromeOS i run the Linux Deb of this app as it’s more native feeling (somehow) then the Android App.


The Only VPN I connect to is via home, I don’t run a public facing VPN, when I did I ran ExpressVPN which works well on chrome via the Android app

Secure remote access for distributed workforces
Replace corporate VPNs with a more secure, usable and performant zero trust access solution

To connect back home I use TwinGate and while its by the letter of the law not a VPN, it fits into this section for remote access. The “free” account will serve most well and it can be setup natively on most OS or in a Docker/K8s container.

I cover it in a bit more detail here

When is a VPN not a VPN?
VPN’s are all the rage out there at the moment for either security yourconnection out on public internet or getting access to different Netflix titlesin other countries the big players like NordVPN and ExpressVPN are spending alot to advertise their services. Historically however a VPN is a busi…

I also have WireGuard setup on OpnSense for a Hardware Wifi dongle I have which when it powers up connects stright to my WireGuarl VPN at home wo when i’m in a hotel room or on tethered to my phone, I can be sure the connection is secure.

That being said the Android Wireguard app works faultlessly in ChromeOS.

OPNsense® a true open source security platform and more – OPNsense® is a true open source firewall and more

Final Thoughts.

This is just my world, some will agree, have other suggestions and thats amazing, i’ll always look to see if there is a better alternative for me out there, thats how I got this far with bits of software and hardware.

By davidfield

Tech Entusiast