12 Best Gmail Tools and Plugins Ever
Gmail is an ad-powered email inbox. It’s easy, it looks great and it’s very versatile. Don’t you just love it? If you’re anything like me, you’re always on the lookout for new Gmail tools and plugins to add to your Gmail inbox or to Google Chrome. You’re using them either to increase your productivity or just because it makes your life much easier.
I dissected my inbox and bring you the top 12 Gmail tools I’m using right now to turn my inbox into a powerhouse.
The Best Gmail Hacks
This is number 1 on my list of Gmail hacks for anyone in sales. SalesHandy is a sales communication and analytics tool designed make sales teams more productive.
SalesHandy collects and analyses behavioral insights of your prospects and presents these insights in an actionable format.
2. Rapportive: Rich Contact Data straight to your Inbox
This free add-on immediately pulls up contact information, social profiles, job descriptions and other nifty need-to-know’s about the person you are e-mailing with.
Rapportive loads your contact’s latest tweets and you can even add your own private notes. You might even be able to use it as your own small contact management app 😉
This is one of the more powerful Gmail tools that allows you to immediately gain a fuller picture of your contact. You don’t have to go look for them on the social channels. Instead, you can directly see what’s top-of-mind for them at that specific moment.
But there’s more to Rapportive than that. Personally, I’ve been using it to quickly hunt for e-mail addresses. Say I’m looking for John Doe and I know he works at AwesomeSauce. I’ll go to Gmail, open a new message and try firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hmm, Rapportive doesn’t load any data and has the default question mark profile picture.
Let me try email@example.com. Aha! Rapportive has found John and has loaded his data. This means that the e-mail address is valid and still in use.
Get it here Type: free plugin
Works with: Firefox | Google Chrome | Safari
3. Unroll.me: the Gmail Tool to stop annoying subscriptions
Holy cow! Yep, this was my inbox (and probably yours too) before Unroll.me. Filled with subscriptions to lists and websites I haven’t checked in months or don’t even know I ever subscribed to. Look at that mess! I can’t focus this way! Something needs to be done!
Enter Unroll.me, the service that scans your inbox for subscriptions and lets you immediately unsubscribe from these lists (you don’t really unsubscribe, but Unroll.me just blocks these emails from ever getting to your inbox).
Subscriptions you really want to keep can be added to ‘The Rollup’, which is a daily digest of all the emails you received from your subscriptions.
It’s fantastic, really. Now my inbox looks waaaay better and I can focus on what is important.
Get it here Type: free tool
4. Inbox Pause: Freeze Gmail
Okay, so I’m dealing with email every single day. Lots and lots and lots of email. I’m replying to questions, helping customers setting up their syncs, writing out long emails to clients, and working on several proposals. You’ve probably got a similar story.
I’ve got the bad habit to immediately open and read every single email that I receive. I would even stop typing an email to check the new one. This is a huge distraction.
This is where the Gmail tool Inbox Pause helped me get back on track. This plugin adds a nice blue ‘Pause’ button next to the Compose button of your inbox. Clicking this button effectively pauses emails coming in.
It works like this: all incoming emails will receive a special label. All messages with that label will be hidden. Once you unpause your inbox, these messages will pop straight back into your inbox.
This plugin allows you to focus 100% on your work, and you can deal with those other emails whenever you decide to.
Get it here (love the website)
Type: free plugin
Works with: Firefox | Chrome
5. Signals: act when it really matters
This is my latest Gmail tool addition, and it blew me away.
Have you ever sent an email through Mailchimp or Mandrill? Or do you remember those ‘Delivery Receipts’ from Outlook what-year-was-that-again?
We have an obsession with controlling and knowing what people do to the mails and messages we send them. That’s why everybody’s been abusing the Facebook ‘Seen’ feature these last couple of years.
Signals adds the ‘power of knowing’ to your Gmail inbox. You’ll get a ‘Signal’ every time a recipient opens an email of yours. That’s right, you can get individual tracking of opens and even clicks on your one-to-one emails. You can even see how many times a recipient has opened your email.
So imagine that you’ve sent a prospect a mail with a link to a corporate presentation. You see he opens it, he clicks the link, he comes back to the mail, clicks the link again and then opens it one more time. That’s when you want to send your follow-up email.
Or what if you send a long email, your prospect opens it just once, but never comes back to it? Maybe your email is just too long? Maybe you just need to get to the point?
Signals is free to use up until 200 notifications per month. They charge $10 per month afterwards. Seriously, go get this.
Get it here Type: freemium plugin
Works with: virtually anything
6. Send using Gmail aka No I don’t want to open Outlook
Do you know what really grinds my gears? When I click a mailto link and Outlook opens instead of Gmail. I don’t want to open my Mail program, I haven’t used it in years! It’s slow and unreliable. Give me Gmail!
So what I used to do is right click the mailto link and select ‘Copy Link’. Then I’d open up Gmail, start a new message and paste the link into the To: field.
No more! With the “Send using Gmail”, every mailto: link will automatically be opened with your favorite mail client.
This cool plugin makes Gmail your default mail app, no matter what.
Get it here Type: free plugin
Works with: Google Chrome
Have you ever use the standard e-mail signatures in Gmail? The options are pretty limited and they aren’t always a pretty sight.
Why not take real advantage of your e-mail signature and promote your business at the same time? Put something attractive and out of the ordinary in your signature and make people sit up and pay attention.
For example, your latest tweet. Or the promotion of an event you are hosting. Or a link to your latest blog post.
With Wisestamp you can do all that and more. This freemium tool helps you quickly design an attractive signature that immediately promotes a part of your business as well. Just a few minutes of toying around with it gave me this.
Get it here Type: freemium tool
Works with: everything
8. Cloudy for Gmail: Access to all your Cloud-Stored Data
I send a lot of attachments to my colleagues through Gmail. Yeah sure, Google Drive or Dropbox is a good way of collaborating, but sometimes I need to specifically focus on one particular document or image.
Because of the vast variety of Cloud Storage solutions out there and because we all use a mix of different services, it’s not always easy to find the right document. Sometimes it’s in Dropbox, sometimes it’s on Flickr.
Cloudy for Gmail connects with all of your Cloud Storage services and with most of your social profiles. Cloudy gives you access to all the data you have stored in any of these services and lets you immediately attach this data straight to an email, without ever having to leave your Gmail.
Want to send someone a photo from Facebook? Not a problem. Have a note on Evernote you want to quickly share? You got it. Want to refer to something on Github? Cloudy has you covered.
It’s so easy to install and 100% free. I don’t see a reason why you wouldn’t download it right now.
Get it here Type: free
Works with: Chrome
9. Snooze: for those mails you can’t reply to right now
It’s 7am and you’re woken up by that horrible screaming sound of your alarm. Ugh. It’s too early to get up! Let me hit the ‘snooze’ button. I just need a couple of minutes more in this sweet heaven that is my bed.
That’s exactly what Snooze for Gmail offers you. Have an email you don’t want to reply to right away? But you don’t want to lose track of it? Just hit the Snooze button for anywhere between 5 minutes and a week and the email will pop back to the top of your inbox at the designated time.
I really like this one. Sometimes I get emails that are just walls of text. I love to read them and reply to them, but unfortunately, I don’t have the time to do so when they first appear in my inbox. In the past, I used to lose track of these emails. Yeah, I would label them or mark them with a star, but let’s be honest here, you don’t look at these labelled emails all too often, right?
Instead, what Snooze does is bring those emails back to the top of my inbox when I want it to. And I can just keep on hitting that wonderful Snooze button as much as I want. This way I don’t lose track of the important emails and I get to control what happens to them.
Get it here Type: Free
Works with: Chrome
10. Find Big Mail aka the Gmail Inbox Cleaner
Just a couple of weeks ago I did the unimaginable . I hit 80% of my 15GB Gmail limit. I was blown away, how is this possible? It’s just email, right?
Actually, if you never clean your inbox and store every email and every single attachment like me, you might be surprised at how much space a ‘simple’ email can take.
So there I was, hands in my hair, thinking about how I could delete some of the old emails that were no longer relevant to me. I started using Gmail’s custom filters to search for email that had big attachments. It helped me get off to a good start and gave me about 15% of space back.
Then, I stumbled on the Gmail tool Find Big Mails , an easy plugin which labels emails that have a certain size.
This free plugin finds all the emails from any point in time and labels them into four categories: Top (the biggest ones), more than 1MB, more than 5MB and more than 10MB.
With Find Big Mail I was able to clear an additional 30% of storage! 🙂
Get it here Type: free for @gmail.com accounts (9$ for Google Apps)
11. Boomerang: Bulk your Email Writing, Send at your Leisure
The core feature of Boomerang is very similar to Snooze: you can get easy email reminders, but based on emails you’ve sent.
However, in practice, the reason why most people use Boomerang is for it’s incredibly super-duper-awesome feature of scheduling email. God, how I love this.
So imagine coming in on a Monday morning and having to do some emails. Now, you know that most of your clients are in a different timezone and only start checking emails at around 3pm your local time. Just write all the emails in one go and schedule them to be sent around that time. AWESOME.
On top of that, you can have Boomerang automatically remind you of follow-ups you need to do based on the interaction with your email.
There’s an additional checkbox to remind you if there was no reply, if it wasn’t opened, if there have been no clicks or regardless.
This tool saves you lots of time.
Get it here Type: free tool
12. Followup.cc: Never Miss a Follow-up ever again!
This is an absolute powerhouse of a tool, the Mac Daddy of Gmail tools; Followup.cc.
The concept is simple enough: this service will remind you to do a follow-up on someone within a specified time.
Instead of adding a snooze button, this tool will actually add a task to your calendar and can intelligently decide whether or not the follow-up is still relevant.
Here’s how it works.
When I’m writing an email to one of my clients or prospects and I need them to reply or follow up with me, I will add an extra email address to the BCC field. An address that ends in @followup.cc and can have any type of prefix.
Then, Followup.cc will remind you of this email by sending it back to you, together with an option to snooze for X hours or days. It will also add it to your Followup.cc calendar and, if you so desire, you can link it to your iCal and Google Calendar as well.
Followup.cc takes the hassle out of the following up of clients. Instead of finding a haphazard way of keeping track of my emails and then losing follow-up reminders, I can just use this service and be worry-free.
And there’s more! You can set-up this Gmail tool to automatically neglect the follow-up reminders once a client has replied to you. These guys are constantly improving their service (they recently added tasks), so you can be sure that there’s more amazing things to come.
Get it here Type: free to use for 25 reminders, 12$ for 250 after that
What are your favorite Gmail tools? Tell me in the comments and I’ll add it to this post.