Gmail is widely accepted as one of the best – if not the best – free email providers around. It boasts an intuitive user interface, it’s secure, and it offers plenty of storage. Better yet, Gmail can do so much more when you plug in one of the many extensions on offer to users. Here are 10 of the best.
“Take control of when you send and receive email messages.”
Cost: From free to $50 a month (a personal account with unlimited tracked emails is $5 a month).
Boomerang is a super-easy-to-use tool for scheduling emails and organizing your inbox. This is something many extensions offer – usually as one feature of many. If all you’re looking to do is control when you send emails, track who’s opening them, and get reminders to help you organize your email communications, inbox, and life, Boomerang will do the trick.
Boomerang users also get access to “Respondable,” an “assistant” that uses artificial intelligence to help you send better emails.
“Run your entire business from your inbox.”
Cost: From free (for personal users) to $89 per user/per month for an enterprise account. For most businesses, the $39 per user/per month corporate plan should suffice.
Streak makes it easier to get things done by turning your Gmail into a full-fledged CRM system.
In addition to features like email scheduling, tracking, and real-time notifications (so you know when your emails are being read), Streak helps you stay on top of conversations by organizing your communication flow, makes it easy to share emails across your team (without the need to forward emails or cc team members), and allows you to easily split email threads.
Essentially, Streak does everything you’d expect a CRM to do, without the inconvenience of setting up and using an external system.
3. Checker Plus
“The fastest and easiest way to manage multiple email accounts.”
Checker Plus allows you to read, listen to, and delete emails, all without opening your inbox. It’s great for the visually impaired, as well as people who are always on the go and unable to respond to emails as quickly or as often as they’d like.
It can also notify you of new emails. You can allocate sound notifications to different contacts (in the same way you might assign separate ringtones to different contacts in your phone) and configure the extension to tell you who’s emailing and what they’ve said.
“Email: 30% faster, 100% more fun.”
The Email Game will gamify email management. In short, it forces you to work faster by applying time limits to emails.
The long version is that you get points for organizing your inbox and replying to emails. The faster you can clear your inbox or reply to an email, the more points you get.
The default setting gives you three minutes to reply, but you can add time if you need it for longer responses.
The Email Game is ideal for anyone who spends too long replying to emails and deciding what to do with old or unwanted ones (probably most of us, then).
“Clean up your inbox.”
Unroll.me helps you keep your inbox squeaky-clean by making it really easy to unsubscribe from emails you don’t want to see, and consolidating those that you do.
Once installed, you can view a list of all the emails that you’re subscribed to. You can then instantly unsubscribe from those you’re no longer interested in receiving.
But that’s not all.
You can also combine all the subscriptions you do want to see into a single email. You’ll get an email once a day (called a Rollup) that contains all updates from all publishers you actually want to hear from.
“The best way to learn keyboard shortcuts while you work in Gmail.”
Keyboard shortcuts are awesome, but there are so many of them, it can be tricky to pinpoint the ones that are actually going to help you and that you’re going to use regularly.
This is where KeyRocket comes in.
It does the detective work for you by tracking your movements in Gmail and suggesting appropriate shortcuts that will help you get things done faster. You’ll simply get a subtle notification that lets you know when a suitable shortcut could have been used in place of a series of mouse clicks.
7. Active Inbox
“Do less, achieve more.”
Cost: From $3.30 a month for a personal account, to $9 a month for a business account.
Active Inbox helps you optimize your inbox by letting you track, schedule, and organize emails according to priority. You can set deadlines for emails, group similar emails into folders, and prioritize emails by dragging important ones to the top of the list.
You can also add notes and tasks that essentially turn your inbox into a workflow to ensure you’re always in control of your emails, as well as any external tasks they apply to.
“Stay on top of your business relationships.”
Cost: $18 a month for the starter package or $29 a month for the professional package. For $40, Follow Up can be integrated into Salesforce.
Follow Up is a “lightweight” email tracker and follow-up reminder designed to help you organize your professional life and relationships.
You can set reminders for emails you want to follow up on later down the line, schedule automatic follow-ups (that will be cancelled if a reply is received in the meantime), and create recurring reminders that ensure you never let routine tasks slide.
Another standout feature is the ability to view your entire relationship with a contact summarized on a single screen. This is great for managing leads or dealing with large volumes of clients.
“Book meetings with one email. No back & forth. No double bookings.”
If you’ve ever been frustrated by the back-and-forth involved in scheduling a suitable date and time for meetings, you’ll love Assistant.to.
By integrating with your Gmail (and its calendar), Assistant.to makes it really easy to create and send meeting invites that list all of your available time slots. Once received, all your contact has to do is choose the date and time that works best for them.
Assistant.to will then check your calendar to ensure you’re still free, and schedule the meeting.
Other useful features include the extension’s ability to convert time zones (so there’s no confusion when scheduling meetings with contacts in other parts of the world) and remember your most common meeting locations and availability (so that scheduling meetings becomes even quicker and easier).
10. Pixel Block
Some of the tools above allow you to track if and when the emails you send are getting opened. That can be invaluable to anyone sending outreach or sales emails, but what if you want to prevent the same trick from being played on you?
Pixel Block is a super-simple Gmail extension that blocks email trackers so you can stop other people from tracking when you open their emails.
You’ll also be notified when Pixel Block successfully stops a tracker via a “red eye” that will appear next to the sender’s name.
These 10 Gmail extensions will help turbocharge your inbox and make Gmail even more awesome, but there are lots more. Which Gmail extensions do you use and which would you recommend? It’d be great if you could share your favorites using the comments below: