At work or at home I mainly use a Ubuntu + Gnome Shell setup for getting work done. While Gnome Shell has its limitations it can be dramatically improved with the right extensions. At least for now I don’t know any better option.

With my current setup I have support for multiple desktops which is useful for switching contexts between e.g. communication and development. The multiple desktops are also a benefit for laptop work as I am otherwise limited to a single screen for workspace.

In addition to the built in features I have native support for Pomodoro, task management, weather indicator, time tracking, and integrated media controls for Spotify.

This is a complete list of everything that makes Gnome Shell an efficient work environment for me.

Dash to Dock

“A dock for the Gnome Shell. This extension moves the dash out of the overview transforming it in a dock for an easier launching of applications and a faster switching between windows and desktops. Side and bottom placement options are available.”

Hamster Time Tracker

The time tracker is useful for billable work or work estimations. By specifying a task it will automatically start tracking time for that task until paused or switched to a new task.

Media player indicator

This allows e.g. Spotify to be controlled through the volume menu. Also provides song indication with album cover and such.


“Weather extension to display weather information from or for almost all locations in the world.”


This extension markets itsels as “A simple pomodoro timer” but is hands down the best Pomodoro timer I have ever used regardless of platform or OS.


A simple task manager and to-do list integrated into the task bar. Also integrates with Todo.txt for storing, exporting, and importing data.